Ok, so we're a week into the season and have seen just about what everyone is bringing to the ice this year. Figured it would be fun to do some early predictions on the way the standings will shake out come 4 months from now.
1. Vancouver - 3 teams in their division they should be able to take 24 points from, still a bit deeper than Minny.
2. Chicago - off to great start, goaltending questionable, division weaker than ever, no big roster changes this year.
3. San Jose - off to great start, should be able to take 24 points from bottom 3 in division, goaltending inconsistent.
4. Minnesota - same as Canucks but will probably give up some points to Vancouver and a few other opponents.
5. St. Louis - young, fast, talented, will push Chicago for top spot, inexperience will be the difference.
6. Detroit - still in the hunt, but their blueline is badly depleted with Lidstrom's retirement, showing their age in places.
7. Los Angeles - have a hunch they'll under perform and finish strong again, Quick not looking great to start.
8. Nashville - losing some key pieces last year will hurt, Trotz's team system will prevail and they'll edge out the Ducks.
9. Anaheim - Boudreau will struggle to get attitudes under control, weak defense, will score their way just shy.
10. Dallas - Benn has signed but they are pretty weak up front beyond their top 4. But lookout, they signed Rome!
11. Colorado - will build on last year, season will hinge on Varlamov's ability to keep them in games.
12. Phoenix - nobody wants to play in Phoenix, except for Doan apparently, depleted roster, sink or swim with Smith.
13. Edmonton - flash and dash, no defense, still not much size up front, will excite but not win much, Devon Dubnyk.
14. Calgary - not much going to come from the blueline, riding aging stars into the sunset.
15. Columbus - Dubinsky, Umberger, Johnson.....beyond that they got nothing.
1. New York Rangers - terrible start but will get it together, a deeper team than the Pens in the end.
2. Boston - not much in their division to challenge them.
3. Tampa Bay - can score goals, goaltending questionable, defense unproven, weak division.
4. Pittsburgh - will challenge for top spot in East, goaltending and defense will be achilles heel.
5. Ottawa - should steal points from Montreal, Buffalo, and Toronto, building on last year.
6. New Jersey Devils - loss of Parise will hurt, can still win by committee, Brodeur will still give them a chance.
7. Winnipeg - weak division, can't out score Tampa, will win games as a team.
8. New York Islanders - ready to take the next step, goaltending still an issue.
9. Carolina - will under perform, just a hunch.
10. Philadelphia - will struggle with blueline and goaltending will falter.
11. Montreal - Habs getting ready for a rebuild in front of Price, Subban a distraction.
12. Buffalo - more of the same in Buffalo, have some good pieces, not there yet.
13. Florida - young players, no real experience, big question mark in the crease.
14. Washington - no defense, goaltending looks bad, stars not producing, rookie coach.
15. Toronto - no goaltending, soft up front, blueline under achieves, early injury to Lupul, Kessel doing nothing.