I just figured..."F#$% it, no one else is (Not that there isn't good reason) so I'll be that idiot."
So here I go, I'm predicting the Islanders win the Atlantic division. Here are my reasons why I think this division is wide open.Devils: Kovalchuk is a nice addition to go with Parise but there really isn't enough on this team to share the scoring load. Volchenkov I am not convinced is an adequate upgrade from Martin. Brodeur is another year older and his game is getting better with age.
Pittsburgh: Last season had the post Stanley Cup hangover. Question is are they really hungry enough to do it again. Guerin was a nice veteran addition for their run. Is anyone convinced that Aaron Asham and Mike Comrie are the missing pieces? BTW Mr Toe Drag himself is playing on their top line. Outside of Paul Martin and maybe Letang I'm not that impressed with their blue line.
Rags: Same old mess different day. They just signed Ruslan Fedotenko and I can't find good reason why. Needs more than Gaborik and blue line needs more than just Delzotto and Marc Staal (who's not really as good as the hype surrounding the name). The team still remains the Lundqvist/Gaborik (If he can stay healtthy for 72 games) show.
Philly: Needs more than a one game playoff if they expect to make the post season this year. This team this season is gonna look a lot like the Steve Stirling Islanders before Nolan came in. Peter Laviolette becomes less effective with his players over time.
So this is my contrarian POV on the Atlantic Division. Streit and Okposo may be out but this is hockey. Past reputations mean zip when the season starts. (Here's looking at you Pronger, Brodeur and ehem Drury/Gaborik/Crysbaby. I predict that the Isles hungry youth comes up in spades against these chumps. Isles win this division based on head to head match ups. Keep your head up Crosby, Kovalchuck, and Gaborik cause here comes Hamonic!!!!
(I predict numerous injuries this season on the Islanders blue line and this kid sticks. Give it till about early December)
Oh and none of the expert predictors who highlight the losses of Okposo and Streit have even touched on the subject of Bailey. Another year under his belt where the last one saw him breakout says that this kid puts up 55-60 pts this year.
So have at it. Tear me apart. This is why we play the games.