NHL Atlantic Division Preview

The Pittsburgh Penguins, with the young vet Sydney Crosby (120 PTS), super youngster Evgeni Malkin (85 PTS) and 19-year old Jordan Staal (42 PTS) all on offense, look frighteningly fast and agile. They will score. The Guins also have a nice mix of vets, some fine “D” and a young, talented goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury (.906 SV%).

Both the Flyers and the Rangers will be contenders, with Philadelphia adding veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen (55 PTS) and winger Scott Hartnell (39 PTS), both from Nashville, and New York balancing vets such as former Sabre Chris Drury (69 PTS), returning star winger Jaromir Jagr (96 PTS) with potential big time players like “D-man” Marc Staal. For the Flyers, goalie Martin Biron (.903 SV%) will block the goal, while Henrik Lundqvist (.917) will start in net for NY.

The Devils still have the ageless Martin Brodeur (.922 SV%) minding the net. Last season, NJ entered the playoffs as the lowest scoring regular season club to make the playoffs. It would be great for Brodeur to get more scoring from his teammates, but it doesn’t look like they will.

The team on the Island seems destine to finish last this season. They do have a golden goalie in Rick DiPietro (.919 SV%), who was signed to a 15-year, $67.5 contract extension at the end of last season. The Islanders have not lived up to their potential of late but things may be different under coach Ted Nolan, one of the best in the business. This team is a work-in-progress.

Projected Finish in 2007- 2008

1) Pittsburgh Penguins
2) Philadelphia Flyers
3) New York Rangers
4) New Jersey Devils
5) New York Islanders

Check out the other Eastern Conference divisions previews including the Northeast and Southeast.


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