Atlantic Division Preview

New Jersey Devils Strengths: -Martin Brodeur Weaknesses: -No longer have that anchor on defense. Question Marks: -Can the Devils defensive system work without a stud defenseman? -Can Elias and Gionta regain the chemistry of the past couple years without Gomez? -Can Parise improve on last years break out season. Outlook: The Devils success over the past decade has largely been due to having stellar goaltending and a nearly as stellar defense. But over the past 3 or 4 years they have lost Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski off their defence and the question is, can they be just

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Southeast Division Preview

Atlanta Thrashers Strengths: -Top end talent in Kovalchuk and Hossa -Excellent young goalie in Kari Lehtonen Weaknesses: -Lack depth and secondary scoring -Just an OK defence and not deep. Question Marks: -Is Lehtonen ready to take his game to the elite level? -Will Atlanta re-sign Hossa or be forced to trade him before he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer? -Is Steve Rucchin’s career done? Outlook: A few of the bodies changed but I the outlook for the Thrashers is pretty much the same as last year. They will compete for the division title once again but only because

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PredictHockey.com

I just wanted to make a quick post to remind everyone of my other blog/website PredictHockey.com. Over there you will find my computer/algorithm generated game predictions (once the season is a few weeks old) as well as compete with other readers to see who is the best predictor of the outcomes of NHL games. It’s all good fun so head over there any enjoy.

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Northwest Division Preview

Calgary Flames Strengths: -Excellent depth at forward and defense -Top tier goaltending with Kipprusoff -Excellent size and physical play Weaknesses: -No true #1 center -No proven backup goalie if anything happens to Kipprusoff Question Marks: -How will the players get along with new hard-nosed coach Mike Keenan -Can Huselius repeat his stellar season last year which was well beyond the typical Huselius season. Outlook: -The Flames have an excellent mix of skill and toughness, forwards and defense, experience and youth and in my mind should be one of the best teams in the NHL. That didn’t quite work out last

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Central Division Preview

Chicago Blackhawks Strengths: -Two prime young prospects in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. -Good talent with Martin Havlat and Tuomo Ruutu Weaknesses: -They added Sergei Samsonov -Lack a quality top pairing defenseman -Lack depth up front -Khabibulin makes way too much money. Question Marks: -Can Ruutu and Havlat stay healthy? -Are Jonathan Toews and especially smallish Patrick Kane ready for the NHL Outlook: -With a couple of high draft picks the past two drafts the Blackhawks have added a couple of quality young prospects in Toews and Kane which gives Blackhawks fans something to be optimistic about down the road

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Pacific division preview

Over the next week I am going to be posting brief reviews of what we can expect from each team in the NHL for the upcoming season. Included will be some team strengths and weaknesses as well as some question marks for what to look for and a final outlook. The question marks will be an indication of what might occur and if it does they could finish better than I expect. Finally, once all the previews are complete I will post my final standings predictions. So, lets start off in the Pacific Division. Anaheim Ducks Strengths: -One of the

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Exposing Pierre McGuire

There are a few people in the media that I really dislike and Pierre McGuire is one of them. It’s not that I don’t think he is knowledgable about the game of hockey (like Steve Simmons who I aslo dislike) but just that he often everexaggerates everything and/or he panders to his audience. For example, when he is on Ottawa radio he often puts down the Leafs because that plays well in Ottawa. He does that much less so on Toronto radio. But some things he has said in the past 2 days really has me wondering about his sanity.

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Bell Suspension: New Policy, inconsistent discipline, or piling on?

I don’t think it is a stretch to say that yesterday’s 15 game suspension of Mark Bell was a surprise to everyone because it seemed to come out of nowhere. There is no real precedent for the NHL to suspend players for their off-ice conduct and certainly not with a suspensionof the magnitude of 15 games. So my question is, why Mark Bell, why now? To review, prior to last season Mark Bell was caused an accident while driving impaired and to make matters worse, he fled the scene of the accident. This past summer he plead guilty and will

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Eastern Conference Team Ratings

Based on the same forumula as the western conference ratings, here are the eastern conference ratings. As usual, if you disagree feel free to post your thoughts and if you can back up your arguement, who knows, maybe you can get me to change my mind. Forwards Defense Goaltending Total Talent Depth Exp. Talent Depth Exp. #1 goalie Depth Exp. Score Ottawa 10 6 7 8 7 7 8 7 6 53.2 Buffalo 8 8 6 7 8 7 8 7 6 52.8 Pittsburgh 10 8 6 8 7 6 7 6 6 52.5 NY Rangers 9 7 8 6

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Western Conference Team Rankings (Updated)

I was going to write up team by team reports, and I may still do that for some teams, but I decided to first post some numerical evaluations of each team in nice and easily readable table format. I have divided each team up into Forwards, Defense and Goaltending and then divided each of those groups into Talent, Depth and Experience/Leadership and ranked each of those nine categories based on a score out of 10. I then summed up all 9 categories to get an overall team score. Below are my results for the western conference. Let me know what

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