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  • Eastern Conference Predictions

    The new and improved NHL is set to kick off it’s new season in less than a month. At no point in the history of the NHL have we seen so many major changes happen at one time. Rule changes, economic changes, as well as major player changes were rampant as everyone tries to establish themselves under the new system. Divisional battles are highlighted this year as each team will face their divisional rivals 8 times. This will have major consequences on playoff drives.

    No one really knows what to expect this season, who will be succesful and who won’t? Former powerhouse teams are now on the same playing field with smaller market teams. The only certain thing is uncertainty.

    At Habs Blog, we try our best to see where the chips will fall this season in our pre-season Eastern Conference Prediction.

     

    Flyers x Philadelphia
    Senators x Ottawa
    Lightning x Tampa Bay
    Devils New Jersey
    Canadiens Montreal
    Bruins  Boston
    Penguins Pittsburgh
    Thrashers Atlanta

     

    Maple Leafs Toronto
    Panthers Florida
    Islanders New York Islanders
    Rangers New York Rangers
    Hurricanes Carolina
    Sabres Buffalo
    Capitals Washington

    Northeast

    1. Ottawa
    2. Montreal
    3. Boston
    4. Toronto
    5. Buffalo

    Atlantic

    1. Philadelphia
    2. New Jersey
    3. Pittsburgh
    4. NY Islanders
    5. NY Rangers

    Southeast

    1. Tampa Bay
    2. Atlanta
    3. Florida
    4. Carolina
    5. Washington

    A strong Northeast division and the Atlantic veterans leave the state of New York and their fans crying until next year.

    Tampa has a cup hangover but manages to take the Southeast anyway due to its weak opposition.

    Atlanta’s defence slightly improves under Bob Hartley and their ability to win consistently against weak Southeast rivals is enough to barely squeek into the post season for the first time.

    Pittsburgh’s offensive core is enough to offset the lacking defensive skill and ability in goal, Crosby enters the playoffs in his rookie year.

    Toronto’s elderly core can’t compete with the potent Northeast rivals and find themselves on the outside looking in.

    Until April 06′.

    Disagree? Post your own predictions in the comment section.
  • Why The Penguins won’t win the Cup

    Ever since draft day all I hear is how Pittsburgh is a lock for the Stanley Cup.

    Are you kidding?

    Well let’s look what Pittsburgh has been up to. As I mentioned here,
    Pittsburgh is definately making a lot of moves, big moves. Smart moves.
    Maybe a move too many?
    Do the New York Rangers ring a bell? How many ‘superstars‘ can a team have? How long before the ego’s clash?

    Who have they added? Sergei Gonchar, John Leclair, Mark Recchi, Zigmund Palffy, and the wonderboy Crosby himself. Assuming Mario stays healthy, they’re offence is looking rather potent. Their powerplay in particular, could destroy certain teams.

    On paper things look great. Maybe the one guy we are forgetting to mention here is Ed Olczyk.

    Let’s not forget we have a rookie coach, who has little to no experience. Unless coaching the worst record in the league last season counts for experience.

    Ed had no prior coaching experience at any level before taking over the bumbling Penguins. As Wayne Gretzky is about to find out, just being a player doesn’t make you a coach. Montreal Fans will remember Mario Tremblay quite well. Combine that with the pressure of coaching in the new Pittsburgh, and what do you get?

    How can we realistically expect Ed Olcyzk to control the new Penguins? With all that talent and all those new expectations on his shoulders, don’t be too surprised if the Penguins don’t burst out of the gate or aren’t cup bound by December, to see a coaching change. This is their chance in Pittsburgh, Mario won’t be around forever, nor will their aging veterans and perhaps neither will their fans.

    Good Luck Eddy.