2009-2010 NHL Season Preview Part II: The Eastern Conference
New Jersey Devils: (51-1; 106 points; 1st Atlantic Division, 3rd Eastern Conference, 5th Overall; Lost in the First Round):
Joisey has proven that they can win in the regular season with just about anybody in their lineup so we give them credit by recognizing that. The playoffs however are a completely different story. How much more does Martin Brodeur have left in the tank?
Pittsburgh Penguin Scum: (45-37; 99 points; 2nd Atlantic Division, 4th Eastern Conference, 8th Overall; Awarded Stanley Cup):
Make no mistake folks, this is still a joke of a hockey team that will only get as far as slanted officiating will take them. How will the Penguin Scum respond when the officiating evens out? Better yet, how long before Canadian Diving Team Captain, Lowblow Secondary Assist Cindy Crosby torpedoes another coach?
Philadelphia Flyers: (44-38; 99 points; 3rd Atlantic Division, 5th Eastern Conference, 9th Overall; Hosed out of the First Round):
We give Ed Snider's boys credit, they're going to fit that square peg into that round hole one day. The talent bleed continues in a vain attempt to recapture magic that last occurred in Philadelphia 36 years ago. Can they stay out of the Penalty Box long enough to win games?
New York Rangers: (43-39; 95 points; 4th Atlantic Division, 7th Eastern Conference, 12th Overall; Lost in the First Round):
All full season of Tortorella should not be boring to watch on Broadway with Sean Avery and Donald Brashear on his bench. How long before Tortorella turns Henrik Lunquvist into a head case?
New York Islanders: (26-56; 61 points; 5th Atlantic Division, 15th Eastern Conference, 30th Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
Another year on the rebuild as the John Tavares hype machine gets going. Does this franchise have enough leadership in the front office to ever turn things around?
Boston Bruins: (53-39; 116 points; 1st Northeast Division; 1st Eastern Conference, 2nd Overall; Lost in the Second Round):
Still the best team in their division by far but it is a very weak division. Can they replace the offense lost by Phil Kessel's departure?
Buffaslugs: (41-41; 91 points; 3rd Northeast Division, 10th Eastern Conference, 18th Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
They stopped the talent bleeding this year which is a good thing. No we don't consider Maxim Afinogenov talented. Will they have enough to get back into the playoffs?
Ottawa Senators: (36-46; 83 points; 4th Northeast Division, 11th Eastern Conference, 22nd Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
After a horrific start to last season, the Senators started to turn things around before the season ended. Now that Dany Heatley is gone, how much further will the Senators go?
Montreal Canadiens: (41-41; 93 points; 2nd Northeast Division, 8th Eastern Conference, 13th Overall; Lost in the First Round):
After failing in many different pursuits last year and over the summer, the Canadiens have put together an overhauled roster. Can it gel quickly enough to compete in a compact Eastern Conference?
Toronto Maple Thug Leafs: (34-48; 81 points, 5th Northeast Division, 12th Eastern Conference, 24th Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
Clearly unable to beat teams on the ice, they've opted for the "beat them in the alley" approach this season. Will this circus be bad enough to end the Ultimate Fighting on Ice sideshow in the NHL?
Washington Capitals: (50-32; 108 points; 1st Southeast Division, 2nd Eastern Conference, 4th Overall; Hosed out of the Second Round):
When will you guys learn?
Carolina Hurricanes: (45-37; 97 points; 2nd Southeast Division, 6th Eastern Conference, 11th Overall; Hosed out of the Conference Finals):
The closest thing the Caps have to a rival in their division. Don't be fooled however by their deep playoff run last year, they should have been eliminated in the First Round. Has Cam Ward become merely ordinary?
Atlanta Thrashers: (35-47; 76 points; 4th Southeast Division, 13th Eastern Conference, 27th Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
We don't put them here because we like what they did over the summer and we think they're an improved team. We think that Florida regressed that badly. What will the Thrashers get in exchange for Ilya Kovalchuk on March 3rd, 2010?
Florida Panthers: (41-41; 93 points; 3rd Southeast Division, 9th Eastern Conference, 14th Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
Tie broken out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, they would have made it out West, the Panthers were forced into a roster overhaul with a departing GM and Free Agents. Will they ever find a way forward?
Tampa Bay Lightning: (24-58; 66 points; 5th Southeast Division, 14th Eastern Conference, 29th Overall; Did not qualify for the Playoffs):
They can't possibly continue to be this bad can they? Yes, they can.
Labels: Season Previews