Eastern Conference predictions: Your key source to what will happen in the 2010-11 NHL season
Let’s start off with the Atlantic division: one that is chock full of impressive talent and outstanding teams. The Atlantic was the only division in the East to have two 100 point scoring teams in the Devils and Penguins and two others that having played to their potential last year could have hit the 100 point mark as well. Sidney Crosby, Ilya Kovalchuk, Mike Richards and Marian Gaborik are just some of the names that grace this division, making it a very competitive division and one to look out for this season.
Prediction: New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and The Flyers all should hit the 100 point mark this season. As much as it pains me to say it, look for the Penguins to come out on top of the Atlantic while both the Devils and Flyers fall into the playoff picture as well.
Moving onto the Northeast, it was the only division in the NHL that had 4-out of its-5 teams make the playoffs, which in my mind won’t happen again this year at all. This division will be lucky to have two teams qualify for the postseason. The Sabers and Canadiens are the most likely two to have a chance at Lord Stanley’s cup while the Bruins ( with out Marc Savard for a good bit of time), Maple Leafs (while they still grow into a good team), and the Sens (who played way over their head last year ) will find it very hard in the new look east to contend for a playoff spot.
Prediction: If Ryan Miller’s team in fron tof him can hold up during the season, look for the Sabers to be the clear-cut winner here, but don’t count the new look Habs out either. Ultimately they will come out on top of the Northeast and be a very feared team to play in the playoffs!
On to the Southeast, which maybe the most interesting one to look at and watch all season. It’s filled with one of the best players on the planet in Alex Ovechkin, a young team stacked with unknown talent in the Thrashers, and a team that acquired a Philadelphia favorite in Simon Gagne. Besides the Atlantic, I believe that this will be the division to watch and maybe the most entertaining in the entire NHL.
Prediction: The Caps are the clear cut favorite to win this division far and away. While I believe that they will do as planned and capture the Southeast title, it will not be an easy of a task that they would have liked it to be. Both the Thrashers and Lightning will provide a bigger challenge than most people think and are two teams to keep an eye on all year.
7. Tampa Bay