Wednesday, October 8, 2008

East Predictions or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About the Experts and Love Our Underdog Status

I read the preseason predictions along with everyone else. If nothing else, I find them mildly entertaining, an exercise in futility. We all know where most folks feel the Isles will finish (scroll down). Am I worried what they think? Please.

I'm certain that most folks, even the "experts" don't know any more than I do, so I'm not worrying what they think. Here is my stab at a predicted order of finish for the East.

1. Montreal

2. Washington

3. Philly

4. Pittsburgh

5. Devils

6. Rangers

7. Ottawa

8. Boston

9. Buffalo

10. Tampa

11. Islanders

12. Carolina

13. Florida

14. Toronto

15. Atlanta

Like all Islander fans, I always have optimism on the eve of the season. Whether that's warranted or just blind faith can be debated. I know we will be better than most so called analysts believe. We return a similar team from last year and are mostly healthy going in. We remained far more competitive last season than anyone thought and had the team remained healthy, who knows? Would I be happier if we had Sillinger and Sutton to start the year. You bet. Can Gordon get the same effort out of this group that Nolan did? Let's see.

While I believe we can remain competitive, our success relies on DPs ability to return to form quickly and the team's ability to score consistently, especially on the power play. I also recognize the challenges that this team faces, and with that comes the realization that it will take a lot of factors for us to squeeze into the playoffs.

The Eastern Conference is such that I think my top 5 teams are virtual locks. From 6-12, it's wide open and anything can happen.

I'll be tuned to Center Ice Friday and Saturday rooting from afar. Let's Go Isles.


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