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Race For The Eastern Conference


DA_Champion

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I figured this thread was going to go up eventually, as of right now these are the standings:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/standings

Team GP Pts

1. * NY Rangers 11 17

2. * Buffalo 8 14

3. * Carolina 7 9

4. Pittsburgh 9 12

5. Montreal 7 11

6. New Jersey 8 11

7. Washington 8 9

8. Boston 8 9

9. Toronto 8 9

10. Florida 8 8

11. Philadelphia 8 7

12. Atlanta 8 6

13. Tampa Bay 7 5

14. Ottawa 8 5

15. NY Islanders 7 4

Habs are in fifth partly because Carolina gets a free pass, partly because the habs seem to have played the least games of anyone and will fall further behind in that regard this week, and partly because the Rangers and the Sabres are doing extremely well.

Some starter questions:

1) Are the Sabres for real?

2) Are the Ranegrs for real, having lost all those guys this summer?

3) Is Pittsburgh not doing very well for a team with its top 2 D injured?

4) Will Ottawa, Phillu and Tampa keep playing this badly? What's wrong with Stamkos?

5) Is Toronto seriously competing for a playoff spot?

6) Is montreal competitive?

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Habs are in fifth partly because Carolina gets a free pass, partly because the habs seem to have played the least games of anyone and will fall further behind in that regard this week, and partly because the Rangers and the Sabres are doing extremely well.

Some starter questions:

1) Are the Sabres for real?

2) Are the Ranegrs for real, having lost all those guys this summer?

3) Is Pittsburgh not doing very well for a team with its top 2 D injured?

4) Will Ottawa, Phillu and Tampa keep playing this badly? What's wrong with Stamkos?

5) Is Toronto seriously competing for a playoff spot?

6) Is montreal competitive?

1) I think the Sabres are for real. 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 they were 2nd and then 1st in the NE Division.

2) The rangers I don't believe are for real. Combination of the teams they've played and over achieving by the players the have.

3) Pittsburgh will likely compete for #1 in the conference with Les Habs

4) Ottawa should start playing better. Philly I predict will miss the playoffs ... and Stamkos in TB? Better question is what's wrong with the rest of the team (Levacalier is their #1 center, not Stamkos)

5) Toronto like NY Rangers are currently over achieving

6) Montreal is competitive, but I'm not liking the work ethic I'm seeing early in the season ... they have the offensive talent to simply bury other teams but seem to lack that killer insinct.

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1) I think the Sabres are for real. 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 they were 2nd and then 1st in the NE Division.

2) The rangers I don't believe are for real. Combination of the teams they've played and over achieving by the players the have.

3) Pittsburgh will likely compete for #1 in the conference with Les Habs

4) Ottawa should start playing better. Philly I predict will miss the playoffs ... and Stamkos in TB? Better question is what's wrong with the rest of the team (Levacalier is their #1 center, not Stamkos)

5) Toronto like NY Rangers are currently over achieving

6) Montreal is competitive, but I'm not liking the work ethic I'm seeing early in the season ... they have the offensive talent to simply bury other teams but seem to lack that killer insinct.

Lecavalier is underperforming relative to expectations, yes, but Stamkos even more so. He was supposed to be a second line center, a true number 1 draft pick, and thus far he has zero points in seven games...

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Good thread. My take:

1) Are the Sabres for real? Yes and No. I think they will be competitive, but i dont think they will end up with Home Ice in the playoffs.

2) Are the Ranegrs for real? I dont think so. I think the Schedule will catch up with them & I expect a 5-7 conference finish. First off they are way ahead but they've played 40% more games than the habs! Second they have played: TB (x2), TO, Philly etc - they've been playing some fairly bad teams.

3) Is Pittsburgh not doing very well for a team with its top 2 D injured? They are doing surprisingly well, although I think a lot of that has to do with Fleury - he's proving a lot of critics (myself included) wrong with a string of good starts (dating back to last season). He may just have turned that corner (inconsistency) for good last season.

4) Will Ottawa, Phillu and Tampa keep playing this badly? What's wrong with Stamkos?

5) Is Toronto seriously competing for a playoff spot? For now, yes, but I highly doubt they will finish higher than 10th.

6) Is montreal competitive? I think we are & will remain so. Injuries will be our biggest obstacle but honestly we have the best depth we've had in years & with any one of 3 lines being our "go to" line that night, we'll be a hard team to beat/defend against. I am beginning to feel we really need a top Dman to play next to hamrlik...im not loving either Obyrne or Breezer there....

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Another reason to be skeptical of Buffalo,

Thomas Vanek is on track for an 84 goal season, and Ryan Miller has a .940 save percentage when his career average is .909. If he goes down to .920 they will be giving up 33% more goals, 4 goals for every 3 goals they give up now. That would have cost them a lot of games, and will.

On the other hand, with a 6-0-2 (27-15 in goals for and against over 8 games) record they can lose a fair bit of traction and still be dominant.

****

Steven Stamkos has 0 points in 7 games - was he not supposed to be a rookie of the year candidate? The coverage he got was way more positive than what Patrick Kane got, who was the best of a weak lot, and still put up a great rookie campaign.

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I figured this thread was going to go up eventually, as of right now these are the standings:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/standings

Some starter questions:

1) Are the Sabres for real?

2) Are the Ranegrs for real, having lost all those guys this summer?

3) Is Pittsburgh not doing very well for a team with its top 2 D injured?

4) Will Ottawa, Phillu and Tampa keep playing this badly? What's wrong with Stamkos?

5) Is Toronto seriously competing for a playoff spot?

6) Is montreal competitive?

1) The Sabres are a strong team, I'm surprised they didn't do better last season. Look at their roster;

-Vanek has a goal a game so far

-Pominville

-Roy

-Afinogenov who doesn't have a goal but he has 5 assists

Last but not least, Miller between the pipes.

Do I think they'll finish 1st in the conference or 1st in the division, I doubt it. They'll definitely give teams in the east a run for their money, but I think the long season will eventually catch up to them. They are a team that often has to deal with injuries.

2)Hmmm, not so sure, they're definitely off to a good start, but wait til they start playing some tougher opponents. They also have 4 games on us.

3)Starting to get back on track after a slow start. I doubt they'll have the same consistency they had last year, but they'll definitely be in the top of the conference. That is if Fleury stays on top of his game.

4) Ottawa, goaltending problems, Philly has an injured d and same as Ottawa, a goaltending problem, Tampa Bay, Lecav has to find his game, it's still early in the season, I'm sure after both of em break their slumps, they'll be off and rolling.

5)No, Toronto is trying to entertain their fans, as well as trying to stay in a position to get themselves a good seat for the 09 drafts.

6) Montreal has to get their 1st line moving, the rest of the team/lines are off to a good start. To be competitive we need 60 min of playing from all 4 lines and our defense. Except for one game, our goaltending has been solid, no reason for concern there.

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The biggest surprise right now across the entire NHL is the way the Buffalo Sabres came out of the gate. Consider what they've lost in players in the last 2 or 3 seasons, it's amazing that they are winning some games, let alone lead the division. It speaks very highly of the work done by Lindy Ruff.

Having said that, I'm expecting them to start getting back down to earth in the next few weeks when other teams catch on, as we've seen tonight with the Sens beating the Sabres 5-2.

Speaking of the Sens, there's a prime example that you can't keep loosing players (especially defensemen) year after year without paying the price at some point. They absolutely need to address their defense and mostly, their goaltending if they want to have a hope to making the playoffs.

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I really believe that the sabres will fall. They just got on a role and that's it. i predict 6th.

Rangers are better than they are performing right now. Even with all the overachieving stars. they'll get it on later in the season as they always do.

Lightning, leafs, islanders and panther will definately miss the playoffs

Flyers will finish around 4th. something is wrong with them, but they'll wake up.

Toronto Leafs and their fans are a joke... lol

And Finally, our Habs. IMO not tested to the fullest yet. Ducks are a good example of that. we'll see what happens when we face the pens, sabres again, sens, and the west. I still think the west is very very very strong. did i mention how strong the west is?.... Habs , becuase i am realistic more than optimistic should finish in 4th or even 5th. Whatever happens, we'll do well in the playoffs. Optimism...there it is. GO HABS GO

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The biggest surprise right now across the entire NHL is the way the Buffalo Sabres came out of the gate. Consider what they've lost in players in the last 2 or 3 seasons, it's amazing that they are winning some games, let alone lead the division. It speaks very highly of the work done by Lindy Ruff.

Having said that, I'm expecting them to start getting back down to earth in the next few weeks when other teams catch on, as we've seen tonight with the Sens beating the Sabres 5-2.

Speaking of the Sens, there's a prime example that you can't keep loosing players (especially defensemen) year after year without paying the price at some point. They absolutely need to address their defense and mostly, their goaltending if they want to have a hope to making the playoffs.

its hard not to have respect for lindy ruff

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Habs are in fifth partly because Carolina gets a free pass, partly because the habs seem to have played the least games of anyone and will fall further behind in that regard this week, and partly because the Rangers and the Sabres are doing extremely well.

Some starter questions:

1) Are the Sabres for real?

2) Are the Ranegrs for real, having lost all those guys this summer?

3) Is Pittsburgh not doing very well for a team with its top 2 D injured?

4) Will Ottawa, Phillu and Tampa keep playing this badly? What's wrong with Stamkos?

5) Is Toronto seriously competing for a playoff spot?

6) Is montreal competitive?

1 It would be great to see Buffal have a great season and knock either the Bruins, Devils or Flyers out of the playoffs.

I would love for them to have a great season.

2 Are the Rangers for real I hope so it would be great to see them in the finals and maybe a chance to go to the parade if they win 16 playoff games.

3 Pittburgh should get back on track.

4 Philly ,Tampa and Ottawa no they will pick up on there game. Ottawa with there top 3 I would expect them to finish up behind us in the standings. Philly with Briere I would expect them to make the playoffs I hope we embarras them by beating them 4-0 second round. Tampa should be able to do good.

5 It would be great to face them in the confrence finals if something were to happen to the Rangers. It would be great to see Toronto make the playoffs maybe as a 5th place team.

6 we are always competive we should get at least 100 points.

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Some starter questions:

1) Are the Sabres for real?

2) Are the Ranegrs for real, having lost all those guys this summer?

3) Is Pittsburgh not doing very well for a team with its top 2 D injured?

4) Will Ottawa, Phillu and Tampa keep playing this badly? What's wrong with Stamkos?

5) Is Toronto seriously competing for a playoff spot?

6) Is montreal competitive?

Answers:

1) They are only doing so well because of the re-emergence of Vanek. If something happens to him their secondary scoring better step it up immediately or they will fall to fighting for a playoff spot again.

2) Rangers are for real, I would bet the Habs face them in the East Final. Great mix of youth and vetrans, everyone is playing their own style, not Jagr's, and the coach has full control of the team. Guys like Dubinsky are only going to get better but Lundqvist has got to be huge, as I think they might have a tough time scoring down the stretch.

3) Pittsburgh is going to make the playoffs no question, but they are only as good as Crosby and Malkin want them to be. I would say that they are playing above expectations for not having their top two defenseman.

4) Ottawa and Tampa will NOT make the playoffs, you have my word. Ottawa doesn't have a goalie or a defensive core strong enough to make their crappy goalie good and Tampa has too many new players coming from too many different systems that are trying to adjust to an out of touch coach. Philly will turn it up.

5) I believe that Toronto will make the playoffs, all because of Ron Wilson. Google him and look what he did with Washington a few years back.

6) Montreal is very competetive. Were solid from the goalie out, young, have depth and I believe that we will make the Stanley Cup playoffs. High hopes? Maybe. But who is gonna stop us in the East? The West is a different story.

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Answers:

1) They are only doing so well because of the re-emergence of Vanek. If something happens to him their secondary scoring better step it up immediately or they will fall to fighting for a playoff spot again.

2) Rangers are for real, I would bet the Habs face them in the East Final. Great mix of youth and vetrans, everyone is playing their own style, not Jagr's, and the coach has full control of the team. Guys like Dubinsky are only going to get better but Lundqvist has got to be huge, as I think they might have a tough time scoring down the stretch.

3) Pittsburgh is going to make the playoffs no question, but they are only as good as Crosby and Malkin want them to be. I would say that they are playing above expectations for not having their top two defenseman.

4) Ottawa and Tampa will NOT make the playoffs, you have my word. Ottawa doesn't have a goalie or a defensive core strong enough to make their crappy goalie good and Tampa has too many new players coming from too many different systems that are trying to adjust to an out of touch coach. Philly will turn it up.

5) I believe that Toronto will make the playoffs, all because of Ron Wilson. Google him and look what he did with Washington a few years back.

6) Montreal is very competetive. Were solid from the goalie out, young, have depth and I believe that we will make the Stanley Cup playoffs. High hopes? Maybe. But who is gonna stop us in the East? The West is a different story.

IMO, accurate. All of it.
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Answers:

1) They are only doing so well because of the re-emergence of Vanek. If something happens to him their secondary scoring better step it up immediately or they will fall to fighting for a playoff spot again.

2) Rangers are for real, I would bet the Habs face them in the East Final. Great mix of youth and vetrans, everyone is playing their own style, not Jagr's, and the coach has full control of the team. Guys like Dubinsky are only going to get better but Lundqvist has got to be huge, as I think they might have a tough time scoring down the stretch.

3) Pittsburgh is going to make the playoffs no question, but they are only as good as Crosby and Malkin want them to be. I would say that they are playing above expectations for not having their top two defenseman.

4) Ottawa and Tampa will NOT make the playoffs, you have my word. Ottawa doesn't have a goalie or a defensive core strong enough to make their crappy goalie good and Tampa has too many new players coming from too many different systems that are trying to adjust to an out of touch coach. Philly will turn it up.

5) I believe that Toronto will make the playoffs, all because of Ron Wilson. Google him and look what he did with Washington a few years back.

6) Montreal is very competetive. Were solid from the goalie out, young, have depth and I believe that we will make the Stanley Cup playoffs. High hopes? Maybe. But who is gonna stop us in the East? The West is a different story.

Agreed on all counts CV except for Ottawa. I think they'll just barely sneak in.

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