Grizzledbear posted his Eastern Conference predictions for the regular season the other night, to which Dirk replied: "Make this into a FanPost... Sounds like good center-column material!" And so, since GB can't be bothered to copy and paste himself, I volunteered to bring you the OTF Eastern Conference Predictions Thread. Respond in the comments section with your predictions, or just nitpick someone else's to pieces. Whatever gets you going. In April, someone will have bragging rights and someone will feel shame.Grizzledbear's predictions: We didn’t do an Eastern Conference predictions thread (shame on Dirk, LOL!), so here are mine………..
1. Bruins: They’re solid up and down the lineup with some good rookies ready to step in if needed.
2. Lightning: So much offense, well coached and good enough on D and in goal to fend off the Caps for 1st in the southeast.
3. Penguins: Lots of skill throughout the lineup even with Crosby, will be dynamic when and if he does comeback.
4. Sabres: No weaknesses on this team, will make a serious run for the Cup in 11/12.
5. Rangers: Offense and Goaltending top notch, just need the D to hold together.
6. Flyers: Despite the negative response they got from some of their off-season moves, they have excellent balance throughout their lineup and much better goaltending now.
7. Capitals: The sooner they fire their coach, the sooner they’ll move up the standings. To much talent to miss the playoffs even with Boudreau behind the bench.
8. Canadiens: Enough overall talent across their lineup to nab the 8th seed.
9. Devils: They’ll stay competitive once Lemaire is brought back mid-season to take over the team yet again. ;)
10. Leafs: Enough talent there to stay in the race, but they’ll find a way to come up short yet again.
11. Canes: Cam Ward will keep them in games they shouldn’t get points out of, but just not enough talent or grit to get them into the playoffs.
12. Jets: Could be good if their goaltending comes thru for them, but I’m dubious that will happen.
13. Panthers: Again, if they can get this roster to gel together, they could challange for a playoff spot, but that remains to be seen.
14. Islanders: Not buying all the hype of this young bunch. Could be entertaining to watch at least.
15. Senators: Look like the top candidate to get the #1 pick in the 2012 Draft!
djzielin's predictions (from August) edited down for space:
1. Boston Bruins - Nothing major has changed for the Stanley Cup winners.
2. Buffalo Sabres - No team in this division improves as much (and paid to do so!) than the Sabres.
3. Montreal Canadiens - Only the ineptness of Ottawa and Toronto keeps Montreal from finishing worse.
5. New York Islanders - What fun and dispairing times it is to be an Islanders fan!
2. Tampa Bay Lightning - Steve Yzerman has done a magnificient job in Tampa to rejuvinate this franchise to the brink of returning to the Finals.
3. Carolina Hurricanes - I didn't see a lot of improvement by the Canes this season other than signing Tomas Kaberle, but this team should be in the mix for one of the last teams to reach the postseason.
4. Winnipeg Jets - This team will excite a town desperate for the return of NHL hockey, but alas, there are just too many holes to fill in this roster.
5. Florida Panthers - This team is hard to judge, especially with all the players being brought in. However, I believe they are going in the wrong direction in accumulating talented players.
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Washington Capitals
- Boston Bruins
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- New York Rangers
- Buffalo Sabres
- New Jersey Devils