Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2010-11 Eastern Conference Preview

With the start of the NHL season just days away, it's time to take a look at each of the league's 30 teams. In the first of a two-part series, here's a look at the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay Lightning
The good: Are just one good break away from winning the division, if a four-team midair plane crash could really be described as a good break.
The bad: Every time they win the Stanley Cup, the entire league needs to take a year off to recover from the shock.
What to watch: Their hotshot new center who came out of nowhere, was signed to minimum salary deal, and looks suspiciously like Steve Yzerman with a fake moustache and glasses.

Montreal Canadiens
The good: Could contend for the Stanley Cup if Carey Price can handle the pressure of being a starting goalie in Montreal.
The bad: Could also contend if Patrick Roy returns to action after inventing a time machine, which seems equally likely at this point.
What to watch: If you must park you car on a Montreal street during the playoffs, at least have the sense of humour to fill the trunk with unpopped popcorn kernels first.

Pittsburgh Penguins
The good: Thanks to their participation in the Winter Classic and the accompanying HBO reality series, will finally get some media attention.
The bad: Have shown an impressive ability to win the big game, but realistically can't rely on playing Washington every night.
What to watch: Whether Sidney Crosby can find chemistry with his first line wingers, two cardboard cutouts of Sidney Crosby.

Washington Capitals
The good: Haven't choked away a soul-crushing loss in over three months.
The bad: In search of a challenge, Alexander Ovechkin is insisting on playing the entire season left-handed.
What to watch: Coach Bruce Boudreau, who always maintains an air of professionalism when arguing with referees despite their inability to resist repeatedly poking him in the tummy.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The good: Nazim Kadri's failure to develop into a blue chip prospect is really just a clever ruse to prevent him from getting traded to Boston.
The bad: Have struggled with unrealistic fan expectations, in the sense that fans have expected them to ice 12 forwards who know how to play hockey.
What to watch: The team should be well prepared for the rigors of an 82-game regular season, thanks to their 82-game preseason.

New York Islanders
The good: Have placed the hopes for the blueline on the shoulders of Mark Streit, which should work out fine as long as they remembered to make sure he doesn't have a weak labrum first.
The bad: John Tavares failed to live up to expectations last year, as fans who shook his hand reported that their leprosy barely improved at all.
What to watch: Owner Charles Wang recently spent $250,000 to upgrade the Coliseum's 38-year-old locker room, which for the first time this season will feature electricity, running water and walls.

Carolina Hurricanes
The good: The retirement of Rod Brind'Amour has made entire roster, on average, about 300% more attractive.
The bad: In an attempt to appeal to NASCAR fans, coaches have instructed the players to skate as fast as they can but only ever turn left.
What to watch: Paul Maurice's lips, as he seems to mutter "At least I'm not still with the Leafs" over and over again during blowout losses.

New Jersey Devils
The good: Apparently signed some Russian free agent who's pretty good; you'd think there would have been some media coverage about that.
The bad: Are pretty weak at backup goaltender, which could come up three or even four times this season.
What to watch: The look on Ilya Kovalchuk's face when he realizes he's going to spend the next 15 years of his life executing the neutral zone trap in New Jersey.

Buffalo Sabres
The good: Front office should be well-rested after recent four month vacation.
The bad: Word has got out around the league that Ryan Miller is surprisingly weak on 3-on-0s.
What to watch: Tyler Myers' neck, which at its current rate of growth will be awarded its own expansion team by 2012.

New York Rangers
The good: Have only four more years until the Derek Boogard contract comes off the books.
The bad: Marian Gaborik played in 76 games last season; regression to the mean tell us that this year he will play -16.
What to watch: Whether the NHL's new rule against blindside elbows to the head also applies to coaches who get frustrated with their own players.

Philadelphia Flyers
The good: Their players are far less likely to suffer catastrophic injuries at the hands of Chris Pronger than those from other teams, unless they do something stupid like attend practice.
The bad: Entire roster lives in fear that they're half a bad game away from losing their jobs to Michael Vick.
What to watch: Might eventually decide to try having one of those things… what do you call them… with the big pads and funny mask… you know what, forget it, it's probably not important.

Atlanta Thrashers
The good: Will no longer fail to meet fan expectations, as that would require both expectations and fans.
The bad: Must improve on disappointing all-time record in nationally televised games of 0-1.
What to watch: Your lunch, around Dustin Byfuglien.

Florida Panthers
The good: Could introduce a "take a slapshot at an orphan" promotion and still not be the most hated sports team in Miami.
The bad: Warm local weather makes good ice quality difficult to maintain in May and June, theoretically.
What to watch: If they're on: something, anything else.

Ottawa Senators
The good: Hey cool, Mike Fisher was totally in that latest Carrie Underwood video!
The bad: Although come to think of it, why was he wearing a Predators jersey?
What to watch: Pascal Leclaire and Brian Elliot will battle for the job of third-string goaltender, which will be important since the team has decided not to employ a first or second-string goaltender.

Boston Bruins
The good: Tuukka Rask can learn plenty from veteran Tim Thomas, assuming he aspires to someday be a ridiculously overpaid backup.
The bad: The long-term loss of perennial 90-point man Marc Savard has left the team with a deep hole at fourth-line center.
What to watch: Their amateur scouting department, as they spend every evening watching Maple Leaf highlights and high-fiving.




31 comments:

  1. Wow, a NASCAR/Carolina Hurricanes joke. Like that hasn't been done before...

    Good post otherwise, though.

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  2. Durno was placed on waivers today.

    Burkie: make it happen.

    DURNO! DURNO! DURNO!

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  3. I thought "oh, good... it's Tuesday. Make me laugh, DGB". And, of course, you did.

    Will Dustin Byfuglien be the new Wellwood (in terms of fat jokes)? If so, I'll have to learn to spell his name.

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  4. What to watch: Owner Charles Wang recently spent $250,000 to upgrade the Coliseum's 38-year-old locker room, which for the first time this season will feature electricity, running water and walls.

    Evidently you've never been at the mercy of a Long Island contractor. $250K gets you two out of those three.

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  5. Very funny stuff! I especially loved the Montreal jokes. By the way, I think the time machine is more likely to happen than a playoff berth for the 2010 NY Islanders! ;)

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  6. Boogaard contract will be all worth it opening home game against Colton Orr. Just wait..

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  7. LMAO...I had to google "Tyler Myers' neck".

    http://cdn.nhl.com/photos/2008draft/Myers,-Tyler.jpg

    Seriously...the guy looks like a brontosaurus.

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  8. The team should be well prepared for the rigors of an 82-game regular season, thanks to their 82-game preseason.


    Seriously! What's up with that? My friend was all excited on Saturday night and I had to remind her that we just saw 90% of the Sabres beat the Toronto Marlies who just played 5 games in a row.

    By the way, every one of these made me laugh out loud. Especially the Flyers.

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  9. Oh my god I think the entire Atlanta section is the best thing I've ever read.

    Scratch that, the entire article is the best thing I've ever read.

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  10. Soda out my nose on the Flyers goalie joke.

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  11. Solid from top to bottom. Can't wait for the Western Conference version.

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  12. This was a great post except you made fun of [place i am from/team i follow] so I have to now insinuate that you're 'losing it' and/or make snide jokes implying that your material is tired and unoriginal.

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  13. Michael Vick, haha.

    Bruce Boudreau does suspiciously look like the Pillsbury dough boy. Someone get him a chef's hat.

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  14. "If you must park you car on a Montreal street during the playoffs, at least have the sense of humour to fill the trunk with unpopped popcorn kernels first."

    That Joke is Priceless.

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  15. Great stuff as always DGB!

    Point of contention though... The Slug is dead. Thank god.

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  16. Terrific! What a lovely way to get ready for the NHL season!

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  17. Great spoof. Ironically, right on the mark!!!!

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  18. LOL at Berry Trotz, hahahaha

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  19. @Spodlecki03

    Heh. I remember watching Miller foil a 3-on-0 last season against...the Canes, I think? It was pretty awesome.

    Nice work, DGB, I'm still giggling. :P

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  20. Funny stuff, but it's too bad Hurricanes jokes always involve NASCAR, and that the Devils keep getting beaten up on for the trap... which every team uses in some variation... but hey, don't let that get in the way!

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  21. Best piece of satirical sports writing I've ever read. Any chance you could take Norman Chad on as an intern as I continue to waste my Monday morning commute reading his woeful attempt at this genre in the Wasington Post?

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  22. If you must park you car on a Montreal street during the playoffs, at least have the sense of humour to fill the trunk with unpopped popcorn kernels first.

    this is the funniest thing i have seen on the internet since... well... some other DGB post.

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  23. As a tamps fan i must say that u made me laugh. it is against my moral code, but what the heck. funny.

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  24. What's up, Nostradamus? Mike Fisher in a Predators jersey?

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  25. Anonymous - he's married to Carrie Underwood, considering that it was a foregone conclusion that Ottawa was going to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by October 6th there was always about a 98% chance that he was going to get traded to Nashville. I think that the surprising thing wasn't that DGB was right about Fisher getting traded to Nashville, it was the fact that the trade didn't actually come until the deadline.

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  26. God this is great

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