This hockey season looks to be a great one. It's the Habs' 100th year anniversary, there looks to be an emergence from teams like Edmonton, Chicago and Phoenix out West, and we as fans of this great game get to make our predictions of what we think might happen....So here are my predictions for the coming season.
1. Canadiens- Tanguay, Laraque and Lang. They will surely bring some depth and leadership to this team making them better than last season, but look for the Caps to stay neck and neck with them all season long up until the final game.
2. Capitals- Look for Theodore to have one of his best seasons in years and Alex TheGr8 and company to continue with their forward progression.
3. Rangers- Lunqvist will contend for the vezina and Naslund will win the comeback player of the year. Also look for Zherdev to have his best season.
4. Flyers- Last season they struggled a little but gained huge experience in the post season. This will only be positive in their growth.
5. Penguins- One of the most talented teams in the league, but injuries to Gonchar and Whitney will be just too tough to handle.
6. Devils- Probably the most underrated team in the East, but once again Marty will prove us all wrong.
7. Sabres- Vanek will step it up this year and it will prove to be the determining factor to their success.
8. Sens- Look for the offense to produce, the defence to be mediocre, and Gerber to completely choke. They'll squeeze into the playoff picture in the last game of the regular season.
9. Bruins- The team will be better this season with a healthy Bergeron and a better performing Ryder, but Thomas will never come close to his numbers of last year and will ultimately hurt this teams forward progression.
10- Panthers- The new New Jersey Devils: Boring. The only thing keeping this club from reaching the post season will be their lack of depth up front.
11- Hurricanes- A better southeast divison is gonna really hurt their chances.
12- Lightning- This team will be explosive when it comes to scoring but will allow more goals then we might think possible.
13- Maple Leafs- Yes, they are terrible, but Toskala and an improved defensive corps will prevent them from getting the highly disired first round pick.
14, 15- Thrashers or Islanders- Who really cares right?
1. Wings- I only have two words to say: Marian Hossa.
2. Stars- Look for Richards to score over 80 pts. And its sad but true, Avery will help this team.
3. Flames- Kipper will get back to his old self and things should be back on track. A now weaker division also helps their chances.
4. Sharks- This is one of the best teams on paper and will only trail the Stars by a couple of points.
5. Ducks- With Teemu and Scott back for the entire season, look for the Ducks to be great. The only problem will be their divisional rivals.
6. Chicago: The youngsters have gained experience, Toews will be healthy all year, they now have a true power play quarter back in Campbell and have a reliable net minder in Huet.
7. Oilers- They will be fun to watch and will have an awesome powerplay with Visnovsky and a healthy Souray.
8. Canucks- A lot of teams could take it but Luongo will be at the top of his game and win the vezina.
9. Wild- With Demitra and Rolston gone and rumors of Gaborik on the move, I don’t like their chances.
10. Colorado- This team is great but have issues in the goaltending departement. Budaj is unproven and Raycroft is Raycroft.
11. Preds- This team is still good and should only miss the post season by a few points.
12. Coyotes- They will surely improve but they still have to go through a few groing pains before they are playoff ready. Probably next season.
13. Columbus- The’re better than last season but still not good enough. Bottom line is that this club has no depth.
14, 15. Blues and Kings- We all know they have talent but no where near good enough to compete in the west.
So those are my predictions this season but they're predictions. It's my personal opinion and if I'm wrong......who really cares! Let’s just get this season started all ready! I didn't think playoff predictions were necessary because who knows what to expect once this season is over. I'll just play it safe and predict when the time comes around. Let me know what you think.
Oh ya....Go Habs Go!!