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2013-14 NHL Season

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Beef03, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    Alright, with the NHL pre-season all but over, I figured now was as good a time as any to start up the new thread.

    As I do every year year, here are my pre-season predictions. I know you have all been waiting on pins and needles for them. :p I'm bored on a day off and the weather is shite right now. It's the prefect storm really.

    So here we go. Keep in mind, under the new format, the top three teams from each division make the playoffs plus two wild cards in each division.

    We'll start out West.

    Western Conference

    1. Chicago Blackhawks -- To be the champ, you gotta beat the champ, or something. They return the bulk of their lineup that just won the cup, and I think we are slowly starting to see the maturation of Patrick Kane. Stayed off the police blotter this offseason, so that bodes well for the Hawks

    2. St. Louis Blues -- I like their lineup a lot. Maybe the best defence in the league, two No. 1 goalies. Their biggest question is top end scoring. A collection of very good forwards, no one I really want to tie my horse to though.

    3. San Jose Sharks -- The window is closing on this group, but with the emergence of guys lik Logan Couture it got jammed back open, just a little bit more. If Niemi puts in another solid but unspectacular season, they could take another deep run.

    4. Los Angeles Kings -- Damn, if they could just play in the regular season like they did in the post season, they would be really scary. But this team isn't built for games 1-82. They're built for getting the 16 wins afterwards. Still, they will make it in comfortably.

    5. Vancouver Canucks -- The slide is starting. I do not think they slide right on out of the playoffs, but they are clearly no longer the best team in their division. Tortorella's act will wear thin quickly with the Sedins. Though I do think we see a resurgence from Luongo.

    6.Minnesota Wild -- Still not wild -- no pun intended -- about their offence, but they should be better with a full year from Pominville. They do need a better year from Backlund, however, or for Harding to wrest the job away.

    7. Edmonton Oilers -- Yes, I think I had them here last year, but this is the year. Right? Damn well better be. They will have an early hurdle with their top two centres out with injury, but their D should be better. I mean it couldn't be any worse. Though Ferrance is no saviour, he gives them leadership and grit on the back end. Dubnyk must prove he can handle the load. They'll be better just by the maturation of the big 5, though the trade for Perron will prove huge.

    8. Winnipeg Jets -- They got better just by getting out of the Southeast Division and the worst travel schedule in pro sports. I also like some of the moves they made, like bringing in Frolik, though I do not think they are a contender yet, they are still a couple of pieces away.
    ----
    9. Dallas Stars -- Another team on the cusp, they are a sexy pick to surprise people and bounce back. Big off-season with the Seguin trade and bringing in Ruff as coach. They could very well sneak in ahead of the Jets. Lot of offence on that blue-line as well, but can Lehtonen hold it together in net?

    10. Anaheim Ducks -- They surprised everybody last year, but I think they were saved by a shortened season, they didn't have time for a second half collapse. I think that happens this year, they come back to reality. I like Silfverberg, but he is a step back right now from where Bobby Ryan is. And Selanne is 43, how well is he going to hold up over the course of an 82 game season? I think he's dealt to Winnipeg at the deadline

    11. Nashville Predators -- Defence will be amazing as always, and only got better with Seth Jones, and goalie of course is no issue with Rinne, but the issue, as always, is who is going to score?

    12. Phoenix Coyotes -- They are slowly sliding back. Lori Korpikoski is their second line left winger. I think that speaks volumes. They'll be competitive, work their bags off, but they don't have the fire power. And their D and goalie is a step back from Nashville.

    13. Colorado Avalanche -- they have many problems on this team, there's a reason they picked where they did. Everything from goal to leadership. Patrick Roy can only fix so much of that in his first season.

    14. Calgary Flames -- their starting goalie for the start of the season is Karri Ramo. I think that about sums it up. The most interesting thing in Cowtown this year will be how quickly Burke chops the legs out from under Feaster.

    Eastern Conference

    1. Boston Bruins -- I still think they may be the most complete team in the league. They're tough, they're skilled, they're built to win now, again. Not many weaknesses on this team.

    2. Detroit Red Wings -- The second happiest team int he NHL over re-alignment. I think we get a rejuvenated performance out of Datsyuk and Zetterrberg. Meanwhile Alfredsson and Weiss were great pick ups. Two big questions, their back end and how well they hold up to the much more physical Eastern Conference.

    3. Pittsburgh Penguins -- The question isn't talent, it's how healthy they can stay and if Fleury has re-learned how to play net yet. If they stay healthy, they could very easily be the top seed. Well, you see where I have them making it. It will be a Crosby or, more likely, Malkin solo show for a long stretch again.

    4. New York Rangers -- I think Vigneault may have been the best coaching hire of the off-season. I think we see a renaissance season from Richards and Nash. But who is going to score after them? They're fine on the blue-line of course, and still have one of the best goalies in the league. So if they get secondary scoring, they too could vault up.

    5. Washington Capitals-- It took them a while last year to figure out Adam Oates, but when they did they were outstanding. No adjustment this year and I think Ovechkin will be very motivated with the Olympics in January. But can he keep that motivation in the second half? Other big issue is Holtby must prove he can carry the load in net.

    6. Ottawa Senators -- I really like this team right now. Loved the trade for Bobby Ryan. And they're healthy. As long as they stay healthy, especially in net, they will surprise a lot of teams.

    7. Columbus Blue Jackets -- I think they are riding a hot streak like they haven't in a long time. Bobrovski makes them instantly competitive, Horton's signing I think is a sign that things are starting to turn for the franchise, and they too should benefit from realignment. This is my dark horse team to make the playoffs.

    8. Toronto Maple Leafs -- I am very curious how this team shapes up. I think they sneak in again, but, as I've spouted several times already, I do not like their off-season. I think it was mismanaged horribly. The best thing they did was the bridge contract they got Kadri to sign.

    9. New York Islanders -- Knock, knock, knocking on playoff's door. If Toronto slips up, the Islanders will jump in in a hurry. Love how the team was built. A lot of young, solid talent on the club. If Nabakov gives them the goaltending they need, they may not even need the Maple Leafs to slip up.

    10. Philadelphia Flyers -- I have a feeling they are going to disappoint again. Issues on the wing, an injury prone top centre, a flawed blue-line, and their goaltending may be the worst in the league, and I'm a huge Emery fan, but he hasn't played a full season in the league as a No. 1 since he was with the Senators. They are ripe to be a disappointment again.

    11.Montreal Canadiens -- Also not far off. Solid collection of talent, though too small still and Price has to be more consistent.

    12. Tampa Bay Lightning -- Great forwards, no D. And goaltending is still a question mark until Bishop can prove himself as a No. 1.

    13. New Jersey Devils -- Still in recovery mode from Kovalchuk. Though Jagr is a nice stop gap for a little bit, he will be traded before the break. Schneider was a great pick up as Brodeur's heir apparent.

    14. Carolina Hurricanes -- Solid down the middle, but huge issues on the wings past the first line. Also big issues on the blue-line and Ward needs to bounce back in net.

    15. Buffalo Sabres -- they are caught in that awkward moment of being ready to rebuild but not wanting to admit it. Best thing they could do would be to tear it down and start over. They do have some good pieces like Miller they could get some solid building blocks to move forward with.

    16. Florida Panthers -- They will finish last in the East, but will anyone notice? I like the ballsy move to bring in Tim Thomas, will make for good trade bait at the deadline. They do have some good pieces to build around (Gudbransson, Kulikov and Barkov) so all is not lost for the Panthers, but it will be another tough season in South Florida.
     
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Pittsburgh over Los Angeles in the Stanley Cup Final.
     
  3. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Cool, another series with the Rangers. I hate you. :)
     
  4. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    Always entertaining :)
     
  5. JR

    JR Active Member

    Beef, Leafs looser fanboi here. :)

    I absolutely disagree with your comment I do not like their off-season. I think it was mismanaged horribly

    The addition of both David Clarkson and Bolland will give them additional skill and sandpaper.

    Bringing in Bernier means they have two young starting goalies who will fight the for the #1 position.

    The Leafs crapped out against Boston in the final minutes of the 3rd period in Game Seven last year but I think this team is an improvement over last year's.

    Go Leafs Go
     
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    You need to prepare yourself for the fact that Bolland is going to suck for the entire regular season and half the playoffs. But the other half of the playoffs will be glorious and you'll wonder how you ever did without him.
     
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Playoffs? What playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs! We're just tryin' to win a game.
     
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    What brand of dip-shittery is it to have 16 teams in one conference and 14 in the other. Major League Baseball, as poorly as that sport is managed, moved heaven and earth to get away from that and achieve balance. Now the NHL goes the opposite direction???? Brillant, boys, just brilliant!!
     
  9. JC

    JC Well-Known Member


    They may be better for this year but the way they allocated their resources is bad enough that they will start the year with only 20 bodies, no extras because of the cap.
     
  10. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    I thought I might get a rise out of you JR, but I still stand by it.

    The contracts they gave to Clarkson and Bozak were terrible. It screwed them cap-wise. Meanwhile, they let Grabovaki walk away for nothing. No, he was not a fit in Carlyle's system, but it's shite asset management. They had to know the situation at the trade deadline, yet were unable to move him and his expiring contract. Now they just gave Colborne away for practically nothing, a conditional fourth rd pick to Calgary. I'm really more pissed that MacT was asleep at the wheel yet again and was unable to one-up the flames and just give them a bloody third rd pick, especially considering their situation at centre right now.

    Also Bernier, nice pickup, but again, they had more pressing needs than another goalie who added about 2.5 on to their cap over Scrivens, who was more than serviceable as a back up. And Reimer was arguably their best player down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. He was not the problem, at all.

    Part of their problem was bad luck in that it was a bad year for freeagency, but they spent like drunken sailors on unproven assets that have a high likelihood of never playing to their contracts. This would have been a good year to excersize restraint and continue to develop from within and make some more shrewd investments or mid-season trades.
     
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    Moved heaven and earth? It took MLB from 1998 until this year to figure out this so-called balance. Six teams in the NL Central, four teams in the AL West.
     
  12. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    The kind of dip-shittery that will go great with some expansion as soon as they can figure out where and when.
     
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