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Old 10-02-2005, 06:38 PM   #1
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Arrow NHL Eastern Conference Preview

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A Hockey Cynic’s Guide to the NHL (Pt. 1)

SC's Greg Wyshynski presents the first half of his annual look at which teams will not win the Stanley Cup. Up first is the Eastern Conference, home to the reigning Cup champs from Tampa, super rookie Sidney Crosby, and the favorite to win the Cup.
You can find a look at all of the Eastern teams here: https://www.sports-central.org/sport...e_nhl_pt_1.php

And look for a Western Conference one next week. So who do you guys like out of the East? It's October! Let's get the hockey juices flowing!
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Old 10-02-2005, 07:58 PM   #2
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I like Philadelphia. There are some very good and very complete teams in the Eastern Conference this season in addition to the Flyers- New York, Islanders that is, Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Ottawa, Toronto and the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. However, the Flyers have some outstanding young players (Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Patrick Sharp) to go along with Peter Forsberg, arguably the best free agent pick up this offseason. Robert Esche has emerged as a top notch goal tender and they shored up the blueline with the addition of Derian Hatcher. Mike Rathje and Eric Desjardins provide solid defense and veteran leadership.

Ottawa is another team that has built up a solid corps of young players and have a playmaker in Dany Heatley. The Senators also feature one of the deepest bluelines in the league with Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden and Chris Phillips. Jason Spezza is one of the most exciting young players in the game.

Here is how I see the Eastern Conference shaping up this season:

1. Philadelphia Flyers
2. Pittsburgh Penguins
3. New Jersey Devils
4. New York Islanders
5. New York Rangers

1. Ottawa Senators
2. Boston Bruins
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Buffalo Sabres
5. Toronto Maple Leafs

1. Tampa Bay Lightning
2. Atlanta Thrashers
3. Florida Panthers
4. Washington Capitals
5. Carolina Hurricanes
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Old 10-03-2005, 03:57 AM   #3
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I hope its the Flyers taking the east, but I think there defense is to slow and I'm not real sure about their goaltending. I think it will probably be the Senators and I really think the Penguins improved enough this off season to have a chance.
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Old 10-03-2005, 11:22 AM   #4
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I like Ottawa coming out of the East and winning the cup this year. They're solid up front with guys like Heatley, Alfredson, Havlat and Spezza, who is going to be in the top ten, maybe even five in scoring this season (lead the AHL last year in points). On the blue line they have two of the best d-men in hockey, Redden and Chara, and if he stays healthy a hall of fame goaltender who's won in the past in Hasek.

I think Philly will give them trouble, and even Pittsburgh, who I think will be really good this season. Tampa Bay needs Grahame or Burke to step up if they want to repeat, and you can never count out New Jersey. They've been consistent for years without much star power, with the exception of Brodeur, who is by far the best goalie in the game. I'd say my underdog pick would be the Canadiens. Under the new rules they should excel, and Theodore is a top 10 goalie in the NHL.
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:37 PM   #5
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Alex, I like your predictions. The only thing I'd change would be switching NJ and Philly. Yes, Broduer is old, but he's still really good and the NJ team is not a team to reckon with. They always seem to pull out a win and get themselves deep into the playoffs. Philly will be good, but they, too, are growing old. So, yeah, I'd just switch Philly and NJ and my prediction chart would be the same.
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Old 10-03-2005, 09:30 PM   #6
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Brodeur is still the best goalie in the league, even at his age. I put the Devils a rung lower than Philly and Pittsburgh because they lost some key players and have some major question marks heading into the season. They lost Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens and how will Patrick Elias come back from Hepatitis? The Devils are relying on an older corps of players compared to Philly. The Flyers offense will revolve around Forsberg but guys like Mike Richard, Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne will also produce points. The Devils have to hope that Elias bounces back, Gomez can carry the offense and that Alex Mogilny will age gracefully. Losing Neidermayer and his 40 assists is going to be huge.
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Old 10-05-2005, 03:31 PM   #7
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I'll take the Senators out of the East. They retain a solid core and have the best defensive corps in the league. Oh, and Hasek in goal. Heatley and Spezza are going to light it up this year.

The Flyers look very strong on both offense and defense, but I can't understand how anyone is taking them seriously with Robert Esche in goal.

Keep an eye on Boston. If they get solid goaltending, they could make a serious run. New Jersey will be tough as always, but will definitely miss Stevens and Niedermayer. Pittsburgh will be a lot of fun to watch, but I their defense is still a problem.

Washington and Carolina will be battling for worst team in the league.

Eastern Conference:
Atlantic division
*Philadelphia
*New Jersey
*Pittsburgh
NY Islanders
NY Rangers

Northeast division
*Ottawa
*Boston
*Toronto
Montreal
Buffalo

Southeast division
*Tampa Bay
*Atlanta
Florida
Carolina
Washington
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:26 PM   #8
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I'm taking either Philly or Tampa Bay out of the East.

Philadelphia
NY Islanders
NJ Devils
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers

Ottawa
Toronto
Boston
Montreal
Buffalo

Tampa Bay
Atlanta
Carolina
Florida
Washington
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