SEASON PREVIEW: The Southeast Division

All week long we've been taking a look at the different divisions in the NHL.  We're finally into the Eastern Conference.

Today we look at what will be the last season of the Southeast Division as we know it. Winnipeg will surely move out West, and it remains to be seen what will happen to the Caps, Panthers, Canes, and Bolts. Almost kind of a shame because the division was actually getting to be competitive for a change.

Last season:

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On to the teams…

 

 

 
 
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For the first time since God knows when, the Capitals start a season with a respectable name between the pipes: Tomas Vokoun.  But he'll probably get injured or something, then Caps fans can use it as an excuse.  Matt Bradley gave everyone some insight into the Capitals' locker room when he left the team over the summer.  Unless they at least get to the Conference Finals, Bruce Boudreau is gone.

 
First matchup with the Pens this year:
October 13 @ CONSOL
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Mike Green.  Somehow.
 
Favorite Caps moment last year:

 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Ovechkin.  Captain.
 
Best Caps blog:
 
Predicted finish:
End of April.
 
 
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We want to get pumped about the Jets.  But then we remember these are the Atlanta Thrashers.  They made zero moves during the offseason, if you don't include moving the entire franchise across the continent.  If history serves as a precedent, Winnipeg may be a difficult place to play and could buy the team some extra wins.

First matchup with the Pens this year:
October 17 @ Winnipeg
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Batman.
 
Least Favorite Jets moment:
When they didn't use the old Jets logo.
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Dustin Buff.
 
Best Jets blog:
TBD
 
Predicted finish:
New city and new identity may be worth some extra wins.  Never know.
 
 
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It's actually kind of hard to hate the Lightning, even when considering what they did last season.  Vinny and Marty showed up and made plays.  The Lightning weren't cheap-shotting anyone; they were playing hockey.  Steven Stamkos disappeared down the stretch last season.  He may score 83 goals this year.

First matchup with the Pens this year:

November 17 @ Tampa

 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Dominic Moore
 
Favorite Lightning moment last year:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-NQFUtK2XPNU/TSW9D_nv7zI/AAAAAAABh24/XMmHDFlhAjc/stamkosfall.gif

 
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
The Steven Stamkos.
 
Best Lightning blog:

Predicted finish:
Their roster didn't change that much. So…
 
 
 
 

The Panthers went out and signed some names basically to reach the salary-cap floor.  They'll still be a pain in the ass to play against.

First matchup with the Pens this year:
October 11 @ CONSOL
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
David Booth.
 
Favorite Panthers moment last year:
uhh
 
Rinkotology player to watch:
Stephen Weiss.  Default.
 
Best Senators blog:
 
Predicted finish:
Might not be pretty.
 
 
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The Hurricanes lost Erik Cole over the summer, but added Tomas Kaberle, Alex Poni, and Tim Brent.  Look out.

First matchup with the Pens this year:
November 12 @ Carolina
 
Player that will probably score against the Pens:
Alex Ponikarovsky.
 
Favorite Hurricanes moment last year:

 
Rinkotology player to watch:
E. Staal.
 
Best Canes blog:
 
Predicted finish:
Just a matter if everything falls into place for them like it did in '09.
 
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