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coastal_caniac

Eastern Conference Pre-season Power Rankings

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Literally and figuratively.

How can "level the playing field" be interpereted literally in a game that is played on ice?

1. Pittsburgh - Young core of superstars with another year of experience and a cup.

2. Philly - Were a tough team last year and added Pronger. Goaltending is there weakest point but strong D will help cover up.

3. Boston - Not a big beleiver in D. Morris but still a strong team.

4. Washington - Goaltending is a ? but AO, Green & Co. are a big, fast & skilled team.

5. NYR - 60 games played by Gaborik, you got the over or under?

6. Carolina - I am really excited about this team but will remain cautiously optimistic as to not anger the hockey gods.

7. New Jersey - According to their roster page they have just as many forwards as defensemen. Weird.

8. Atlanta - Don't laugh. They have scoring and IMO the best top 4 in the division with Hainsey, Kubina, Enstrom and Bogosian.

9. Montreal - Too much skill, not enough grit. Weak D.

10. Buffalo - Groundhog Day for slug fans

11. Tampa Bay - There's potential here, but there's also a long way to go.

12. Toronto - Big, tough, nasty...but who will score?

13. Ottawa - I dunno. They might be better than 13th. But not much better. Hard to rank with the Heatley situation still not settled.

14. Florida - Heartbreaker: Last year was their year.

15. NYI - Hey, at least Mark Streit won't have to lead the team in scoring this year. Right?

Note: These are power rankings, not conference standings, so I can have two teams in the same division at 1 and 2.

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How can "level the playing field" be interpereted literally in a game that is played on ice?

Literally...with our new size we should be able to level our opponents.

Figuratively....with our new players our roster looks better versus other teams.

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1. Pitt - obvious

2. Washington - Ovie can score 70 if he plays with Semin and Backstrom

3. NY Rangers - Really like what they did this off season - solely depends on Gaborik staying healthy

4. Boston - They will be a bit weaker defensively, but if Thomas is a wall again, it won't matter

5. Philly - Always around this mark every year

6. New Jersey - Clemmenson is a great back up and they can score goals now....

7. Carolina - Solid team, but not a top contender

8. Montreal - all those moves have to do something...

9. Tampa Bay (yup) - they still have fire power and are MUCH better defensively. Mike Smith is one of the most underrated goalies out there

10. Buffalo - Miller is a stud, but they just can't get the puck in the net

11. Atlanta - this team was quietly hot to finish the year - getting Antropov really helps out Illya

12. Ottawa - who knows what this team will do...

13. Florida - no more JB on the blue line means a hard year for the Panthers

14. Toronto - don't like what they did in the off season at all...

15. NY Islanders - have fun watching Tavares....

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1. Pitt - obvious

2. Washington - Ovie can score 70 if he plays with Semin and Backstrom

3. NY Rangers - Really like what they did this off season - solely depends on Gaborik staying healthy

4. Boston - They will be a bit weaker defensively, but if Thomas is a wall again, it won't matter

5. Philly - Always around this mark every year

6. New Jersey - Clemmenson is a great back up and they can score goals now....

7. Carolina - Solid team, but not a top contender

8. Montreal - all those moves have to do something...

9. Tampa Bay (yup) - they still have fire power and are MUCH better defensively. Mike Smith is one of the most underrated goalies out there

10. Buffalo - Miller is a stud, but they just can't get the puck in the net

11. Atlanta - this team was quietly hot to finish the year - getting Antropov really helps out Illya

12. Ottawa - who knows what this team will do...

13. Florida - no more JB on the blue line means a hard year for the Panthers

14. Toronto - don't like what they did in the off season at all...

15. NY Islanders - have fun watching Tavares....

Not trying to be picky, but Clemmenson is in Florida now and Weekes is a UFA. As of now, they have Brodeur and Yann Danis on the roster.

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Ive thought about this for a while, and can only separate teams into categories instead of giving them actual numbers. All of these predictions are based on the premise that every player on every team stays healthy. (I know its unlikely but I can't really predict who will get injured)

Easily in the Playoffs:

Boston: They are still probably the best in their division

Washington: It will be a tighter race for the SE this year, but they will come out on top by a small margin

Pittsburgh: Still a very good team, and are always a threat w/ Malkin and Crosby

Most likely in the Playoffs:

Philly: Pronger will help them a lot, but their goaltending is pretty suspect still.

Carolina: If everyone can contribute what they are expected of we will be fine.

NYR: Lundqvist will carry his team again, and having Gaborik will help a lot too.

Teams with a 50/50 shot:

NJ: They rarely miss the playoffs, but I feel that Parise will come back down to earth and that will hurt them. I think they will make it in because they have Brodeur.

Montreal: They have completely rebuilt, and so I have no idea what their new team is capable of. I feel that they will squeak into the playoffs, unless their goalies play poorly.

Buffalo: If Miller stays healthy they will have a decent shot, but I doubt they make the playoffs.

Lightning: They have upgraded their defense, and don't have a terrible goalie in Mike Smith, but I don't think they have too much depth scoring so I have them missing the playoffs again.

Toronto: Their defense/goaltending has greatly improved, but they don't have any real 1st line scorers. If they can get goals they have a really big outside chance of getting in.

Teams I don't see making the playoffs:

Atlanta: Lehtonen is not that good, neither is their defense, and the offense will only be slightly improved.

Florida: They have good goalies, but a terrible offense and defense so they wont have much of a chance.

Ottawa: Leclaire isn't a great goalie, and most of their team isn't that great.

NYI: I dont really need to explain myself here.

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