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.
On to the teams…
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.
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.
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.
November 17 @ Tampa
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.
The Hurricanes lost Erik Cole over the summer, but added Tomas Kaberle, Alex Poni, and Tim Brent. Look out.