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View Poll Results: Who will win the Eastern Conference's Southeast Division?
Washington Capitals 3 75.00%
Carolina Hurricanes 0 0%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1 25.00%
Florida Panthers 0 0%
Atlanta Thrashers 0 0%
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Old 08-16-2001, 11:27 PM   #1
lmanchur.
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Default PREVIEW: Southeast Division

We have 7 weeks until the NHL's regular season, so every week, I will start a new thread where we can preview each of the NHL's 6 divisions, with the 7th week of discussion belonging to our final predictions.

This thread concerns the Eastern Conference's Southeast Division that features the Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Washington Capitals.

In all of hockey, this is probably the weakest division. Easily, Washington should take over this division and gaurantee themselves home ice in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see, however, what on-ice improvements Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Florida make after making several impact moves in the offseason (well, Tampa and Florida did... Carolina -- not as much).

Of these teams, I think Tampa will finish second in the division, followed by Carolina, Florida, and, finally, Atlanta. Atlanta has a good core of talent headed by their goalie, Damian Rhodes, as well as a great top line of draft picks from the previous three seasons of Ilya Kovalchuk (2001 1st pick), Patrik Stefan (1999 1st pick), and Dany Heatley (2000 2nd pick).

The reason I think Tampa will see the most improvement is largely due to the development of their two top forwards -- Brad Richards and Vincent Lecavalier -- as well as one of the NHL's finest goaltenders (should he return to his old form) in Nikolia Khabibulin.
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Old 08-17-2001, 12:08 AM   #2
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Little did I realize how weak this division is. Ouch! With the Caps' transactions over the offseason, they have got to be the favorites.
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Old 08-18-2001, 05:00 PM   #3
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I think that Florida are a bit of a unknown because Bure was the only one doing anything last year but if a couple of other players have career years they should be able to finish second in the division. Washington will finish first but disappear in the playoff.
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Old 08-19-2001, 09:22 AM   #4
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Default Washington wins this division

I think the Caps will easily win this division.Carolina did not go out and make any key additions to their roster.The Panthers,with Luongo and the Bure brothers will be better then last yr,but their defense is still bad.TB,like the Panther will get strong goaltending and scoring,but TB's talented young defense is too young and inexperienced.They aren't ready to challenge the Caps yet.
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Old 08-19-2001, 09:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Washington wins this division

Quote:
Originally posted by Lappy
Carolina did not go out and make any key additions to their roster.
No they didn't, but they gave the defending Stanley Cup Champions from one year ago, as well as the eventual Eastern Conferen Champions, New Jersey Devils, quite a scare last year in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, taking them to six games after the Devils appeared to easily have the series in hand.

So far, I've been the only one to give commentary about Atlanta!... How does everyone think the staff in Georgia is doing on building a team from scratch, the NHL's Expansion Team from 2000???
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Old 08-19-2001, 12:22 PM   #6
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I don't think Carolina ever gave NJ a real scare.The Devils looked past Carolina,playing on cruise control, when they lost to Carolina it woke them up,reminded them not to take any team lightly.When they stopped looking past Carolina,they took care of business.Carolina was one of the teams scrambling for the last playoff spot, in the final games of the regular season.Several other teams in the east have gotten stronger,while the Canes stood pat.
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