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16 September 2008

Penguins Camp Opens, Season About to Start

Whoooo Hoooo! Finally! I am going to start with the Penguins and then go with my picks for the rest of the league and through the playoffs. I see alot of articles mentioning that the Pens do not have the firepower or talent to get to the same level they were last season, but of course, I disagree. We had some deadline trades that are going to be key this year for the full season as well as some offseason pickups that are going to play into our lines perfectly. Everyone knows that if you play on Crosby's or Malkin's line, your numbers go up. That is why we added Fedotenko to replace Malone and Satan to play wing for Sid. You look at where they came from and what they have accomplished in the past and they look very promising. We also lost Laraque, but he was only there for the fighting and the threat of bodily harm. We picked up Cooke to fill that role, but the difference is that Cooke is able to score and play the penalty kill. We had poor penalty killing all the way up to our trade deadline last year. We also had an injured Crosby half the season. The big player that keeps coming up is Marian Hossa. We ended up second in the conference without his services and he added some, but not too much to our team. It might take a full season for him to excel, but we didn't see that and we won't since he signed with the Redwings. I see the acquistions and the talent we resigned for the future and I get excited. Marc Andre Fleury is another story in himself. He sprained his ankle the same way Crosby did and came back just in time for the playoffs. The only difference here is that he was a different kind of animal, you could easily say that he would, at the very most, let in two goals. This, coupled with our offensive power, is a great combination for winning games. Barring major injuries, I see Fleury getting 40+ wins, Crosby getting 120+ points, Malkin getting 100+ points, and the team getting 50 wins and first in the conference. As well as 2009 Stanley Cup Champions.

NHL Season Predictions

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Pittsburgh Penguins
2. Philadelphia Flyers
3. New York Rangers
4. New Jersey Devils
5. New York Islanders

Northeast Division

1. Montreal Canadiens
2. Boston Bruins
3. Buffalo Sabres
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Toronto Maple Leafs

Southeast Division

1. Washington Capitals
2. Carolina Hu
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
4. Florida Panther
5. Atlanta Thrashers

Western Conference

Central Division

1. Detroit Redwings
2. Chicago Blackhawks
3. Nashville Predators
4. Columbus Blue Jackets
5. St. Louis Blues

Northeast Division

1. Calgary Flames
2. Minnesota Wild

3. Colorado Avalanche
4. Edmonton Oilers
5. Vancouver Canucks

Pacific Division

1. San Jose Sharks
2. Anaheim Ducks
3. Dallas Stars
4. Phoenix Coyotes
5. Los Angeles Kings

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