Srbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 2 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1734 times:
With NHL training camps scheduled to open up in the next few weeks, what are you thoughts on the upcoming season? What does this season hold for you favorite team? Perhaps the biggest question in the league is the future of the Buffalo Sabres. With the NHL having taken control of the team from John Rigas (of Aldelphia infamy), they are going to run the team until a buyer can be found. Several buyers have been rumored, but will the team stay in Buffalo after this season? Paul Allen has been said to be the leading candidate to buy the team, and more than likely moving them to Portland, Oregon. Allen has tried unsuccessfully to buy a team over the last few years. The smart money is on this being the Sabres' swansong in Buffalo.
The Mario Comeback Tour will come to an end as well, because there's no way he can continue to play (even if he doesn't to back to back road games) and keep the team in Pittsburgh. He needs to focus on one thing, either be the owner or be a player, not both. As for my favorite team, the Atlanta Thrashers, this is a critical year. Curt Frasier has been on the hot seat since November of last season, and his future as coach hinges on the first month of the season. With some of the off-season acquisitions and draft-day deals, Atlanta has added strength in areas that strength was needed. Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley need to avoid the sophomore slump and maintain their performance levels they had during the last season. Goaltending is another place where the team has some stability. Milan Hlincka kept the team in some games until the defense allowed them to blow a lead. With Pasi Nurminin and Frederick Cassivi as backups, any injury in this position will not hurt the team. The defense has been strengthened, and with several defensive standouts from the minors being strong contenders to make the squad this season, the team looks like they could be ready to start making playoff runs. The one thing that has plaqued the team throughout its' short history is injuries. They have been among the most injured teams in the league. If they can keep the injuries to a minimum, they may actually be fighting for a playoff spot this season. Hopefully this season they won't trade their Captain away like they had in the previous seasons. Jeff Odgers is perhaps the best suited player they've had as Captain yet. I mean Chicken Parm, Ray Ferraro was a good on ice leader, but The Sheriff (Odgers) can lead as well as protect the stars of the club, he's a great brawler, and won't backdown from a fight. I predict the will finish the season a few points out of the final playoff spot, but will finish a tad above .500.
Tom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1715 times:
I'm glad to see the NHL season is coming soon. With the possible job actions at MLB coming, and the joke that is the N.O. Saints, I'm hanging my sports hat on (golf first) the NHL. My favorite team, the team I grew up with and attended many games at the old "Fabulous Forum" then the "Great Western Forum" is the Los Angeles Kings. I'll get back to them.
As for what I see this year, the Red Wings will not repeat. I had them winning last year from start to finish, just because of their depth. They could roll four lines consistently, and had one of the two top goaltenders in the NHL. I still think that whoever wins the West will win the Stanley Cup, no team in the East has improved themselves enough to make a solid run. My top eight in the West would be: 1) Colorado, 2) San Jose, 3) Dallas, 4) Detroit, , 5) St. Louis, 6) Edmonton, 7) Kings, 8) Anaheim. Out of the East, I'd probably start with 1) Philly, 2) Ottawa, 3) Toronto, 4) Islanders, 5) Boston, 6) New Jersey, 7) Carolina, 8) Montreal. I'll go with the Sharks and Flyers in the finals, and the Sharks win in 6.
As for the Kings, I believe their season rests in two places: first of all, a top-notch year from Felix Potvin, secondly, consistent scoring from the Allison/Palffy/Smolinski/Deadmarsh group. They also can't afford to give up leads in the third period, as they have sometimes done in recent years.
As for your Thrashers, they're definitely getting better. I don't see them making the playoffs, and hopefully (forget which it was who got injured late last year) Kovalchuk and Heatley can continue to improve. Their defense is likely suspect, as is the case with most new and fairly new teams.
Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
JFKspotter From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 448 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1721 times:
The Isles will come back even better than last season, on December 6, we'll play the Leafs at home and it won't be pretty, Peca will rejoin the team sometime in January and have an amazing comeback, we'll once again make the playoffs, and hopefully make it past the 1st round.
Stretch 8 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 2568 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1702 times:
Don't count the Wings out just yet, even with losing Bowman and Hasek. This will still be an experienced, well-run, and rich team accustomed to winning big (can you say "Yankees"?). Yzerman will come back in midseason after knee surgery, and inspire the team at a time they will probably need it. Face it: Detroit is and remains the gold standard of the league.
Maggs swings, it's a drive deep to left! The Tigers are going to the World Series!!!
KROC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1675 times:
For the record, the NHL is set to have problems as well, just like baseball after this season. Both sides want more money, but the problem is....there really is no extra money. Sports anaylsts are saying this could make the baseball work problems seem like a game of Candy Land.
Hurricane From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1444 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 months 4 days ago) and read 1676 times:
The Hurricanes, as of now, have every single member of last year's team back except Marty Gelinas, who went to Calgary and can be replaced by someone in the farm system, and Sami Kapanen and David Tanabe, free agents that are expected to sign. Tanabe either signs or doesn't play anywhere (some loophole in contract???) and Kapanen has stated he likes the area and wants to come back.
This leads me to believe my beloved Hurricanes can be the sleeper again. If they play the same game they did last year, with the same players, and the same outstanding goaltending from Irbe, they can do what they did last year. Many will say last year was a fluke. Watch out!
Trickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (13 years 2 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1668 times:
I'm a little bummed that the Blackhawks lost Amonte but I think the remaining players will eventually step it up this year after a brief gelling time. I'm counting on Sullivan and Daze in particular. Will this be Thibault's year?
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
Notdownnlocked From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 972 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1645 times:
Well Guy's, (with special condolenses to Ren41) I'm sorry to have to tell you all this but due to what the local Dallas team has done here in the offseason you can pretty much rest assured that your upcoming season can be considered a write off. Along with newly added Jason Arnott and Pierre Turgeon the even newer Bill Guerin and Scott Young this team will be a force to be dealt with. Bill Guerin easily makes up for the loss of Brett Hull which was a major reason for the lack of offence last season. Even if the season was to start tomorrow it still can't start too soon.
Jayhup From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1630 times:
Watch out for my New York Rangers!!!!!!!!
With the addition of Holik and Kasparitis they are going to make the playoffs and as we all know once you are in anything can happen. Boston is going to have a hard time playing as well as last year and so is New Jersey especially since they've lost Holik. Montreal is also a big question mark.
As for you Philly fans......show up in the playoffs with a proven goaltender then we'll talk. Roman Czeckmanek aint taking you to the promise land!