We’ve seen much, much more change in the Flyers roster than any other team in our division. Last year, we destroyed all of the other teams in the Atlantic, rolling up a 17-4-3 record. I have serious doubts about us having that kind of success in the upcoming season. I don’t know if or when the new group of players will really mesh and form a good team. So if we don’t dominate, who will?
New Jersey Devils : They’ve made zero significant roster changes. But in theory, they shouldn’t be as horrible as last year because they no longer have a complete idiot behind their bench. I didn’t follow them closely enough to point out what their coach did wrong, but after he was fird, the team completely turned around. They’re probably a lot closer to the Devils we saw in the second half of the season than the team from the first half. They’ll be healthier than they were last year. They have no center depth to fear, but some good wingers. Brodeur is old, and no longer one of the best in the game. They have bunch of good defensemen, none that stand out much. Still, I’m sure they’ll find a way to have a pretty solid regular season.
New York Islanders: Moving along…
New York Rangers: They got the biggest prize in the free agent pool when they signed Brad Richards. Regardless of whether they paid too much or signed him for too long, he’s really good right now. And he makes this team a whole lot better. Their biggest flaw over the past few seasons was their offense. They have an amazing goalie, good team defense, but just don’t score enough. Adding Richards should change that significantly. However, if they don’t resign Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, then they’ll have some depth issues to worry about. But if those two do come back, then the Rags are a very, very dangerous team.
Pittsburgh Penguins: They also didn’t make any major moves. They lost a few grinders, but no major pieces that can’t be replaced. This teams entire fortunes rest on the health of Crosby and Malkin. Without them, the Pens had a ridiculous charge to end the season and almost passed us for the division. They switched to a defense first system, and that’s why Dan Bylsma won coach of the year. This year, I expect one or both of their stars to come back. But who knows how good they’ll still be.
Inside track: Rangers look like the team to beat all of a sudden. They have the least question marks and solid depth where it needs to be. They weren’t too far off the pace last year, and with the influx of offense they should be a lot better. As for the Flyers, I have no idea where we stack up for now with the rest of the division.
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Topics: Atlantic Division, Brad Richards, Brandon Dubinsky, Calvin, Calvin And Hobbes, Dan Bylsma, Evgeni Malkin, Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Callahan, Sidney Crosby