Sunday, October 3, 2010

NHL Preview - Eastern Conference - Northeast

The Northeast division had the most playoff teams in 2010.  Thanks mostly to the easiest division in the NHL is the Eastern Conference's southeast that only had one playoff team.  The surprise team last year in the playoffs was the Montreal Canadians led by Halak in net.  They upset Washington and Pittsburgh, totally unexpected by anyone in the NHL.  Other teams from the Northeast that made the playoffs Ottawa, Buffalo and Boston.  The only team that did not make the playoffs was Toronto.  Lets over analyze the teams now:

The Montreal Canadians - The Canadians definitely over achieved in the playoffs last year but I do not know if they will be able to get back to the promise land again.  They lost Halak to the St. Louis Blues in the off season.  He was unbelievable in the playoffs last year.  Right now the Canadians are 4-3 in the preseason 2010.  They get all the rest of their stars back from last year.  Hopefully, Carey Price will be able to come in net and at least get them back to the playoffs.

The Buffalo Sabres - They won the division last year with 100 pts, it was the 4th highest total in the Eastern Conference.  Ryan Miller has been a staple in net for the Sabres.  I think fans were a little disappointed with the team not getting further into the playoffs in 2009.  They did not lose many star players from the team last year and they will be a force to be reckoned with in the Northeast again this year.  They will be definitely looking to get deeper into the playoffs and I think Ryan Miller will be the reason they get there.

The Ottawa Senators - The Senators got into to playoffs last year like everyone else from this division besides Toronto.  They have some star players but overall they have alot of players that are just really good.  They were bounced from the playoffs by the Penguins last year.  This year they have opened the preseason with a record of 3-4-1.  Unless they get some serious fire power via free agency I think the best they can hope for is 2nd or 3rd in the division.

The Boston Bruins - The Bruins finished the season last year with 94 pts and that was good enough for 3rd in the division.  The preseason has been a little bit rough for the Bruins with a record of 1-3-1.  They have not been scoring many goals this preseason.  I do not think there is much worry in Boston right now.  Chara is back this year ready to crush the opposition, literally.  The man is a beast at 6'8" on defense for the Bruins.  I think the Bruins are poised for some great things this year.

The Toronto Maple Leafs - The Leafs finished dead last in the Eastern Conference last year with 74 points.  If it was not for the Edmonton Oilers they would have been the worst team in the NHL.  This is sad for a team that has so much tradition in this league.  All hope is not lost though, they are playing pretty good in the 2010 preseason with a mark of 5-3-1.  They were able to sign Kris Versteeg in the offseason from the champion Blackhawks.  They should be able to improve leaps and bounds over last year.

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