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Atlantic Division: An Unbiased analysis


TrentonDevils
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Hey everyone. Just found this forum today, and Im ecstatic. I had previously tried to discuss the Devils on the ESPN boards, but they sucked horribly.

So I gotta ask you guys, what do you think of our boys chances in the division this year?

Heres how I look at it.

Pens: Still no defense, still a big ?? in goal. However, they are going to be even scarier offensively now that sid and malkin have had a year to gel.

Rangers: I know we are all hoping that Gomer will choke this year, but realistically he can only make them better and will probably anchor their first line with Jagr and Shannahan, either that or theyll have Drury there. Either way thats a nasty line. Lundy is a great goalie as well, and if anything their D is suspect. I think they will definitely be the team to beat for us in the division.

Flyers: Will still suck, IMO. Briere is obviously a big time talent, but his size hurts him and I just dont see him being the difference maker on a very young team without any proven guys. Biron played very well last year for the Flyers, and was a very good signing for them...but again, we will see how he holds up for a whole year with questionable D.

Islanders: Not worth discussing. They really dropped the ball. They did make a couple good signings ,but they lost too much and they dont have an 'identity', if you will. That said, diPietro is nasty.

What do you guys think?

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Glad you have you aboard. That avatar is hilarious but i think the mods don't allow political messages so you might have to change it.

As to the Atlantic:

Rangers and Pens both scare me a lot, and I think we'll be competing with both of them for the division crown. Flyers will be improved, but not enough and the Islanders are a joke now. I expect the Devils to make the playoffs, but this is the first year i really consider it to not be a certainty in a LONG time.

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Can i put the teams into order?

Penguins

Rags

Devils

Flyers

Islanders

I see 4 of the 5 teams making the playoffs this season.

I see the Penguins in the cup. They played simply amazing the second half of the year and gave us a run for the money. They now ahve another year of playing together and theyll just get better. The chemistry is incredible on the team, and even though i dont think their defense is great, it isnt too bad.

The rags do have a strong team but simply, they broke up their team too much. You cant take so many players out, put new ones in and think they will be able to play great together off the bat. I do think they are a good team but definatly not the one to beat. I can even possibly see the Devils topping them, depending how long it takes for them to work or react.

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Division right now as I see it is:

Rangers

Penguins

Devils

Flyers

Islanders

The Flyers will narrowly miss the playoffs, the Devils will be in but they won't know it until April.

If the Penguins manage to add a top defender, they could be Stanley Cup contenders. The Rangers already are Stanley Cup contenders as is - they just have to hope that Jagr and Straka's declines don't come as fast as they might for two players who've had nagging injury troubles their whole careers.

The Devils if coached right and make an addition to the defense could also compete for the Stanley Cup.

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Can i put the teams into order?

Penguins

Rags

Devils

Flyers

Islanders

I see 4 of the 5 teams making the playoffs this season.

I see the Penguins in the cup. They played simply amazing the second half of the year and gave us a run for the money. They now ahve another year of playing together and theyll just get better. The chemistry is incredible on the team, and even though i dont think their defense is great, it isnt too bad.

The rags do have a strong team but simply, they broke up their team too much. You cant take so many players out, put new ones in and think they will be able to play great together off the bat. I do think they are a good team but definatly not the one to beat. I can even possibly see the Devils topping them, depending how long it takes for them to work or react.

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I dont see the rags making the cup.

Andy Sutton isnt signed yet, after signing Parise and Martin, would anyone think maybe Lou can make a pull at him? Sutton probably is just looking for work right now and probably will take less money then his worth. Im not sure exactly though. He would be a great addition.

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Penguins so far has a Great offense, the best one along with the Rangers in the Atlantic, but as their defense..Its shaky, Look at them:

Gonchar-Whitney

Sydor-Eaton

Orpiks-Scuderi.

As for the Rangers..I do think they'll be in the top for the Goals along with the Penguins..But again, same thing with the Penguins, a shaky defense.And i don't think so Marc Staal will ruled out all their defense...

Flyers..They can win the Atlantic divison..But, half of their team are new rosters, and I do think they have to put down the chemistry before seeing them winning the Atlantic, and they're still a question for the Goalies..I know Biron is good, but he isn't a proven number one goalie.

Islanders..Well, they made move for being a 8th-12th team spot, Their defense is the worst of the Atlantic, along their offense will be the worst one along with the one of the Devils..

Devils...Lost their number one center and their number one defensemen..And Lou replaced them by a Soso Center in Zubrus and Depth defensemens in Vishnevski ,Rachunek..If Oduya,Martin and Greene can all improve and replace Ralfaski....They'll have a Good defense..And if Zajac and Parise can improve, then he'll have a good season..And the piece of this off-season of course, wasn't the UFA signings..It was Coach Sutter who'll bring a system that'll definately help the Players, ...

So here goes the Atlantic.

Penguins

Rangers/Devils

Rangers/Devils

Flyers

Islanders.

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The Penguins defense will be better than last year if Whitney continues to improve. Sydor could be a colossal bust but he's also a good veteran for a team that has lacked them from the backline. Sergei Gonchar doesn't count since he forgot how to play defense during the lockout - hard to believe that Gonchar was once a consensus top 10 defender in the NHL.

Getting Josef Melichar off the ice is a positive step for the Penguins.

Now they just need some decent scorers. For all their offensive talent, there's still going to be a lot of squandered Crosby passes out there. Petr Sykora could be a great fit if he regains his New Jersey form but I think he's lost a step over the years.

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The Penguins defense will be better than last year if Whitney continues to improve. Sydor could be a colossal bust but he's also a good veteran for a team that has lacked them from the backline. Sergei Gonchar doesn't count since he forgot how to play defense during the lockout - hard to believe that Gonchar was once a consensus top 10 defender in the NHL.

Getting Josef Melichar off the ice is a positive step for the Penguins.

Now they just need some decent scorers. For all their offensive talent, there's still going to be a lot of squandered Crosby passes out there. Petr Sykora could be a great fit if he regains his New Jersey form but I think he's lost a step over the years.

Agreed that Gonchar is done (defensively at least, he can still shoot). He was amazing in Washington though. And I also think that Sykora has been done for quite a while though. Hes just not the skater he once was.

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I dont think our size is a problem. Our acqusitions did help us with Zubrus over Gomez (6'4 over a Gomez who had a 5'10ish frame) VV is around 6'2, Rachunek is around 6'3 if i remeber. I just think Sutton can make the team a bit scarier. Our defense is hard hitting and exciting to see. Our defense could be amazing this year, even without Sutton, i just think he would be a step up.

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1. Pens

2. Devs

3. Rangers

4. Flyers

5. Isles

Pretty much the same with everyone, but our defense and our goaltending are superior than the Rangers and thats what wins games.

Couldn't agree more here with you Manta. :evil: It will be out of the Devils and Penguins for the division this year. Both the Flyers and NYR look good on paper but we all know what has happened in the past with too many ego's on one team. Possibly NO playoffs for the Flyers and NYR. One of them will not make it.

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The Sather has yet to learn this.

Lou forgot what won him three Cups this offseason... defense. Who is the anchor on this D (White)? I've always like Chuck but the Dev's will be to slow this year as we will not be able to keep up with the Rags and the like's of Pens top two lines.

The D will hit, but we'll also let up a ton of goals:

Rags

Pens

Devs

Filthy

Isles

Ralfi killed us.

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I think a lot of people will be supprised by the Flyers this year. They added a lot more quallity than most here are giving them credit for.

Jason Smith and Kimmo Timmonen are great aditions on defence, and some of their younger players have the potential to make an impact.

Biron and Niittymakki are a very respectable Netminding tandem (IMO better than that of Pitsburgh and the Islanders( mainly because of Di Pietros inabillity to stay helathy last season) and only slightly behind that of the rangers)

Up front their line up is a combination of grit and skill.

As for the rest of the teams, the Pens will achieve around the same as last season they havent gotten any worse this off season.

The Rangers should improve, but i think they will lack team spirit, Gomez, Jagr, Avery and Ludqvuist all fighting over the same spotlight will be interesting to watch.

The islanders will flat out suck, not only have they got worse but they have added players who dont even come close to filling the holes left.

As for us, coming into the last two season i didnt feel to confidant on the team really challenging, i kinda feel that slightly again, yet i am always proved wrong.

My standings:

Pens

Devils

Flyers/Rangers

Rangers/Flyers

Islanders

With everyone except the islanders and either of the teams in 4th place making the playoffs.

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I dont think our size is a problem. Our acqusitions did help us with Zubrus over Gomez (6'4 over a Gomez who had a 5'10ish frame) VV is around 6'2, Rachunek is around 6'3 if i remeber. I just think Sutton can make the team a bit scarier. Our defense is hard hitting and exciting to see. Our defense could be amazing this year, even without Sutton, i just think he would be a step up.

Well what I was getting at with my, 'we need all the size we can get', comment was that Lou is obviously letting little guys go in favor of bigger ones. So if we are going to go that route, we might as well not do it half-assed and just load up the middle of the ice with big bodies that can take smaller forwards (drury, briere, gomer) out and then get the puck to elias, parise, gio, langs, sergi.....I like that style of play and I think its a great idea.

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I guess being ninth in the league in total GAA doesn't qualify as being 'good at defense'?

Our defense and goaltending are hardly superior to the Rangers - this thread says 'an unbiased analysis'.

Being 9th is ok, being #2 is better.

Yes, we lost Rafalski, but we added much more quality depth, which we sorely missed last year. When Lunqvist gets injured this year or starts slumping they may end up 15th.

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Being 9th is ok, being #2 is better.

Yes, we lost Rafalski, but we added much more quality depth, which we sorely missed last year. When Lunqvist gets injured this year or starts slumping they may end up 15th.

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Maybe Im alone on this, but I think Rafalski is way overrated. He is tiny, is not a standout offensively, and made some HUGE mistakes in the playoffs this past year. He is a very good skater and is a decent puck mover, but other than that, he gets pushes around by bigger forwards and I watched him not hold the puck in at the point about 100 times last year. Very frustrating. I wouldve liked to keep him, but I dont think its that big of a deal, and Vishnevsky, is almost an even trade, and in the physicality and 'pure defenseman' respect, he is an upgrade. :beerbang:
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I think you're alone on that. Rafalski's 'mistakes' are much better than the mistakes we're going to see from Vishenvsky and Rachunek. He was relied on to do a lot, probably too much - but compared to the guys we've got now, he was terrific.

Manta, 'quality depth' is not something the Devils 'sorely missed' last year, and the Devils didn't add 'quality depth'. They added a 5th defenseman in Rachunek and a replacement for Lukowich in Vishnevsky. Yippee - prepare the Jennings Trophy now. The Devils' GAA will go up, and not just because Brodeur won't be playing 78 games anymore.

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