And another hockey season is upon us, which means…..*drumroll*..prediction time! Just to explain the below picture, I make my division picks on my basement fridge every year. Last season, in addition to four of six division winners, I had two of the final four teams correct (Chicago, Philadelphia, with the Flyers making the finals). However, I’d rather not say who I had winning last year. Without further ado, here are the picks, with playoff picks.
Starting with the Atlantic Division, the Flyers would be the team to beat coming off a Stanley Cup run, but questions in goal could derail division title hopes. Pittsburgh will edge the Flyers, but lack of winger scoring could hurt them in the long run. Both teams will keep a distance between them and New Jersey. Jersey will hope for one more run from Marty Brodeur, but it won’t be this year. The signing of Ilya Kovalchuk drained payroll, and the Devils will have to play with a short roster, or will have to waive some veterans. The Islanders will be improved, but without Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo for a large chunk of time, playoffs won’t be on the radar this year, but they’ll give the rival Rangers a tough time, who’ll miss the playoffs a second straight year, and fans will still demand Glen Sather be fired. At least Wade Redden won’t be the scapegoat this season for the Blueshirts.