Try this one on for size - the fantastically wonderful magazine The Sporting News (based out of Charlotte N.C.
) have predicted the standings as followed...well, they didn't really predict the standings but they predicted by Division
...so who knows what they're final standings would be in the East and West. We can get somewhat of an idea anyway...
I will post them by Conference and then I will predict my own afterwards;
Anyway, one of these in particular is really good for a laugh;I have added their little write-up per team beside them
1. Pittsnerd - The Penguins will open their beautiful new building without Sergei Gonchar, but a well-rested Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin should be thirsty to win back the Cup.
2. Philly - After a surprising run to the Finals, the Flyers are trusting goaltender Michael Leighton to finish the job he started Adding puck-moving defenseman Andrej Meszaros should help.
3. Jersey - At press time the Devils had just learned that an arbitrator had upheld the league's rejection of their 17 year contract offer to free agent Ilya Kovalchuk. That was a major blow, but the addition of warrior Anton Volchenkov to the blueline was a nice consolation prize (REALLY?!)
4. Rangers - There's a new sheriff in the Atlantic Division, but will Derek Boogaard be enough to get the Rangers back into the playoffs after they missed out by a single point last year?
5. Islanders - A talented crop of forwards led by John Tavares has the fans on Long Island excited. Unless Rick DiPietro can stand on his own two feet, however, it could be a long year in Uniondale.
1. Boston - The big, bad Bruins hope dazzling rookie Tyler Seguin and newcomer Nathan Horton can provide an infusion of offense to a team built to win in the postseason.
2. Barfallo - It's 40 years and counting for Sabres fans waiting for their first parade. To get there, Ryan Miller will need to carry a team that lost two key defensemen to free agency.
3. Ole Ole - With Jaroslav Halak now singing the Blues, the torch - and the pressure - has been passed to goaltender Carey Price. The mission: to lead the Habs to the promised land.
4. Maple Laughs - Patience may be in short supply, but with Captain Dion Phaneuf at the controls the Maple Leafs appear poised to make a steady ascent up the Eastern Conference Standings.
5. Sens - With Sergei Gonchar now manning the point in the Canadian Capital, the Senators' power play could flourish. But is Brian Elliott the answer between the pipes?
1. Washington - An easy choice for a fourth straight division banner, but this could be a make-or-break postseason for some personnel and management in D.C.
2. Tampa - How quickly can Steve Yzerman and Guy Boucher clean up the NHL's own mess on the Gulf Coast? Maybe sooner than some pundits might think.
3. Carolina - They are reloading in Raleigh, but a return to good health for Eric Staal and Cam Ward could spur this young team into playoff contention.
4. Atlanta - There are nice role players in place for the Blackhawks, er, Thrashers, but several young players need to step forward and/or rebound this season.
5. Florida - Dale Tallon will have this franchise trending up soon enough, but the on-ice results might not show it this season.