So here goes. Here's how I think the final results of next season wind up. Am I psychic? We shall see! West: 1. Vancouver (piss-easy division and embellishments get them top seed - but not much else). 2. San Jose (will dismantle every gutless team on a nightly basis - it's Shark Week all year) 3. Chicago (most people are overrating Chicago - they'll make 3rd seed, but be ~10th in league points) 4. Los Angeles (injury concerns, but an easy division/conference outside of San Jose helps) 5. Nashville (The Preds' stability and great goaltending grinds out a decent season) 6. St. Louis (Good enough goaltending and tons of hidden talent will be enough to get St. Louis back in the playoffs) 7. Detroit (Fading fast, the Wings will spend the rest of their fuel before the next era is ready) 8. Columbus (Depends largely on Mason's consistency, but Carter and Wisneiwski are big upgrades) 9. Anaheim (Could compete for 8th, but goaltending and depth concerns are very real) 10. Colorado (Very close to greatness, but injuries (and injured goalies) and a big hurdle) 11. Phoenix (The Yotes lost a lot of depth, and it'll hurt them, but there is still hidden talent on this roster) 12. Edmonton (Provided injuries heal up, this team will gradually move up the rankings) 13. Minnesota (Heatley and Gooch are not necessarily improvements over Havlat, and losing Burns is huge) 14. Calgary (What seems to be organizational apathy (the "Toronto Syndrome" as It call it) makes them #2 in Alberta) 15. Dallas (This team would struggle to compete in the AHL, but drafting first may be better than constant 10th) East: 1. Boston (Practically unchanged from last year, Boston is a great team worthy of the Pres. Trophy - and Seguin gets a promotion) 2. Washington (The Caps are a great team, and certainly improved their roster, but Tampa is a storm warning) 3. Philadelphia (The team's easy division practically gives them a by, but losing Richards, Leino and Carter hurts) 4. Tampa (This is a great team that will only get better - The 4 is deceptive, as they'll finish 5th in the league) 5. Buffalo (Pegula's improvement plan seems to be legit, and a team on the bubble is much more stable for it) 6. New York Rangers (Looked great in the playoffs, and Richards is an improvement - just not a huge one) 7. Montreal (Those pesky Habs will be in the playoffs, as always, but not do much more) 8. New York Islanders (A young team on the brink of greatness, healed injuries and Nabby in goal will make the difference) 9. Winnipeg (The midseason collapse was more off-ice than on, in my eyes, so they may challenge for a low seed) 10. Pittsburgh (No Crosby, no Malkin, no playoffs) 11. Toronto (Reimer is the real deal, but the team still sucks up front) 12. Florida (A good team on paper, some immediate chemistry issues from an overhauled roster will affect their playoff hopes) 13. Carolina (Stall, Skinner, Ward and an AHL roster) 14. New Jersey (Brodeur isn't getting any younger, and the late-season 10-11 surge will out itself as a fluke) 15. Ottawa (The rebuild is on! The team has some talent on the horizon, but expect most of their aging assets to turn into draft picks) Feel free to argue with me! :D I put some solid work into this. Discuss the 2011-12 season!
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