Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Predictions: Final NHL Standings

Well, I don't want to be the only blogger NOT posting my predictions for how the standings this season will shake out, so based on my lucky eight ball, the fact that I did not put my pants on one leg at a a time this morning, and that I'm bored, here are The Mad Bloggers predictions for the final NHL standings (I will only analyze the East, as I am not nearly as knowledgeable on the West):

Eastern Conference

  1. Carolina - Still strong, still in a weak division, should feast on them all season.
  2. Buffalo - Would have had them #1 overall, but I think the tough Northeast will take a bite out of the Sabres.
  3. Rangers - Many people writing them off as a flash in the pan - but they should be even better with Cullen, Shanahan and another year under Lundqvist's belt.
  4. Ottawa - Still strong, will finish with more points than Rangers, but get fourth due to the divisional seeding.
  5. New Jersey - Lou is still the man, and a healthy Elias and a signed Gionta + Gomex means a very dangerous Devils squad. Oh, and they have some guy named Brodeur in net.
  6. Tampa Bay - They will be better, as Denis is a REAL improvement in net. Watch for Richards to have an Yzermanesque season.
  7. Philadelphia - This team could finish as high as third or as low as tenth, a real wild-card. Lots of great talent up front, but will Forsberg and Nitty stay healthy?
  8. Toronto - This team will struggle all season, but with what should be the #1 PP in the league, and a solid showing from Raycroft, 8th is a slight possibility.

  9. Montreal - Will be battling with the Leafs all season. Some nice prospects, but can Huet really be 'the man'?
  10. Atlanta - Loss of Savard hurts, but I think time will show him to be a less important cog than his current contract says. Ilya could score 60, and they have improved their D.
  11. Boston - Chara and Savard are not enough. No scoring after the first two lines, and a very thin D-corp.
  12. Pittsburgh - Maybe the most improved team, or at least the team with the potential to be the most improved. They should be an exciting team to watch (at both ends of the rink!)
  13. Florida - Acquiring a dis-interested Bertuzzi does not equate to a step-up in my view.
  14. Washington - Need to get more help for Ovechkin. D is thin, but watch for LW Semin, a potential Calder candidate.
  15. Islanders - Adding Tom Poti is never a good idea. Mr. Wang will start to regret his 15 year contract with DiPietro by January.
Western Conference
  1. Calgary
  2. San Jose
  3. Nashville
  4. Anaheim
  5. Dallas
  6. Detroit
  7. Edmonton
  8. Vancouver

  9. Minnisota
  10. Columbus
  11. Colorado
  12. Phoenix
  13. Los Angeles
  14. St. Louis
  15. Chicago

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