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.
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.