1. Philadelphia- Their offense is arguably the best depth wise in the league, and they have some yound defensman that could really step up and do a good enough job to win the conference. And I think that Biron will do a good enough job as well.
2. Montreal- Fast, skilled, young, but I thinnk they will lose the conference by something as little as a point, just because I think that Price will have a small mental lapse toward, but don't worry, he'll recover for the playoffs.
3. Washington- I think their goaltending is in question, but they should have enough offensive support to capture their division. There young defense will have to live up to potential, however.
4. New Jersey- Gionta, Zajac, Zubrus, Langenbrunner, Elias; they all had off seasons, and I think that at least some of them will improve, and with the addtions of Holik and Rolston, scoring should no longer be an issue. As long as they Play Marty no more than 70 games, they could make a serious run.
5. Pittsburgh- Lost a lot of scoring punch this offseason, and did not gain much, and their additions were desprate. Satan is just a liability now, and Fedotenko has struggled for the past 2 seasons. The major issue is, however, the fact that Pitt will have to try and win without their number 1 and 2 defenseman for as long as 5 months, which is what will end up costing them the division.
6. Boston- I think that Ryder will have a bounce back year, and now tha Bergeron is back, they will have 2 good scoring lines, and the Bruins will be a tough team to beat. Also, the fact that they have goaltender competetion is healthy, and the goaltenders will be on the top of their game.
7. New York- It seems they just moved around names, but there will be a lot of pressure for youngsters to replace some key players, and their might be too much responsibility for the young players. There defense is not much better, if even. Tyutin was the only ranger that consistently played well last year, and I would say Redden should be able to replace him, but Redden was a little shaky last year, and seeing his preseason, He's still a little shaky.
8. Ottawa- Losing Meszaros will hurt, because he was the best defensman last year, and the fact that they lost Redden as well hurts, and the Sens did not make any major changes for the better.
9. Carolina- Will just miss because of injury, the team can just not stay away from the injury bug. But I do like their offseason additions.
10. Buffalo- Campbell will be missed, but they will also just miss, they do have a solid young team, but they will have to become more consistent to make the playoffs.
11. Tampa- Their defense and goaltending is still not strong enough, and it really showed against the Rangers today. Even though Smith played well, they let the Rangers dominate. And I do not think that Smith can hold it up for the whole season.
12. Florida- Sure their defense got better, but they probably had the worst last year, and added two depth defensman, so they still do not have a strong enough team.
13. Toronto- They are the Maple Leafs, they are not suppose to make the playoffs. Just Kidding. But they do not really excel in any aspect of the game.
14. New York- They will have some more youth, but their scoring will still be a problem, and their defense is not great either.
15. Atlanta- Besides Kovalchuck, who is going to consistently score?
1. Detroit- Repeating champs + Hossa, they are only going to be stronger, however, their goaltending is something to be worried about, but the strong defense of Detroit should be able to hide the weakness.
2. Dallas- I think that they have the right balance of almost everything, and that they will have a great season. I predict that they will win the cup.
3. Edmonton- As much as I hate to say this, they almost pulled in last year, and their young kids will get better, and they made some changes for the better. I am still in disbelief I put Edmonton in 3rd.
4. San Jose- They too have a great balance of pretty much everything, however, their offense is a bit unpredictable as to their preformance.
5. Aneheim- They are weak offensively, but as defensively sound as any team in the league. They are going to need increased contributions from Teemu and Kunitz to make a serious run.
6. Chicago- Got a lot stronger, finally have solid goaltending, and Kane and Toews are unbelieveable. I wouldnt be surprised to see them pass Aneheim.
7. Calgary- The Flames lost some scoring punch, but hopefully guys like Moss and Boyd can step up and have breakout years, and Bert will need to step up his game. Kipper will also need to have a bounceback year.
8. Pheonix- Their young guys should be able to step up, they still have a solid defense, adn most importantly they will have strong goaltending throughout the whole season. They coyotes got off to a slow start last season, and pretty much cost them a shot at the playoffs.
9. Minnesota- Lost key players in Rolston and Demitra, the replacements are close to evening out, however, I think the Gaborik situation could end up being a distraction if they do not sign him to an extension soon. If Minnesota does make the palyoffs, it will be mostly because Burns will have a break out year, and will have a great season.
10. Vancouver- Some say last year as a fluke, but I still do not see them a strong team, and they only have one strong scoring team, their defense is average, their goaltending obviously spectacular, but Luongo cannot steal the Canucks a playoffspot, but will come close.
11. Colombus- Liked the offseason additions, and have some young players who can really step up and make a huge impact, however, they still lack a number 1 centre and a number 1 defensman, if they can meet one of those needs via trade they should be able to pus for a playoff spot.
12. Los Angeles- Have a youth movement underway, but still too many holes to make a serious push for the playoffs, but I believe they will improve.
13. Nashville- Lost a couple key role players on the team, and did not gain much, and now the Central has gotten a lot better, and cannot rely on easy divisional games as it had in the past.
14. St. Louis- Andy McDonald still needs to find chemistry, Legace will have to play extremely well, and the defense is weak especially with Johnson out for the season. They could also use a little more depth scoring.
15. Colorado- Their offense does not have much of a different look, and they were solid last year. Their defense lost Finger and Sauer in the back, not huge, but they were two solid defensman. Their goaltending is probably the weakest in the league, with not 1 true starter. The bottom line is the goaltending is not strong and the offense is not strong enought to steal games.
Feel free to leave comments, and I would love to hear your opinions.