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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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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Good and Bad Off Season Moves…

Ok, it’s time to get back in hockey mode and start looking to the upcoming season which is less than a month away. But first, let me look at a handful of good and bad off season moves. The Good Ryan Whitney: While Whitney doesn’t get the media attention of his teammate forwards Crosby, Malkin and Staal, he is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL and had an excelleny year last year with 14 goals, 59 points and a +9. The Penguins made a very smart move locking up Whitney for the next 6 years at a

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Eastern Conference first round predictions

When writing up these first round matchups I realized that not one of them features a divisional rivalry. I am too lazy to check but I am not sure that has ever happened before. Anyway, here are my eastern conference predictions. NY Islanders at Buffalo NY Islanders (road) Buffalo (home) Predicted Winner Buffalo (Good) Fair Odds +137 -159 Overall Record 40-30-12 53-22-7 Home/Road Record 18-17-6 28-10-3 Last 10 Games 6-3-1 7-3-0 Past Games 2006/10/26: Buffalo 3 at NY Islanders 0 2007/01/01: NY Islanders 1 at Buffalo 3 2007/01/27: Buffalo 3 at NY Islanders 5 2007/03/30: NY Islanders 4 at Buffalo

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Watch out for Atlanta…

Before the season began I picked Atlanta as a team who could surprise people and possibly even unseat Tampa at the top of the Southeast division. Early in the season this looked like a terrible prediction but the Thrashers are on a roll and look to be reaching the quality of play I thought they would. The Thrashers have won 3 games in a row outscoring their opposition by a score of 19-2 crushing the Carolina Hurricanes (who had won 9 in a row and 11 of 12) 9-0 tonight. Why the slow start and the subsequent turnaround? The reasons

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Five Most Improved Teams

Pittsburgh Penguins: The only direction they could really go was up, but they have gone up by quite a large margin. They haven’t really lost any significant players but have added Sergei Gonchar, Mark Recchi, John Leclair, Zigmund Palffy, Jocelyn Thibault and of course Sidney Crosby. Due to their weak defense I am still not convinced that they are a playoff team, especially if Lemieux can’t play a full season, but they are much improved and will no longer be pushovers. They will be dramatically better and could jump to the 80-90 point range. Atlanta Thrashers: I like what the

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Best Lines in NHL

With all the player movement since the NHL last played we can’t be sure if all of these lines will be used by the coaches of the teams but here is my list of the best possible first lines teams could use if desired. Be sure to also vote for your top line in the poll in the menu to the left. (poll should be up for several days) Vancouver Canucks – Markus Naslund-Brendan Morrison-Todd Bertuzzi While Brendan Morrison is a good player he isn’t really an elite center in the NHL but his wingers are so good and have

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Thrashers: This years surprise team?

The free agent frenzy is mostly over and teams are getting ready to open their training camps. It’s time to really start looking at the upcoming NHL season. Today I am going to look at a team that I think could really surprise people this upcoming season. No, I don’t think they can win the cup but I think they can make the playoffs and maybe even win their division if all things go well. That team is the Atlanta Thrashers. In 2003-04 the Atlanta Thrashers finished second in their division behind the Tampa Bay Lighning but only 10 in

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