So I know the NHL season already started last weekend, but as far as I'm concerned, the NHL season starts tonight. The puck will finally drop in North America, and I can't say I've ever been this excited for a NHL season.
Never before have there been so many good teams. In the west, Detroit looks to defend, and are even better than last year. With that said, they are not the only team that is better.
San Jose is their biggest competition, bolstering their blueline with the additions of Boyle and Blake.
Calgary is better, with Cammy and Bertuzzi solid additions. Phaneuf seems to be getting better every season.
How about Dallas, who is tougher with Sean Avery, and the kids that impressed us so much last year are another year older.
Edmonton may be the most improved team in the league. Visnovsky and a full season of a healthy Souray will make this blueline dangerous. Up front, the addition of Eric Cole cannot be downplayed.
Chicago is another team that is sure to threaten. The additions of Campbell and Huet are huge for this club, while a full season out of Toews will be huge. The kids keep getting better, and that should translate into a playoff berth.
How about Anaheim? Full seasons from Niedermayer and Selanne cannot be overlooked, while guys like Perry, Kunitz and Getzlaf continue to mature over time. You just know Bobby Ryan is itching at his chance to prove himself.
Finally, I look to Phoenix. They have one of the most underrated goalies in the NHL, while the addition of Jokinen will turn out to be huge. The defense is questionable, but this team should still be very competitive.
How about the Eastern Conference. The Penguins were crowned champs of the East last year, but key losses on defense should bring them down a notch.
The 100th year of the Canadien is sure to be an interesting one, and adding Tanguay makes this a better team. Price is another year older, which means he should be better.
So what if the Rangers lost Jagr, they are still one of the best teams in the league. Lundqvist is a top five goalie, while the addition of Wade Redden should be key. Look for Gomez to have a huge year.
The Sens still believe they are the best team in the East, but they will have to prove that on the ice. They still have the best line in hockey, if some depth players can step up, and Gerber can be the goalie we all know he can be, the Sens could surprise.
How about those Flyers? Any team with Briere, Gagne, Carter, and Richards cannot be overlooked. This team will challenge for their division. I'm predicting a monster year from both Jeff Carter and Martin Biron.
Alexander Ovechkin continues to up his game, and there is no reason to doubt the Caps making the playoffs this year. Federov, Nylander, and Backstrom give the Caps a very deep centre position. And hey, lets not forget about Mike Green, this guy is going to open a lot of eyes this season.
The Bruins could be right there, with a healthy Bergeron ready to go. Marc Savard is one of the best play-makers in the game, while the pair of Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez has the possibility to be great. Wideman and Chara give the Bruins a great start to a defense that needs some work.
Finally, how about the Tampa Bay Lightning. They have the talent up front, but goaltending and defense is still a question. I think they return to the playoffs this year, and once there, who knows what will happen.
Four games tonight, all should be great
Toronto @ Detroit - Detroit should win this hands down, but a few Leafs have something to prove. Detroit wins, but Toronto keeps it close.
Boston @ Colorado - Colorado is too suspect in net, while the Bruins will show the world they are ready to compete in the East. Bruins win this one, by a couple.
Calgary @ Vancouver - The Canucks surprised all of us in the pre-season, but tonight they are brought back to earth. The Flames win, but it's a close one...2-1, maybe 3-1.
Anaheim @ San Jose - This is probably the game of the night. These two will battle for their division all season long, but San Jose will be at home, and Blake and Boyle will be primed to show off what they can do. San Jose takes this one, lets predict 4-2.
Gotta love Hockey!!!
Versus Has the Leafs and Wings game starting at 6:30, while they will go to the Bruins and Avs game at 10!
For our Canadian fans, CBC will habe the Leafs and Wings at 7, while they will have the Flames @ Canucks at 10:30
Lets Drop the Puck!!!