clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dave Handler's Season Preview

I don't know much about predicting records but here is my playoff picture for the Western Conference.
1) Detroit Red Wings: Best team in the league, too much talent and skill.  If they don't cakewalk to the President's Trophy they should all get fined!
2) San Jose Sharks: As long as it is the regular season they will win...look for another playoff meltdown though.  I know I find it the best part of the playoffs :)
3) Dallas Stars: They may not make a run but they will beat the division foes enough to hoast a banner.  No chance of making it out of the second round though.
4) Minnesota Wild: Not a homer pick, just don't think any other squad in this division has any chance of going anywhere so we win by default.  Like last year except we wont win more games we just will lose less or tie more ;)
5) Calgary Flames: They will be close the entire year and will have a great record at home but that team is still about 3 players away from being a real contender. 
6) Anaheim Mighty Ducks: Unless the NHL makes a rule that says all members of a team can be put in the box the Ducks will be competitive.  Might not put up gaudy regular season numbers but will probably make it farther than any NW Division team in the playoffs.
7) Columbus Blue Jackets: I really have no reason but hey blind squirrel finds a nut right? 
8) Chicago Blackhawks: Young talent = wins right?  I almost put them on the outside looking in because I think rumors of their ascension have been greatly exaggerrated, but fact is the lower division of the Western Conference is a steep drop off so they get in and get the honor of bowing to the Wings in a glorious showdown of the Original Six!
9) Edmonton Oilers: While the team usually makes things interesting, I just don't buy they have enough talent to make the playoffs.  And even if Gagner and Cogliano do improve is that enough to offset the deficiencies they have?
10) LA Kings: the only thing I know is O'Sullivan will score 8 goals against the Wild.  Thankfully Matt Greene will probably give up that many as he is no better than a traffic cone out there.  Beyond that the Kings are soft and the only thing that is more apathetic than the fans are probably the players.
11) Vancouver Canucks: I don't know what makes me smile more, the fact that the Canucks are going to stink again or that Pavol Demitra is stuck there!  That team is D-E-D dead!
12) Phoenix Coyotes: 3 months ago I had them in the playoffs making it to the second round because of how close they came last year.  Now they think Fedoruk is gonna lead the way to glory.  They are going to miss Keith Ballard come the later stages of the year.
13) Colorado Avalanche: Last year was a fluke and they pretty much have nothing in front of Budaj meaning he is done like dinner.  May be a team that later in the year improves but it will be too little too late.
14) Nashville Predators: ummm...yeah...I know nothing about the Preds but then again I don't think anyone knows anything about the Preds. 
15) St. Louis Blues:  This team is so bad they probably wish Demitra would sign back with them.  Even if Eric Johnson was playing they would be no better than 10th and without him they won't sniff the playoffs past the first month of the season.


Alright...time for the Leastern Conference ;)
1) Washington Capitols: This is their year to shine...I think the Candiens are overrated and Pittsburgh will take a step back. 
2) Montreal Canadiens: They may be overrated but they still are good.
3) Pittsburgh Penguins: I see them being the Sn Jose of the Eastern Conference in that they will put up some gaudy numbers but never be a threat to take the Cup.  If they couldn't do it last year with a better all around team I just don't see it this year.
4) New Jersey Devils: As long as they have Brodeur they are better than the Rangers in my humble opinion.
5) Carolina Hurricanes: Staal good...Staal very good!
6) New York Rangers: Not as great as most think...but better than Philly!
7) Phildelphia Flyers: Well they won't stink...I got nothing really.
8) Buffalo Sabres: Come on, does anyone really believe that Boston or Florida is going to make the playoffs?  The Sabres are a decent squad and are the best of the also-rans.
9) Boston Bruins: With the Patriots, Celtics and Red Sox owning the market, some team needs to break the hearts of Beantowners and the Bruins are just that team!  For once the outlook is rather bright which means they are ripe to choke away a playoff spot in the last week or so.
10) Florida Panthers: Their acquisitions will be diddly squat when they play any team with a pulse!
11) Tampa Bay Lightning: Remember when this team was good?
12) Ottawa Senators: See the Tampa Bay Lightning!
13) Atlanta Thrashers: I can't even pretend to care aout that team...
14) New York Islanders: Kyle Okposo will be enough to keep them from being last...well until he runs crying into a corner and leaves to play Canadien College Hockey ;)
15) Toronto Maple Leafs: My guess is Roy Halliday has more wins than the Maple Leafs...what a friggin shame!