Re: Regular Season predictions: Eastern Conference
posted at 10/4/2011 8:16 PM EDT
Here is the old link: http://www.boston.com/community/forums.html?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3aSportsForum%3a0d190bb9-6882-4397-9ce1-e66db723d396Discussion%3acbeb4e2f-a0f7-4ec5-aabe-970845e5cae0
Points in general will be distributed more evenly this year, as the lower-tiered teams in both the West and East seem to be making strides. I see more wins for the likes of Ottawa, NJ, NYI...so those points need to come from somewhere.
1 - PIT can only get better w/ health.
2 - BOS about the same, maybe a bit of a drop since it'll be hard to expect Thomas to have the same type of year he had last year. He'll still be great, but all-time SV%?
3 - WSH continues to tweak their style to make longer playoff runs, which means less regular season success.
4 - TB has better goaltending for a full season, plus continued success from the guys not names Vinny, Marty and Steve
5 - NYR seem vastly improved, and I really like their depth. Goalie is a stud.
6 - PHI - I see this as a transition year, and some slipping. They lost a lot of scoring punch, and it'll take them time to gel. Could be a playoff sleeper, though.
7 - MTL - Always solid. Always there. Never spectacular.
8 - NJ - No way they have the same start as last year, and the overall team is pretty good. I say they sneak up on people. Tough to play against as long as the goaltending holds up.
9 - BUF - Lots of good press, but waaaaaay too much money tied up in some of those player.s Just because they got mad cash doesn't mean they are magically 50% better players then they were last year. I don't get the hype.
10 - CAR - Meh. Staal's amazing and I'd take Cam Ward any day. They always seem to let the wrong guys go...guys that are #3 defencemen or 2nd line scoring wingers. Those types.
11 - TOR - I think they're better, but with lots of teams being better and the top teams not slipping much, there are only so many points to go around. I don't see them putting together a long point streak, which is what always separates the men from the boys.
12 - WPG - About the same. Maybe a few more wins at home due to the atmosphere, but minus a few due to travel. I gave them +5 points but it's not enough.
13 - Ottawa - Rebuilding, again. Loved their team late last year, but just don't have the talent.
14 - NYI - On paper, they should be better. However, they are still ridiculously young and can drop 4-5 in a row easily...at multiple times during the season. These mini-slumps always haunt them, and they don't have the leadership nor the goaltending to stop the bleeding.
15 - FLA - Simply awful. Move them to QC already.