it's true, it is hard to decide, much more than it was last season.
I think it's between Calgary and Carolina.
I chose Calgary though, because I think they might have a bit of an edge when it comes to their team overall.
- The Flames have added to their offence this year to try and fix the problem they, had last season: Scoring. Adding in Alex Tanguay to the mix will give opposing teams another weapon to watch in the offencive zone besides Iggy. It'll be a huge load off of Iginla's back, because I think Tangauy is very known to be a dangerous player on the ice - he's a great playmaker and a game breaker. Then the addition of Jeff Friesen might give Calgary another player to spread their offence on to, depending on whether or not he can find his game again. Then there's also Tony Amonte. If he can find just some of his offencive touch form the past, and Chuck Kobasew and Matthew Lombardi can make good on the promise that they've been showing the last few season, Calgary could have 3 scoring lines to watch.
There are a lot of "ifs" in their offencive side of the game, but defencively they just may have the best blueline in the league. I know they lost Leopold (for Tanguay) but signing Zyuzin gives them a player that's just as good to replace him. As for their goaltending, it's all about the Vezina Trophy winning Kipper.
- Carolina still has most of their team in tact from last year, and their offence is still probably the best all around in the league (for now). Their defence on the other hand might be on the decline. They're very experienced and all, but they've lost a big piece to their blueline in Aaron Ward. He played very well last year (maybe a little over his head, who knows) and was a huge part of why they won the Stanley Cup. If they can find a replacement for him (or one of their younger d-men step up big time) they could go deep again.
Carolina isn't a team to doubt. They never seem to let a game slip away, no matter how far down they are. They have the players to go deep again if Wesley and Hedican can continue to play the way they do when the going gets tough, and Frank Kaberle is pretty good. Brind'Amour is a great leader, and Staal, Cole, and Williams are great young players. They lost Cullen, but added in Walker to replace him. Not bad.
Of course I have to add in Cam Ward here: He was one of the reasons why they got to the Cup in the first place. He played well, now it's tiem to see if he really is the next great goalie in the league.
Anaheim and Nashville could also be great next year. Buffalo too, depending on how many of their good young FA's they can keep.
Very tough to choose...
I mean, many teams have basically completely changed their makeup in the offseason so you have absolutely no idea what you'll be getting.
I really do think ottawa will still be a force in the nhl in the east.
They did extremely well without Havlat for the entire season, and while many are quick to point to them losing Chara....they got themselves Corvo...if you look at his stats, are quite identical of Chara's. Also, his plus/minus rating was spectacular, seeing he wasn't surrounded by allstars like Chara was.
Ottawa basically has gotten themselves a faster, better puck moving team from the D out.
Will they score 300+? Doubtful, but they'll still be very good.
The runners up in my opinion.....Calgary, Montreal, Nashville and Boston(Thomas and Toivonen weren't flukes).
I agree it is hard to choose but I went with Anaheim. Not only will the addition of Pronger help them out but they do still have the majority of their team from last season. My second choice would be Ottawa.
The Ducks definetly will be one great team.
The only question mark is their goaltending for this upcoming season.
Giguere has yet to consistently put up numbers like he did during that magical playoff run he singlehandledly led the Ducks into.
Should he be "just average" for another season, can Bryzgalov step up and be the man?
Should the goaltending be a non issue, there is no doubt in my mind that this team will be tops in the west.
Montreal is another team I feel that this upcoming season, that they will surprise many with how good they will be.
Anaheim is looking disgusting but I'm voting for my team; The Philadelphia Flyers. They're unproven young talent emerged as a powerful force last season and with that experience they're going to be extremely successful. At the beginning of last season the Flyers were considered by many to be the strongest team on paper. This year they're the darkhorse that's going to surprise everyone.
i dont think canes are gunna have another monster season theyre gunna be like the lightning and die down slowly. My Ottawa but i dont think goaltending gunna be good this year in sens land gerber cmon the guys an artrus Irbe. Oh well but imean look at the scary defencein anahiem. If they can beat out calgary and almmost beat western conf final team edmonton imagine wut their gunna do this year. and i have one more thing to say i hate flyers and i dont think they are gunna do as goood this year big part of d is gone kim