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Predict the Standings!

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1Predict the Standings!   Empty Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:42 pm

PTFlea

PTFlea
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Every year we take a stab at predicting who will rise, who will fall and who will remain stagnant.

This year is no different - go for it!

The more reasons you give, the better.



Last edited by SpezDispenser on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

2Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:44 pm

Flo The Action

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oh dung, oh dung!!! i'm not ready yet Ahhhhh!

Laugh1

3Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:56 pm

Ev

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Ok, here's a preliminary prediction:

Eastern Conference

1. Washington- I still hate them, but they are a regular season force...I think they will edge Pittsbugh for 1st, just by a bit.
2. Pittsburgh- Improved D, Crosby is gonna develop and mature even more, and Malkin is gonna bounce back in a big way. Also have some nice rookies joining the big club in Tangradi and Jeffrey.
3. Boston- Best team in the NE on paper. Their offense is looking solid with Seguin and Horton coming in. Rask is the real deal and I don't think he will have a sophomore slump. Their D is a question mark, but still one of the best in the NE.
4. Philadelphia- I think they will overcome the Dung of Michael Leighton. Their offense is ridiculous and they have one of the deepest D corps in the league.
5. New Jersey- They may look worse than last year and years prior, but they can't be count out. Kovalchuk will help out their offense, and Marty is still Marty. Doesn't matter if they don't have any great puck-moving D, they didn't really have one last year either.
6. Ottawa- We're looking good but we're not among the elite yet. Our goaltending is our achilles heal, like always, and our D isn't the greatest. The offense wil be there but the question is, can we keep the puck out of our own net?
7. Buffalo- I really like their offense. Tyler Ennis, my pick to win the calder, is gonna help out a lot, and they still have their steady, dependable players like Roy and Pominville. And With Miller back there, I don't think they miss out on the playoffs.
8. New York- Pretty much the same as Buffalo. I like their offense (additions of Frolov, Kennedy, MZA will help), and with King Henrik I think they will just squeeze into the playoffs.
--------------------
9. Tampa Bay- Improved but still not good enough. Yzerman is steering them in the right direction though.
10. Carolina- Also very improved, and they have some really nice young players, but I don't think they're a playoff team.
11. Montreal- I really like Price and Cammalerri, but after that there's not much to like. It's gonna be a rough year in Montreal
12. Toronto- Their D is solid, their goaltending is decent, but their offense is looking terrible. Kessel and Versteeg will have to score a lot for them to stay competitive.
13. Long Island- They're looking good for a future powerhouse, but they are nowhere near sniffing the playoffs just yet.
14. Atlanta- Sorry but it's hard to say they improved at all. They lost Kovalchuk and added an overrated Byfuglien and a decent Andrew Ladd. It's gonna be another long year in Atlanta, hopefully the Hawks have some success in basketball so nobody notices the Thrashers.
15. Florida- Vokoun is one of th ebest goalies in the league, but he can't do it all. They are rebuilding so this is a perfect place for them to finish in.

Western Conference

1. Vancouver-one of the best D corps in the league, Luongo will be motivated (my pick to win the Vezina), and their offense is still looking very good on paper. I think they can challenge Washington for the President's trophy. Their biggest problem last season was defence, and they went out and improved it.
2.Detroit- We all saw what they could do last year when they were healthy again. This will be the same old Detroit powerhouse.
3. San Jose- Still the best team in their division. Nabokov is a loss but he was somewhat overrated to begin with. I don't think Nitty is that much of a downgrade from Nabby.
4. Los Angeles- They are almost there, but they still don't have any solid players to really help Kopitar on offense. Once Bernier takes over from Quick they will be even better.
5. Chicago- I don't think Byfuglien and Ladd and Versteeg and Niemi are HUGE losses, but it still will hurt their team chemistry and may take a few months for them to gel as a new team. I don't think they have it in them to make another run at the Cup, though.
6. St. Louis- I really like where they're headed. They will probably have another offense by committee, but I like their D (EJ is a stud) and with Halak back there their ability to prevent goals is greatly improved. I think they will get in and stay there for the next couple of years.
7. Anaheim- Yes their D is terrible, but their offense is still very solid and I think last season was a bit of a letdown so they have nowhere to go but up.
8. Calgary- Like Anaheim, Calgary was awfule last year. There's no way they're gonna be as bad as they were, and I think JBo, Iginla, et. al will all be back to their old selves. Still not a great team, but good enough to make the postseason dance.
---------------------
9. Edmonton- I think they make a huge jump this year and amost make the playoffs. Yeah they will have a lot of rookies, but I think that will really help them actually. Hall and Eberle aren't just your everyday rookies, they are studs in the making (specifally Hall, but Eberle is no slouch). Their goaltending is murky but I think they play well enough to make a push.
10. Dallas- Lehtonen will bounce back and stay healthy this season, and Neal, Benn, Richards, and Eriksson will keep putting the puck in the back of the net, but their D will let them down once again
11. Nashville- Yeah I know we canm't countt hem out but I really don't like their offense. Rinne will be solid and Weber and Suter will be Weber and Suter, but other than that they just look Plain Jane.
12. Phoenix- I think last seaosn was a bit of a fluke. Who know if Bryz plays like he did last year, and I'm not quite sure if Wolski has what it takes to be their #1 centre. They will get back to the playoffs next season, IMO, but this year they fall.
13. Columbus- Same old Blue Jackets. It's basically Nash and Voracek and nothing else. Mason will be better but he still won't replicate his rookie numbers. Yet another lottery pick for the Jackets!
14. Colorado- Yes, they will fall this much. They overachieved HARD last year, and their offense really isn't that special other than Duchene and Stastny. Still not sold on Anderson either.
15. Minnesota- Terrible team.

The West is EXTREMELY tough to predict.

Biggest fallers are Montreal, Phoenix, and Colorado.

Biggest risers are Tampa Bay, Edmonton, and Anaheim.

I don;t have time to give reasons right now, but hopefully I will post more soon.



Last edited by Big Ev on Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:23 pm; edited 2 times in total

4Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:30 pm

PTFlea

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I'll do East first:

East:

1.Washington
Riding Varlemov with the D core they have is a little risky, but as we know, the Caps can win on offense alone + they have Poti and John Carlson is about to make his presence known.

2.Pittsburgh
They'll challenge for 1st all year, but they play in a division that boasts amazing goaltending (Lundqvist, Brodeur, Leighton (haha)). They have no wingers to speak of, but obviously they have Crosby, Malkin and Staal + they have a devastating D - even without Gonchar.

3.Boston
I loathe to put these guys here, but the amount of offensive depth is amazing. Savard, Seguin, Horton, Krejci, Lucic, Ryder (blah), Bergeron. Nice blend of grit and style. Unfortunately (for them), their D is equally unimpressive as their forwards are impressive. Thomas and Rask are a dynamite duo in net.

4.Philadelphia
You could put a cat in net for the Flyers and they'd still make the playoffs. Although, they got rid of Gagne and replaced him with Zherdev, then they acquired Meszaros just for fun it seemed like, when he's been on the steady decline for a while now. Still...when all is said and done, they'll be challenging Pittsburgh for tops in the Atlantic.

5.New Jersey Devils
I also loathe putting this team as high as this, but their top six is lethal. Lucky for them they don't really need the back end to move the puck - because they can't. Brodeur should be amazing again, but his age is undeniable - he's reaching his 'golden years'. Kovalchuk + Parise + Brodeur = top 5 in the East IMO...unfortunately.

6.Ottawa
All anyone can say negatively is that the goaltending is shaky. Really? Elliott has a career .909 and is entering his third year as an NHLer. While that's not as high as we'd all like, we have to remember that he's improved on his numbers in ever place he's been. Plus, would it be safe to say that Leclaire has nowhere to go but up?

7.Buffalo
They make it by default. It's a weak East, but I do NOT like this team's makeup. You can't win in this NHL purely on a goaltender alone - and it feels like that's exactly what they're trying to do. If Miller gets hurt, they fall to 13th or 14th.

8.Atlanta
Laugh if you will, but this is a team that is primed for a dramatic increase in points and wins. I'll remind you that they did themselves in during the final week of action when they laid an egg against the Bs and dropped out of the final playoff spot. This year with Mason on board to help out Pavelic, they not only have the goaltending, but they have a vibrant young team.

9.Tampa Bay
I can't help thinking that the D isn't there for this team to beat out Atlanta, Ottawa and Buffalo, but Yzerman has taken this club in the right direction. He basically acquired Gagne for Meszaros - which is an amazing deal. Can the D hold up? Mike Smith has battled post-concussion for a while now, is he good to go? What of Dan Ellis? He's talented, but can he hold the fort? Lots of questions, but their top 6 is in good shape.

10.Montreal
This team barely made the playoffs last year - and their MVP was Halak - both regular season and playoffs. So what do they do? They trade him. Doesn't sound like a winning formula to me but they'll get their first full season of PK Subban. Is it enough to change the tide? Not in my opinion.

11.NY Rangers
What direction is this team taking? They sign Frolov to go with Gaborik, but then realize they don't have a top line center. Todd White to the rescue! Really, what is this team doing? At least they have one of the best in the East in Henrik Lundqvist - if anyone can get them to the playoffs, it's him. Del Zotto is primed for an enormous season as well, but it won't be enough.

12.Toronto
Nice D with a nice young goalie, but not there yet. Bozak is an exceptional 2nd line center, but I'm not sure he's ready to center a top line in the NHL yet. Armstrong adds 'truculence', Versteeg adds some much needed top 6 skill, but there's still no number one pivot. If this league was about collecting bottom 6 players, the Leafs would be top of the pops.

13.NY Islanders
Coming along as a young team takes time and patience. The Islanders were in it all the way until mid-January, then fell off dramatically. The same can be expected this year, even though Tavares and Okposo and Bailey are all a year older, no one on the Islander should be holding their breathe yet.

14.Carolina
It's tough to put Carolina this far down, but when the franchise lives and dies with Eric Staal, you can start to understand. McBain is primed to be a Calder Candidate, but there simply isn't enough depth and the Canes have some players who are all used up (Cole, Samsonov). Otherwise, I like the team, I like the coach, I like the system. It would be interesting if young bucks like Staal and the enormously talented Sutter end up playing well enough to offset their lack of depth.

15.Florida
Not sure if they're even bothering to compete this year, but they are loaded for the future. Vokoun will be a major piece in play at the deadline, but he has a NTC which could cause issues. Look for them to move Vokoun and get Markstrom some NHL time. Even then, only a minor miracle can save them from the cellar this year.

5Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:37 pm

sens4win

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Eastern Conference

1-Wasginton
If there offence is anything like last year then they should be resting pretty at the top again, although there defence is not top notch it gets the job done, the big question mark for me is there goaltending, Varlamov is always un-prodictable in my mind, and im just not sure how many games he can play before he needs a break, (even though he is only what 22). Goaltending will be a big factor if this team wants to make a run for the cup.

2-Pittsburgh
I believe Malkin will get his stride back, along with fleury he was less then spectacular last season.. the new look defence will be a change for sure, it will be interesting to see how they play without Gonchar on the back end. (which makes it kind of hard to say Malkin regains his previous form.

3-Ottawa
Even with the loss of Volcenkov, Cullen and Sutton I believe we will beat out Buffalo for top spot in the NorthEast, Peter Regin will be a new player this year, he got his playoff experience and found his stride with Spezza, With the addition of Gonchar we should be back to scoring goals, as we all know he will greatly improve our PP. Im really hoping Leclaire performs the way he did in the playoffs if he is injured i could see us slip back into the 4th or 5th spot, but heres to hoping we have a healthy goalie. The only think that could possibly hinder us is physicality, we are a weaker team this year but you can never count out Rutuu and Neal.

4-New Jersey
Im going to start off by saying that there is no way jersey is finishing in the top 3 off the conference ( shun me if you will but its not happening i tells ya Dammit! ) why you may ask... Brodeur displayed that age is finally catching up to him, smart move that they obtained Hedberg. I think its certain that Kovulchuk will sign back in Jersey its just a question of when and for how much, The addiction of Volchenkov gives them some physicality and it makes them more boring to watch because who doesn't love 30 1 - 0 games i know i do. Volchenkos is not going to replace Martin i thought he was a leader on that team and was pretty surprised when they did not re-sign him. It will be interesting to see how there offence does, thats were the question mark is in my mind for Jersey.

5 - Buffalo
To me Buffalo is the wildcard of the conference they can do great or they can just suck hard. I don't need to go into there goaltending because they are set there. Defence is good on this team with the acquisitions they made, heres hoping leopold can stay healthy for them. Myers another year of experience and he is only getting better, 48 points in 82 games man this guy is a young Chara. Offensively Connolly needs to stay healthy, The loss of torres wont be huge but he was a good contributor on the team, who knows how Niedermayer is going to play this year.

6-Philadelphia
They showed us they are not a team to be taken lightly, they have a ton of threats on offence and defence with Pronger, Meszaros, Carle gained another year of experience and has only got better every year, Coburn is also key on there defence, offence also looks good with Briere, Richards, Carter, Giroux blah blah blah, the only reason I rated them so low is because i think pronger is going to get a serious injury of some sorts and there goaltending just doesn't do it for me.

7-Boston
Still a great team lots of good guys a few mains things I really like is that they got horton I think he is going to explode with the talent they will be able to put around him, this kind of goes along the lines of Pronger i think Chara is getting older and slower but im not writing off Big Z yet, hese only 33 and there are still some great veterans out there. The question mark for me is Rask, if he can play a full season they way he played bits of it last year this is going to make my prediction look stupid, i think Boston will slowly be making Rask there main man and you will see a lot less playing time for a declining Thomas.

8- TampaBay
I couldn't put these guys out of the playoffs, lots of offensive weapons, man Stamkos really got it done last year, but im not sure how long that same one timer goal is going to work before teams adjust. Another year for Victor Hedman to show us what hese got, Dan Ellis and Mike Smith should be interesting and questionable all at the same time. Im iffy about these guys another wildcard in my mind, but i just couldn't put them out of the playoffs.

9- Montreal

10- NewYork

11-Toronto

12-Atlanta

13-Carolina

14-Florida

15-Islanders

As i said i will try to get the West and the rest of the East done some time.

6Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:27 pm

wprager

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Wow, there's no way I could do justice to even just the 15 teams in the East. All I could do is point at THN's predictions and laugh.

Predict the Standings!   Hah-hah

There. Now that that's done,some random observations.

I don't think Pittsburgh is a lock for leading their division. Their PP was horrible without Gonchar, and if they try Staal as a winger there's going to be some adjustment pains. Can they overcome that against an improved Philly team?

Boston is really hard for me to call. If the rumours of Savard failing his medical are true, they could be in a bit of trouble. Lucic can fight, but now that the league knows he can't skate, they'll take a different approach to stopping him. If Rask has a sophomore slump, does Thomas still have something left? If things go right they should be top-three; if not, who knows.

I have to agree with the comments about Montreal. They *barely* made it in and then got rid of the player who got them there. They could very well be a lottery team.

I don't understand the love for New Jersey. Kovalchuk + Parisee + Brodeur = two wings and some dipping sauce. Their # center is Travis Zajac, and I'd heard somewhere they could try moving Elias to make room for Kovalchuk. They needed a puck-moving D-man to spring Kovalchuk loose; they got A-Train instead.

Ottawa should be top-four, and if Philly/Pittsburgh cancel each other out they could challenge for 3rd. But I doubt that.


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7Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:27 pm

PTFlea

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West

1.Vancouver
All things point to success for the Canucks. Who cares if they don’t have a top D-man, they have 6 second pairing guys and they have a motivated Luongo. Their offense is one of the best around boasting Burrows, Kesler, Sedin, Sedin, Samuelsson, Torres, Malhotra. Mike Gillis deserves a lot of kudos for compiling this team - even if Nonis did a lot of the legwork, Gillis kept it all together and added pieces.

2.Chicago
They may have lost nearly half their active roster from the Stanley Cup winning team, but any team that has Toews, Kane, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook, Bolland, Hjarlmasson, Campbell will be just fine. Turco and Crawford will be interesting to watch though, does Turco have the juice left to compete at such a high level? With Chicago’s D, does it even matter...

3.San Jose
They let Nabokov walk and replace him with journeyman goaltender Nittymaki. Hmmm...there might be a significant dropoff in talent. At least when Rob Blake retired they replaced him with...Okay, so the two areas of intense scrutiny are in net and on D, however, coaching is not one of the deficiencies, nor are the forward core which boasts McGinn, Couture to go with Setoguchi, Pavelsi, Marleau, Thornton and Heatley. Expect them to win the Pacific, but with LA coming, this will be the last year for a long, long time.

4.Detroit
Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Franzen, Lidstrom, Rafalski + great coaching and a very nice supporting cast = playoffs. Pay no mind to last season, injuries decimated the Wings and they still made the playoffs without much issue. It’ll be interesting to see how Howard responds in his sophomore season, but Osgood is there to make sure.

5.LA Kings
This team is starting to shape up very well, from the young guns up from to the amazing Doughty, this team has relatively few holes. The addition of Mitchell on the back end to go with Scuderi and Greene means that opponents will pay a price for meandering around the net. Kopitar, Brown and co. are always a lot of fun to watch. The big question will be goaltending, is Quick over his playoff performance and ready to lead this team, or is it Bernier time?

6.Phoenix
What a tough division the Pacific is. Phoenix is a well constructed TEAM and I stress that they’re a team that depends on each other to get the job done. Wolski was a great addition, as was Stempniak (who just re-signed). Losing Michalek hurts, but they have a plethora of talented D-men coming up through the pipeline - most notably OEL, who could challenge for Rookie of the Year. Keep an eye on Yandle, one of the more underrated of D-men.

7.Nashville Predators
Every year UFAs leave Nashville and every year people predict doom and gloom - and every year Trotz and co. prove them wrong. With Weber wearing his deserved C, there will be a rock-steady D in Nashville. Lombardi has always been underrated in what he can bring to the table other than 5 on 5 play and Wilson is ready for the pros in a big way. Rinne will be key in goal.

8.Colorado
Real tough call for 8th, but Anderson gets the Avs in. Not to mention the amazing talent that has already spent time in the NHL, O’Reilly, Duchene, Quincy, Galliardi, Stewart. It’ll be a bit tough on D for the Avs, but they’ll persevere over....

9.St.Louis
I think this will be the most interesting race to watch. Back is the heralded D-man Erik Johnson from injury and he’ll be joining a squad that just doesn’t quit. Backes, Perron, Andy Mac, Boyes (expect a big comeback year from him) and the newly acquired Halak will have St.Louis battling for 8th place all year, but do they have the horses?

10.Calgary
One of the worst offenses in the league got no help at all this summer. In an odd move, Sutter brought back Ollie Jokinen and Alex Tanguay who’ll help, but won’t be difference makers. Bouwmeester needs to forget last year ever happened and grab hold of the Calgary D, which also includes Ian White, Robin Regher and Giordano. If they can help the offense, and ‘Kipper’ can deliver the goods again...maybe the playoffs are attainable...but I doubt it.

11.Anaheim
Their D is in shambles, but they boast one of the most intimidating top lines in the league (assuming Ryan finally signs) and the addition of Koivu last season, Lupul and the re-signing of Selanne means that this team is staggeringly well placed to run and gun. Visnovsky is an excellent defender, but they made a great decision in signing Andy Sutton. However, when they final whistle is blown next season, the Ducks will find themselves out of the race - even with Hiller as their goaltender, there are too many questions on D.

12.Minnesota
Any team with Backstrom in net is going to challenge for a playoff spot - and that’s what the Wild will do for the majority of the season, but in the end, their D isn’t good enough, their offense is acceptable at best and that means missing the post-season again.

13.Edmonton
Too many young guys that need to get their feet wet at the NHL level for this team to do any damage...this year. In future, they’ll be as good as their young guns mature, but for now, they’ll finish out of the playoffs again. Gerber was an...intriguing signing - and it looks like he may actually get a chance based on Khabby’s DUI woes.

14.Columbus
This is a team that is spinning its wheels very badly. They have an average offense, fueled by Rick Nash and obviously Vermette and Huselius (when he feels like it), but when will Brassard be injury free and ready to compete? Columbus hopes he’ll break out this year, as they hope with Vorachek and Filatov, but it’s their D that’s weak - and when you’re starting goalie is having issues, the last thing you want is a weak D.

15.Dallas
The Stars have some pieces in place in Benn, Neal, Eriksson and B.Richards, but their acquisition of Lehtonen doesn’t have me sold in the least. Not to mention that the Stars are very weak defensively and letting Tippett go was a disastrous decision. Not a well constructed team.

8Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:35 pm

Ev

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The only thing I am sure of in the West is who is finishing last. That would be the Minneosta Wild. The only thing they will be competing for is the first overall pick in next year's draft. They have a ton of overpaid players, and Backstrom is no longer the Backstrom of old.

9Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:37 pm

PTFlea

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Big Ev wrote:The only thing I am sure of in the West is who is finishing last. That would be the Minneosta Wild. The only thing they will be competing for is the first overall pick in next year's draft. They have a ton of overpaid players, and Backstrom is no longer the Backstrom of old.

Sounds like the Stars to me. Smile

10Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:24 pm

LeCaptain

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As long as Anaheim doesn't get Adam Larsson...

11Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:47 pm

Ev

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I thought about putting Dallas in the playoffs in the west, actually. I like their forwards and Lehtonen is very good goalie if he stays healthy (and he should as their goalie coach Mike Valley is apparently very good at training and keeping his goalies in shape/good health)...any by healthy, I mean like 50 games started.Their defense isn't very good, but I think they will at least make a playoff push.



Last edited by Big Ev on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:51 pm; edited 1 time in total

12Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:48 pm

PKC

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San Jose won't win their division.

13Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:54 pm

PTFlea

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PKC wrote:San Jose won't win their division.

Predict the standings then. Maybe, repeat maybe, the Kings or the Yotes can knock off the Sharks, but I wouldn't bet on it personally.

14Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:10 pm

PKC

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SpezDispenser wrote:
PKC wrote:San Jose won't win their division.

Predict the standings then. Maybe, repeat maybe, the Kings or the Yotes can knock off the Sharks, but I wouldn't bet on it personally.

I don't feel like doing a write up right now to be honest...I just wanted to wade in with my opinion that San Jose isn't going to win their division. With Nabokov gone, I don't think they're even the third best team in their division.

15Predict the Standings!   Empty Re: Predict the Standings! on Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:35 pm

Ev

Ev
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PKC wrote:
SpezDispenser wrote:
PKC wrote:San Jose won't win their division.

Predict the standings then. Maybe, repeat maybe, the Kings or the Yotes can knock off the Sharks, but I wouldn't bet on it personally.

I don't feel like doing a write up right now to be honest...I just wanted to wade in with my opinion that San Jose isn't going to win their division. With Nabokov gone, I don't think they're even the third best team in their division.

Come on, you're not giving enough credit to Nitty or to their offense. Nabokov is a good goalie, but if they trusted him and really wanted to keep him, they would have. Nitty was decent in TB on a terrible team...all he need sto due is play average and they will probably still win that division (or come very close). They lost their captain and best d-man in Blake, but they still have a decent D.

You COULD make a case that LA might take over as top dogs in their division, but there's no way that Phoenix, Anaheim, or Dallas are better than San Jose...at least on paper, which is all you an go by right now.

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