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...Arson

NHL 08/09 Season.

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»...Arson    7756

Bitches let's start this mutha-fuckin' shiznat.

I am unbelievably excited for this season, and for good reason. My Habitants (who happen to be celebrating their 100th season of existence!!!!) are also hosting the All-star game, and Outdoor game, the 2009 Draft, and of course have made some serious moves to be a Stanly Cup Contender. Plus, the East is looking like it will be really fun to watch this year.

Let's start things off the way everyone does... predictions. Here is my predictions for the east:

1. Montreal Canadiens

- The Canadiens surprised everyone last year with winning the conference last year. Don’t be surprised if they do it again. This is an organization that thrives on being in the limelight and has always been able to handle the pressure of being the very best. The Habs disappointed many last season by making a 2nd round playoff exit, thanks in part to a bigger, stronger, Philadelphia team. They’ve definitely stocked up on size this year signing Laraque and Lang, two big forwards who bring a lot of presence to the team. The addition of Lang added Depth up the centre. As well, Tanguay was brought in so the Habs now have even more of a threatening top 2 lines, as well as a lot of depth in the 3rd and 4th.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

-They were doing just fine without Hossa before the deadline, and he was picked merely to help them in the post-season… A job well done. Now they’ve added a lot of grit in Matt Cooke, as well as secondary scoring to their big two (Malkin Crosby) in Miroslav Satan. He seems to be a question mark, but when was the last time he was able to play with one, let alone two centres of that caliber? Look to him to get at least 60 points in the upcoming season.

3. Washington Capitals

- Jose Theodore is back in an Eastern Conference he used to own. He still remains a question mark, but has been playing on an Avalanche team barely making the playoffs. With their weak division look for the Capitals to easily take their division and Theodore to improve as the season progresses. The addition of centre Nylander for secondary scoring couldn’t hurt them any either, giving Fedorov some time to rest since Ovechkin never, EVER seems to.

---This is where it got a little harder.---

4. Philadelphia Flyers

- These guys are good enough to give Pittsburgh a run for their money. Philadelphia had to play the Washington Capitals, who came into the playoffs with more momentum than a fully-loaded train. They played a hard 7 games vs. The Capitals, and then had the task of beating the Eastern Conferences number one team in the next round. They didn’t have the depth Pittsburgh did last year to compete with them, but now their forwards look like the hardest working 4 lines in the NHL, so look for the flyers to be successful this year with Biron back at 100%.

5. Ottawa Senators

- I almost put them fourth, but I’m still not sure. Their blueline is almost unrecognizable (it will be if Richardson fails to make the team) and I’m not sure how the new additions will fair on a team constantly scrutinized, as well as berated for any signs of under-achieving. They’re still carrying a little bit of the momentum from their golden years where they missed the Stanley Cup (in an embarrassing 5 game massacre at the hands of the Ducks) but are coming back this year with an entirely new look. No more drama, just hard work. They’re finally using Alfredsson to his full potential by separating him from Heatley/Spezza, who are strictly scoring machines, should be paired with someone a little less useful as Alfredsson. A 2nd duo on the senators in Fisher/Alfy could be the hardest working pair… ever.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning

- What? Are you kidding? Weren’t they like, last? Yeah… but have you seen their new team? After getting Prospal back from the loan to the Flyers, they’ve added Stamkos to make their top 2 lines look absolutely terrifying. They’ve also added more leadership and grit in Roberts/Recchi than the rest of their whole team (and affiliate team) combined, so a playoff birth isn’t all that hard to see. Their biggest question mark is: are they going to score enough to keep up with how much their going to BE scored on? An unimpressive blueline and a HUGE question mark in Greg Smith leaves me wondering if I’ll regret jumping on the Stamkos bandwagon.

7. New Jersey Devils

-Marty is getting old, and doesn’t have the team in front of him he used to. Still, when you have Brodeur playing 70 games a year, getting 7th is almost easy.

8. Boston Bruins

- Bergeron is back, Chara is improving with every season, and they’ve added a bit of a scoring touch in Michael Ryder I can see flourishing into at least 20 goals a season. The Bruins are always sort of forgotten, but with a slightly easier division, I can’t see it too hard for them to sneak in 8th.

9. New York Rangers

- No Avery, Jagr or Shanahan is a lot of scoring… They’ve added Naslund who can fill some of the offensive gap, and Redden for a solid blue line, but it will all depend on how good Lundqvist really is..

10. Buffalo Sabres

- Miller can always be a factor, but with a lesser blueline, and their scoring now on the shoulders of Roy/Vanek, we’ll have to wait and see.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs

- This team is not as bad as everyone thinks. Their blueline has more depth then you’d think (8 possible starters when they only need 6) and they’ve got so much young talent that they’re bound to find some gems, as well as condition their younger guys for the NHL. The Leafs are in great hands with a guy like Cliff Fletcher, and being 10 million under the cap let’s them do practically whatever they want next off-season.

12. Carolina Hurricanes

- This is a very small team. I can’t see them being successful, but they certainly do have the power to surprise me.

13. Florida Panthers – who trades Jokinen? Oh right, the same team who traded Luongo.

14. Atlanta Thrashers – Kovalchuk is unhappy… and still doesn’t play defense.

15. New York Islanders – Who is on this team? I swear to god I don’t know.

I'm pretty sure Carolina will finish higher, but I'm really pulling for the Leafs young guns to impress everyone. They're not going to finish lower than the Islanders, even if they tried, so the bid for Tavares seems almost silly.

I'll do the west later.

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+rei+    34512

Leafs will be last all season then just before the playoffs, slide in to 10th just to screw themselves out of a decent draft pick

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kovah    25

East:

1. Canadians - Better than last year with the acq of Tanguay/Lang. Lang I think was an amazing move. Also price has one more year experience. Their division really didn't chage much

2. Penguins - A team hungry to get back to where they were last year, loss of hossa, malone, and gonchar and whitney will obviously hurt. The team will struggle a bit at first but once gonchar and Whitney come back they will be fine. Letang will finally get to show his skills and the team will get more from stall this year. Also expect Crosby to be healthy all season and lead the league in scoring.

3. Caps - The best in their division, but their division got better. Offense is insane, Theo in net is very risky, he's so inconsistent

4. Devils - Great offseason moves to get rolston and holik, they now have 2 incredibly solid offence lines.

5. Rangers - less jagr and avery, plus naslund and redden, couple good young kids like girardi (sp), I think they pretty much broke even during the offseason, i see them being as good as last year.

6. Flyers - Huge momentum from last year, team is really comming together, if gagne stays healthy they could be deadly.

7. Bruins - I really have no idea why i put the bruins here, they surprised me alot against mtl in the playoffs last yr, good young players that are getting better I guess.

8. Senators - Too much talent in heatly/spezza/alfy not to make the playoffs. Addition of J smith on Defence was huge but i don't see them being any better than last year. I really don't think the whole emery thing caused any problems for the team, and if it did then these guys really don't have the mental composure to do anything spectacular.

West:

1. Wings - obv, not even fair to the rest of the league how good they are.

2. Flames - Great offseason getting camilari and bert and shippiing off the dead weight of tanguay. They were close to tops of their division last year and this year they will get it for sure.

3. Sharks - always dangerous, Great offseason move getting boyle. Maybee this yr will finally be their yr? I don't think so but maybee the new coach will surprise me. Nabby is amazing.

4. Stars - Great run last season defeating the ducks and sharks, I think they can build off that. Morrow is becoming a fantasic player and great leader. Not as good as the sharks but i think will pass the ducks.

5. Ducks - Stacked team, is selanne plays all year they will probably be #4 instead of the stars, but i don't think he will play all yr. Getzlaf is amazing and will get close to 100 pts this yr. Team flopped huge in the playoffs last yr and pretty much have the same roster this yr. I think they are missing the drive they once had.

6. Hawks - Toews and Kane have pretty much guaranteed a playoff birth. Lossing lang was a botch move but Huet and Bulin will be huge in net and the young core of defence will make the hawks very dangerous this yr. Toews and kane each will get 80 pts this yr.

7. Oilers - My hometown boys are looking good this yr, great young forwards like cogliano and gagner and great depth for scoring. If Souray stays healthy defence should be great as well. Garon played great last season in goal, if he can keep it up the oil will have a great season.

8. Avs... or maybee Vancouver - both teams are ok, avs have offense, canuks have goaltendng. If demitra stays healthy van will probably make it, but demitra is never healthy. Statsny should play a full season and with smyth and svatos back the avs should have enuf scoring to get into the playoffs. Budaj in net is a huge question mark thou.

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ATJdragon    967

East

1 Montreal - only #1 cause Gonchar and Whitney are missing substantial/significant time

2 Pittsburgh - only #2 cause Gonchar and Whitney are missing substantial/significant time

3 Washington - best team in their division no doubt

4 Philadelphia - now healthy and coming off a trip to the East finals

5 New Jersey - better on paper than last year with a year experience with brent sutter

6 Buffalo - Post-Drury/Briere depression and distraction now over

7 New York (Rangers) - worse than last year but still enough to make it

8 Carolina - got snubbed last year and now have a transition game on defense

Ottawa miss because their D blows in comparison to previous years.

Boston miss because they hella overachieved last year

Florida miss but will be competitive-ish

Tampa Bat miss but will be competitive-ish

Atlanta sucks

Toronto sucks

New York (Islanders) suck

West

1 Detroit - a given

2 San Jose - Nabokov is more consistent than Turco.

3 Calgary - the team with the least weaknesses in the division

4 Dallas - Turco isnt as consistent as Nabokov

5 Anaheim - same team as last year minus Schneider (once he gets traded)

6 Edmonton - insane forward group. passable defense. questionable goaltending. but, enough to ring out multiple long win streaks

7 Vancouver - unluckiest team last year is back and focused

8 Chicago - tough choice. but toews as captain will lead them to a playoff berth (to get destroyed by detroit)

Colorado miss because theyre in a tough division

Minnesota miss because theyre in a tough division (and the team got worse imo)

Phoenix miss but will be competitive-ish

Columbus miss but will be copetitive-ish

Nashville miss because of Alexander Radulov's defection

Los Angeles miss but will be up and coming and a dangerous spoiler team

St.Louis miss because of Erik Johnson + not good enough yet

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»Exhale    6627

1. Montreal

2. Pittsburg

3. Washington

4. Philadelphia

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

6. Ottawa Senators

7. New York Ranger

8. New Jersey

9 - Boston

I really hope San Jose takes the west this year, or wins the cup. They've been craving a cup, maybe they'll do better this year even w/o Ron Wilson backing them.

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+rei+    34512

Okay how does vancouver win games? They have no scoring... at all.

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ATJdragon    967
Okay how does vancouver win games? They have no scoring... at all.

by winning 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2. =\

2 years ago, vancouver always scored at the right time and luongo always made the big asve. they were top 2-3 in the league in 1-goal games that year. vancouver had a couple substantial injuries but nothign season-changing. they (and the sens) were the hottest team in the league after december 1st never losing back2back games during that span

last season, vancouver never scored at the right time and luongo didnt make the big save every single time. they were bottom 2-3 in 1-goal games last year. injuries took a massive toll on the team (at one point, 5 of 6 starting defenseman weer injured...AT THE SAME TIME). AND...luongo had his first baby. no matter how good or focused an athlete, their baby always gets in the way. luongo is no different, btu hes back and focused

just by virtue of stats regressing to the mean, vancouver shoudl fall in the middle of 88 pts (07-08) and 105 pts(06-07). that should leave them with 96-97 pts, which should allow them to squeak into 7th or so

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Carl    84

Phoenix could contend. I hope they do, I've liked them for a long time.

I'm going to watch the Blackhawks. I think they're due to absolutely explode.

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»...Arson    7756

The Blackhawks and Edmonton will both make the playoffs this year.

The Leafs are this years Edmonton. A rebuilding team full of young guys who are scraping any ice time they can get and giving their complete all every shift. You can't tell me when guys like Alfy are gettnig 30 minutes a game he can't be outworked by a 3rd liner who's more rested and hungry. It happens, its hockey.

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»Frantic    661

I'll start off by saying RIP Luc Bourdon, the Canucks and the hockey community will miss you.

East

1. Montreal Canadiens - Great team, but their PP will drop, and definitely not lead the league this year. That could hurt them a lot. Still a great team that added toughness and Tanguay.

2. Philadelphia Flyers - Great team also getting better...SIMON GAGNE, the second best scorer in the east, is healthy.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning - Back to their winning ways, Stamkos will score 30, possibly more. Meszaros was a huge addition, and they could easily go far in the playoffs.

4. Washington Capitals - Buy NHL center ice to see the shootouts between Washington/Tampa, and to see Ovechkin try for 70.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins - They're without their top 2 defenceman in Whitney and Gonchar for at least the first 6 weeks of the season, which will hold them to a slow start and they won't be able to make those points up in a tight conference.

6. New York Rangers - Great young talent, sucks they have so much on the cap, but Marc Staal and Henrisk Lundqvist are really, really good.

7. Boston - More young talent coming in, and Berrgeron is healthy.

8. New Jersey Devils - Got better, have the best goalie in the league.

Bubble teams; Carolina is decent, Florida has some great young talent and could contend, can anyone right the Sens ship?

West

1 Detroit -If their division didnt still suck....

2 Dallas Great additions add depth to the best team in the west.

3 Calgary They have great depth now, besides Edmonton and TBay, they had the best off season.

4 San Jose They'll never win a cup for god knows why, but they'll always be a contender.

5 Edmonton Will be ana amzing team to watch this year, could win the division if they stay healthy.

6 Anaheim Offense will still be an issue, but scoring on them 5:5 when either Pronger or Neidermayer is ALWAYS on the ice is tough as fuck.

7 Chcago Toews will score 35 if healthy, playing on the PP with Campbell...but who is the $1 Netminder?

8 Minnesota Always a good team, but if Gaborik doesnt start agreeing with the coach, they're done.

If Bernier/Demitra play well, Vancouver has a shot. Phoenix has an outside shot. Nashville could always squeak in. The leafs are nothing like Edmonton...they have no high level draft picks, no promising young talent and nothing to look forward to yet/

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Pens are my team, but w/o Gonchar for possibly 4 months they will struggle. Whitney is very overrated, but i'm sure his replacement will be worse than him.

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sidthekid87    159

gonchar is out for 2 months i heard so it isnt all that bad. we should be fine with out him and whitney for the first third of the season. its a long season look at what the pens did last yr with the slow start they had the best record in the league after janurary 1st they will be just fine this yr. they r gonna contend for the east top spot and title for sure with montreal and washington and even philly. the east is up for grabs this yr. the east is fun to watch the west its all about detroit i honestly dont think any1 is gonna beat em this yr but we'll see maybe sanjose will show up for once haha.

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»Frantic    661

Pitt didn't have a top 3 record after Jan.1, we've been over this many, many times.

ESPN.com reported Monday that Sergei Gonchar would miss four to six months due to surgery on a dislocated left shoulder.

Best case scenario he's back in January. Gonchar is the Dan Boyle of 08/9. Detroit might win the Presidents trophy, but will not win the West, nor obviously the Stanley Cup. I will take wagers on either.

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»...Arson    7756

Whoever wins the western conference wins the Stanley Cup, I'd bet on that.

And considering Detroit will most likely be facing the 8th seed (and the west is pretty murky from 6th-10th) you know they won't be tested too much in the first series. They might have some competition in the 2nd round but Dallas (who , I agree, are the best team in the west) is going to have a helluva lot harder time. The possibility of playing a combination Cal/Sj/Ana/Min back to back would be DEVASTATING considering how deep the 1st three are, and the type of game Minny plays.

...and I was using the Edmonton comparison loosely, I was more or less trying to relate it how everyone thought they weren't going to do well last year and impressed alot of people. =\

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»...Arson    7756

I think I might just do mine again. I had no idea the bolts got Kolzig, so between him and Smith I'm sure they can pop out at least a 40+ win season.

I don't see how Ottawa won't make the playoffs. Their defense took hits but it's not terrible, they had alot of young talent at their camp this year, and Gerbs is a great regular season goalie.

Pittsburgh might lose out on Gonchar/Whitney for the start of the season, but still have some good defensive players. They can win letting in 2-3 goals a game no problem, and Fluery isn't that bad. =\

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ATJdragon    967
I don't see how Ottawa won't make the playoffs. Their defense took hits but it's not terrible, they had alot of young talent at their camp this year, and Gerbs is a great regular season goalie.

i beg to differ

2006: chara/redden/meszaros/pothier/phillips/volchenkov/schubert

2007: redden/meszaros/corvo/preissing/phillips/volchenkov/schubert

2008: redden/meszaros/corvo(50gp)/phillips/volchenkov/schubert/richardson

and now...

2009: kuba/jason smith/phillips/volchenkov/schubert/picard

ottawa finishes 7th in 08 with a not completely terrible defense. it is undoubtedly worse (not THAT bad obvs), but i cant say theyre likely to make the playoffs with an improving east conference

as for pitty, shitty luck. too lazy to update my standings but...kris letang is looking like a sweet pickup right now =p

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»Frantic    661

Detroit has a history of losing to 8 seeds recently, to teams that are fast and physical. Edmonton and Calgary both went through Detroit as 8th seeds when they went to the finals. Last year Nashville/Colorado were a joke, but if they're facing say Edmonton, then Chicago, if both teams had the same roster in June, I wouldn't say Detroit has a huge advantage over either team (Edmonton doesn't have as much top end talent, but is as deep as Detroit, possibly deeper in all 3 positions)

Arson, Ottawa is such a huge wild card. If the big 3 stay healthy and no collapses happen, they should make the playoffs. They could finish anywhere though. Pitt will surely still make the playoffs, I just think Philly is better for the first 4+ months for sure, and possibly after. I really like Boston though, and I'll go out and say that they will win a playoff round this year.

I wonder where Khabibulin goes though. Ottawa apparently doesn't want him, I think he's too much money for LA. Might he just drift off into his homeland, play in the KHL, be overpaid for 2 years and retire?

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+rei+    34512

whats Colorado's goaltending situation? didnt budaj lose out to jose last year from cockups? Coupled with the fact Raycroft sucks DICK, they may make a move for Khabibulin

If Ottawa's offense works, they will win games.

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»Frantic    661

I think Colorado is too close to the cap to take 4 million + on Khabibulin, and I'll just guess that they'll leave 2-2.5 million in space in case Forsberg is healthy in January.

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geolink    23

With hockey's most storied franchise set to play its 100th season and celebrate its centennial in 2009, there is no better way to mark the festivities than raising banner No. 25 next October.

/thread plox

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+rei+    34512
With hockey's most storied franchise set to play its 100th season and celebrate its centennial in 2009, there is no better way to mark the festivities than raising banner No. 25 next October.

/thread plox

Im a huge habs fanboy but unrealistic introspection is stupid

We're one of the best teams in the east but we also got hella lucky too. Lets not be as overconfident as we were when we were paired vs boston and philly.

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kovah    25

so the blackhawks put Khabibulin on waivers then huet lets in 7 goals against cbj... Botch

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