Pardon The Pulse

And folks, may I introduce, CJ!

Ever put a magnifying glass over a worm just to watch it squirm? Cause if you have, you have a pretty good idea what Paulie and Danny went through this week.

There’s a chill in the air, the leaves are turning colors, and that can only mean the sport of the great white north is quickly approaching. I know what you’re thinking, “Chill??? It was 90 bleeping degrees today!!!!” Well trust me, where this sport matters, its getting chilly, or will be soon. It’s really been a rather pleasant fall so far. But any way, sharpen the skates, jump over the boards, beware of the boogeyman and…

Hockey Style!

1.) Atlantic Division

Paulie: OK, a little preamble. I’m am but a simple, southern man. The cold, frozen, skating game frightens and confuses my simple southern mind. So, please, bear with my while I learn, along with you fair jury, about this sport called hockey.

So, the Atlantic. Apparently should just be known as the Tri-State. Two NY teams, two PA teams, and one team who if they played in the NFL would be a NY team. Things I know: I hate the Devils cause of their history with the Canes, the Rangers were good years ago, Crosby plays for the Penguins, and the Islanders are coached by the Gorton’s Fisherman. You don’t really care about any of this, do you? Just get on with the picks you say? Fine… here.

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

You don’t know how tempted I was to pick the Flyers to go from worst in the NHL to at least the top of the division. And I do know that in the modern day NHL, it’s damned possible. But… no.

Charles Joseph: I see you guys are listing the finishing order for each division. That’s a noble idea, but I think I’m going pass on that and just write a paragraph for each team. So with no rhyme or reason behind the order I do teams, here we go.

So it turns out this Crosby kid, that Canada has been bragging about since he was 14, is pretty good at this game. So what does Pittsburgh do? They take what could be arguably the best player in the games history (not yet, but he’s on his way), and surround him with a ton of talent. There’s a team a few hundred miles away that throws an orange ball at a steel circle attached to a piece of glass ten feet in the air that could use this strategy. But Pittsburgh is going to be very potent again. Malkin and Staal are a year older and wiser, M.A.F. showed signs of being the goaltender everyone expects him to be last year, they’ve got a couple good defense men, and they brought in Petr Sykora to play with Sidney. In a purely fantasy sports world, you’d line up Crosby, Malkin, and Sykora and see if Crosby can break The Great One’s single season scoring record. This will be a fun team to watch, and should be one of the best in the East.

Philadelphia…is not good. But they can’t possibly be as bad as they were last year. The signing of Daniel Briere gives them one of the most potent top lines in the league with Gagne and Knuble joining in. Throw in the defense some of them play, Hatcher, Rathje, and Gauthier (he is a beast in video games) and a couple semi competent goalies, Biron and re-hipped Niittymaki, and you have a team that could challege for a playoff spot if some of the young wings live up to potential. Whatever line Potulny centers is going to have to produce major offense this year, because as good as the top line will be, you need scoring depth and Potulny is a playmaker who can make this happen, put a Scott (Hartnell and Upshall) on either side of him and see what they can do.

New Jersey is just one of those teams that’s good year in year out. Most of it is due to that guy in net, but you’ve got to give the organization some credit for developing these guys. Parise and Zajac where each big surprises last year for New Jersey and with the departure of Gomez, they’ll have to do even more this year. I’ve always kind of had a soft spot for Parise, we went to the same college, we were freshman the same year, he left school for the pro’s shortly after I was expelled for failing to maintain an upstanding GPA, and I always thought it nice of him to stand up for me like that despite never meeting me. Beside the UND duo, Patrick Elias will have to a big year offensively to make up for some of the losses on Defense, but they have a guy name Vishnevski on their blue line, so how can it not be good. And Broduer is still amazing, so they’ll make the playoffs.

The Rangers are kind of a two line team. But when those two lines have names like Gomez, Jagr, Drury, Shanahan, and Avery, you’re doing alright. The Rangers will score and score a lot this year. The defensive is passable, with everyone being drawn to the 6-7 Marek Malik, but the real star of the D is Michal Rosival who should be in for a breakout year. They also have one of the Staal brothers back there, and he’s a Staal, so he’s got to be pretty good at that. I wonder if I can name my first born son Staal, make him good at hockey…maybe make his middle name In…so he’ll be good at politics. What? Too soon? And in goal for the Ranger is Henrik Lundqvist, who has said he wants to play every game. That’s not going to happen, but it’s nice to see that kind of drive. He probably wants to play every game so Al Montoya doesn’t get a shot to show what he can do, cause that kids going to be good.

I honestly have no idea how the Islanders were fighting for a playoff spot last year. And it will be even harder for them this year without 30+ goal scorer Jason Blake. Their offense this year is going to have to come from Comrie, Guerin, and Hunter in heaps and bunches if they want to have a shot at being anywhere near consistent. The defense is young, and young defenses usually make mistakes. And mistakes from defensemen lead to lots of goals against, which makes the fans remember how stupid it was to sign a goalie for 15 years. On the plus side of that deal, Dipietro played well enough last year where people almost forgot all about that deal. 14 years left. Brendan Witt is the most reliable D-man on the club, and he spends too much time in the box to be terribly trust worthy. Islanders are gonna get monsooned this year.

Danny: You do realize we were predicting how teams would finish right? Hence the whole season preview feel of this column. Oy. But at least you are filling in for what I don’t have time to write.

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

Flyers suck!

2.) Northeast Division

Danny: I know I should go more in depth, but I’m moving on the 29th of this month and trying to get out some well thought-out and intelligent information about hockey from me would take every second of time I have to pack. However, I am going to give me thoughts on who will win each division. Mind you, I’m even further south then Paulie…we gets no kinda ice down here.

5.) Boston Bruins
4.) Toronto Maple Leafs
3.) Montreal Canadiens
2.) Buffalo Sabres
1.) Ottawa Senators

Paulie: I remember back in the days of Great Ones and Super Marios, the Sens were the laughing stock of the league. I remember being an Ottawa “Fan” as a joke even though the only hockey I had ever seen were SportsCenter highlights. Then there’s Carolina’s arch nemesis, the Buffalo Garden Slugs. But really… the Leafs are due man. LEAFS MAN! LEAFS!

1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Ottawa Senators
3. LEAFS MAN!
4. Montreal Canadians
5. Boston Bruins

Charles Joseph: Here we go, get us some old fashion Hockey teams. Toronto, Boston, Montreal, those are hockey cities. Unfortunately for those cities, their teams kinda suck. Bunches.

Boston is the least sucky of the three, or atleast have the most potential to not suck so much this year. I wanna make a blue ball joke here, but can’t think of a good one, send us some in the forums or mail um to me. I’ll throw them in next weeks edition rather than raving about…whatever. Basketball I think. But yeah, Boston has a good young core with Phil Kessel, Patrice Bergeron, Brandon Bochenski, along with some veterans Savard, Murray, Chara. And they have a shiny new goaltender in Manny Fernandez, a lot of people are berating the Bruins for getting a 32 year old goalie with a history of breaking down and who’s never been a number 1 goalie for a full season, but hey, atleast he’s a rested 32 year old.

Montreal could be bad. Real bad. They lost their top defenseman from last year and replaced him with a man who made ESPN’s list of the 100 most hated players in sports, and who’s earned the nickname Breeze By in Montreal. The lone bright spot is some of the young talent the Canadiens could produce. Andrei Kostitsyn should be one of the lone offensive threats for this team, and goaltender Carey Price is the future brick wall for the team. The veteran leadership of Saku Koivu won’t let this team quit, so they’ll play hard all year, but it won’t translate into wins to often.

Buffalo lost its two top centers from last year and it will be a challenge for them all year to make up for that loss. Even with losing them, they still have the ability to be a potent offense. Vanek, Roy, Gaustad, Stafford, Pominville, and Afinogenov can all put the puck in the net regularly. Their defense will still be the weakest link on this team, but its not a bad defense. Spacek is a very good defensemen and will have to anchor this group and keep goalie Ryan Miller from facing to many shots. Miller is a very good goaltender, and he no longer has to worry about Biron stealing his job at the first sign of trouble. This should still be a playoff team.

I’ve spent this entire article building the confidence of our Canadian readers, they like me right now, they’re impressed with my knowledge of their sports. Well…I’m about to lose them all. I like Ottawa. Call me crazy, if I didn’t have the wild, Ottawa would be one of my teams. They have as good of a top 3 as anyone in the league. They have a good goalie, solid defense. If they can get a little more scoring depth, there’s no reason to think they can’t get back to the cup finals. Vermette and Eaves are the keys for this team. If they can line up and put pucks in the net with consistency that will give Ottawa a second group that needs to be paid attention to and they’ll be very difficult.

Toronto is a team that is getting old fast. Sundin is has been a fantastic player over his career, and has won me a few fantasy leagues, but his star is fading and unless Ponikarovsky steps up and takes over the scoring responsibilities this team is going to be in trouble. They’ve got a good defense with Kaberle, McCabe, and Kubina, that will be this teams strength. They’ll be in a lot of close games which should keep them fighting for a playoff spot, but I don’t think they have the offense to tally up enough points to make the playoffs. Toskala will disappoint.

3.) Southeast Division

Charles Joseph: Unarguably the weakest division last year. Atlanta won the division with the fewest points of any of the 6 division winners. That isn’t to say there aren’t good teams here. Atlanta has a lot of talent offensively with Ilya, Marian Hossa, and Slava Kozlov all dynamic scorers. Atlanta also has a fantastic young goalie in Kari Lehtonen and last year they scored enough to win the division. I think their defense should be a little better this year and I don’t see it being a big enough problem to keep them from repeating as champions as long as they stay healthy, Lehtonen especially.

Tampa can also score with the best of them. Featuring Martin St. Louis, Vinny Lecavalier, and Brad Richards along with a pretty good blue line. Their problem this year will be the same problem they had last year, goaltending. They don’t feature a true number 1 and the rotation hasn’t been working that well. If they don’t pick up a goalie sometime during the year its going to be very hard for them to score enough goals to reach the playoffs again.

Washington is an interesting team this year, their offense should be better than ever with Ovie, Semin, Nylander, and Backstrom. But they still lack top quality defensemen and Olaf Kolzig is no longer an elite goalie, and with this back line they need an elite goalie to have a chance at making any kind of run. They will be fun to watch this year, but won’t make the playoffs.

Carolina is a team I really like this year. They missed the playoffs last year, so you know they’ll be hungry to get back. They have great young talent, Eric Staal and Andrew Ladd, and the tremendously underrated Brind’Amour along with a solid blue line, if/when Kaberle comes back. If Cam Ward can find his brilliance from the playoffs a few years back, they’ll contend with Atlanta and should make the playoffs.

Florida is a difficult team to figure. They have a great center in Jokinen and a very good offensive minded defense corp. And without a real goaltender last year they were able to finish with 86 points, then they went out and added Thomas Vokoun. So logic would say they’d be better. But they never really did anything when they had Loungo here. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say if Vokoun stays healthy, they’ll make the playoffs.

Danny: They’re still the Whalers…always will be!

5.) Washington Capitals
4.) Hartford Whalers
3.) Florida Panthers
2.) Atlanta Thrashers
1.) Tampa Bay Lightning

Paulie: Down here, we play hockey on water skis and the goalies float on tubing rafts. Except the women, they wear roller blades.

1. Caroford Hurriwhalers
2. Atlanta Thrashers (WTF is a Thrasher?)
3. Florida Panthers
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
5. Washington Capitals

4.) Central Division

Paulie: REDWINGS! BLACKHAWKS! BLUES! Predators? Blue Jackets? What in the bloody blue hell is a Blue Jacket? Ok, anyway, this division belongs to Detroit until someone proves otherwise, which if the last couple seasons are any indication, it’ll be St… Nashville? Frickin NASHVILLE has been the second best team the last couple years? Jeez. C’mon Hawks and Blues! *sigh* Nashville. Heh.

1. Detroit Redwings
2. Nashville Predators
3. Columbus Blue Jackets
4. St Louis Blues
5. Chicago Blackhawks

St Louis and Chicago go at the bottom as punishment for not being better than a team from Nashville.

Charles Joseph: Oh Paulie, ye of little faith. Nashville has been the second best team in this division, and it’ll be that way for one more year. But both Chicago and St. Louis are on their way back.

Chicago could take the step this year if they stay healthy. They have great offensive talent with Havlat, Kane, Skille, Toews, and the tremendously under achieving Sergi Samsonov. They even have good young defensemen with Keith, Seabrook, Barker. And if they can limit mistakes the offense should be able outscore most opponents. The Buhlin wall has been a disappointment in Chicago, but he could be a big reason they could contend for a playoff spot this year, but more likely next year. They should look to deal Buhlly at the deadline for more young fringe talent, and let Crawford see what he can do the second half.

St. Louis may be a few years behind Chicago, but they have no shortage of good young players too. Lee Stempniak, Hannu Toivonen and Erik Johnson are great young players who are going to lead the Blues back to prominence. They also have some veteran players to lead these guys along for a year until they fully take over the team. Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk can handle most of the scoring load for awhile, but in the end it will all be up to the young guys. They will be hard to play against this year, and while this won’t be their year, they are well on their way.

Detroit is Detroit. You knock them off the top for a year, and poof, they’ve rebuilt and are back on top. They’ve got a solid core group with Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Holsmstrom. Combine them with the Maltby, Draper line that can shut down any line in the league. They also have a great defense led by the Nicklas Lidstrom Trophy, Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski. And if that wasn’t enough, they have one of the best goalies ever, Dominik Hasek, and if that’s not enough, there are already rumors of him being forced out for Jimmy Howard. So they’re set for a few years to come still. And the rest of the division has a hard race to catch them, let alone pass them.

Nashville has been playing second fiddle to Detroit the last few years, even though no one in Nashville has noticed. This year will be harder as they lost some key people from last year’s team. They still have some good pieces, Dumont, Radulov, and Erat. But the strength of this team should be scoring from the blue line. They might suffer a bit on the defensive end, but Suter, Weber and Zidlicky are fantastic scorers from the blue line, and they’ll need big years offensively, without giving up too much on defense, for Nashville to hold the number 2 spot or take the 1 spot. It will be interesting to see how the team reacts without goalie Thomas Vokoun and see if Chris Mason can indeed take the number 1 job and run with it.

Columbus has to get it right one of these years. They came into the league the same time as Minnesota, and Minnesota has had much more success than Columbus. Columbus has some good offensive talent, namely Rick Nash, who led the league in goals at age 19, but has never really regained that scoring touch. They’ve got some adequate defensemen too, Adam Foote was an elite D-man before coming in, Duvie Westcott is underrated, and Klesla is an emerging star. But they don’t have enough punch up front to be a serious contender for much at this point. They’re getting better, but it’s been a slow walk up a steep hill for them so far.

Danny: My God does he talk a lot or what? I swear to God he hasn’t said this much combined since we started this whole thing. But hey, if he wants to talk, I’ll let him talk. He’s doing it about a topic I am not clueless on, but close.

And I’m sorry, but the two top teams in this division are blatantly obvious because the other three aren’t even close to competing.

5.) Columbus Blue Jackets
4.) Chicago Blackhawks
3.) St. Louis Blues
2.) Nashville Predators
1.) Detroit Redwings

5.) Northwest Division

Charles Joseph: Finally, A division I know about and can talk in detail about…oh shut up.

This was a great race to the end of the season last year with Minnesota falling one point shy of Vancouver for the Division title and Colorado finishing one point behind Calgary for the final playoff spot. Only time will tell who will come out on top of this bruising division.

Vancouver moved away from a wide open offensive style last year to a closer to the chest defensive style led by goaltender Roberto Loungo. They allowed only the 5th most goals against last year, tied with New Jersey. Loungo again will be the focal point of the team and he’ll have to stand on his head once again to lead the ‘nucks back to a division title. The Sedin twins will continue to bear the load offensively and if they can find a wing to click with them the way Carter did a few years back, Loungo won’t have to be as good. And the other thing we know about this team is that Matt Cooke will continue to be a douche.

Minnesota finished second in the division last year, but was without the services of Superstar Marian Gaborik for much of the season. A healthy season from the man called Gabby and the wild should have no problem over taking the Canucks for the division title. Of course, I may be slightly biased. But Gabby pairs with fellow countryman Pavol Demitra to form a potent line regardless of who lines up on the other side of them. Brian Rolston continues to be stellar for Minnesota on the top line and our young players should start to make a huge impact on the team this year. Bouchard, Koivu, Pouliot, Harding behind Backstrom. There’s also that 6 foot 7, 270 pound, skating machine of pain, Derek Boogaard who is there to make sure everyone plays nice with the big guns.

Colorado is another intriguing team this year. They have a goalie rotation going into the year with Peter Budaj and Jose Theodore. Theodore has been a great goalie in the past, but Budaj will probably go into the season as the number 1 and the Avs will have to hope he can carry the load for them. Offensively the Avs have a good mix of veterans, Sakic and Hejduk and new addition Ryan Smyth, and youth, Stastny and Svatos and Wolski. They also have a solid blue line with the addition of Scott Hannan and a hopefully healthy Jordan Leopold. They have a good range of offense and Defense on the blue line. But their season will depend on the goalies. There will be nights Colorado will be able to simply outscore some teams, but it won’t happen with regularity, they need Budaj or Theodore to step up to make the playoffs.

Calgary is essentially a two man show. But when the two men are Jarome Iginla and Miikka Kiprusoff, you’re in good hands. Dion Phanuef on the blue line isn’t bad either. But for Calgary to take the big step and be a title contender this year they need someone else to step up offensively. Alex Tanguay was brought in last year to be that guy, but he struggled for the most part last year, he’ll need to have a big season if the Flames want to have a real shot at the Cup. The Kipper will keep them in almost every game, and Iginla is the type of fiery leader who won’t let his team quit, and that has worked for them for years, but they need that next offensive guy to make them a true threat.

Edmonton had a down year last year, and this year isn’t shaping up much better. They had a terrible time scoring last year and the big addition, Dustin Penner, isn’t that much of an upgrade from what they’ve had, he’s actually a step down from Ryan Smyth. The defense, which was a sieve for most of last year, should be better offensively this year with the additions of Sheldon Souray and Joni Pitkanen. Both are offensive minded to a big degree and leave something to be desired defensively which will mean Dewayne Roloson will have to be superman to get Edmonton to the playoffs. They’ve got some young talent, Horcoff, Hemsky, Cogliano, Torres, Thoresen, and if they all mature at once, they’ve got a chance to be a dynamic offense, but don’t count on them being anything near consistent.

Danny: A hard-hitting division that I know was damn close to the very end and I think has the capability of doing so again.

5.) Edmonton Oilers
4.) Calgary Flames
3.) Colorado Avalanche
2.) Minnesota Wild
1.) Vancouver Canucks

Paulie: Four Canadian teams and a bunch of hippies. Yes, I’ve given Minnesota to Canada and yes, Colorado is full of hippies. I say the hippies take the Canadians.

1. Colorado Avalanche
2. Vancouver Canucks
3. Calgary Flames
4. Minnesota Wild
5. Edmonton Oilers

6.) Pacific Division

Paulie: Another division, much like the Southeast that just SHOULDN’T BE. Hell, when was the last time any of the cities these teams were in even saw freezing weather much less real ice? Am I sounding enough like a hockey dude now? I hope so. So let’s see here. Paulie picks…

1. Dallas Stars
2. Anaheim Mighty Ducks (They’re still Mighty to ME! DAMMIT!)
3. San Jose Sharks
4. Phoenix Coyotes
5. Los Angeles Kings (They still play hockey in LA?)

Charles Joseph: Ya know what’s been fun for me about this? I have no problem coming up with stuff to say about each team. It just takes so damn long to write it all down. And I get tired. So you should be lucky you’re reading this when you are and not five days later.

The top of this Division was insanely tight last year, and this year should be no different except the bottom teams are better. LA being the better bottom team. They started out hot last year, and with the year of experience they should be even better. Kopitar, Brown, O’Sullivan, Frolov and Nagy give them one of the more potent offenses in the league. And the defense is pretty damned good. Rob Blake is still rolling along nicely, Tom Preissing is one of the better D-men nobody knows, Visnovsky is a good offensive force back there, Brad Stuart is a great all around d-man, and I haven’t even mention superstud Jack Johnson yet. If their goalies stop a few shots a game, they should be in every game and be a contender to make the playoffs and maybe make a deep run.

The fighting Mallards won the cup last year, and its hard to determine if they did good or bad this offseason. They might have lost a Neids and Temmu and they did lose Dustin Penner. They brought in Mathieu Schneider to fill the void on the blue line. Even with the losses though, they’re still going to be good. They still have Pronger roaming the Blue Line, and JS-Giggy roaming the crease. That’s pretty much enough to keep you in most games. Then Kunitz, Perry, and Ryan will have to carry the bulk of the offense and they should be able to. There is no reason they won’t contend for another division championship.

San Jose has always been just about, but not quite there. This could be the year they get there. They have a big, strong, fast, young team with loads of talent at all positions. Joe Thornton, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, and Patrick Marleau give San Jose enough offense to get by game to game. If Pavelski, Clowe, and Bernier can live up to potential, San Jose will have 3 potent lines and be an absolute nightmare to play against. Kyle McLaren is a head hunter roaming the blue line, Matt Carle can fill it up, and Christian Ehrhoff and twenty year old Marc-Edouard Vlasic are solid all around defense men. The only question is whether or not Evgeni Nabokov can carry the team as the number 1 goalie. If he can, they are a Cup favorite.

Phoenix is getting better. They’re almost to the point where their coach is no longer the best player on their team. Peter Mueller is a 19 year old who they are pinning their future on. He’ll be asked to lead this team for the next 15 years. He’s got a decent blue line behind him. They’ve been young and made mistakes in the last few years, but the rough stuff should be behind them and they could be one of the better defensive teams this year with Jovo-Cop, Keith Ballard who has a wicked one timer, Zbynek (take that Microsoft word) Michalek, and Nick Boynton. Now all they need is a goalie, and some offensive weapons. They too are on the way up.

Dallas, the last leg on the trip around the league. Great goalie, Turco, great leader, Modano, great veteran leadership, Lehtinen, and a great punching bag, Fedoruk. But they don’t seem to have enough scoring to compete on a nightly basis. They need Jussi Jokinen to take a big step this year and score upwards of 40 goals if they want to have a successful offense and be in the playoff hunt. Zubov and Boucher give them a good one two punch on defense which combined with Turco’s usual stellar play keeps them in most games, but they still need an offensive increase to be a contender this year.

Danny: My favorite division here and I have a bit of a bias as well and not only because I like the movies. And no I don’t have a man-crush on Joshua Jackson.

5.) Los Angeles Kings
4.) Phoenix Coyotes
3.) San Jose Sharks
2.) Dallas Stars
1.) Anaheim Mighty Ducks

7.) Vezina Trophy

Danny: Martin Brodeur won it last year and there’s always the chance he could take it again this year, but not so fast. My choice for the upcoming season is going to be Roberto Luongo from the Canucks. He barely lost it to Brodeur last year and I think that Vancouver will have a good enough season along with him to lock it up. 47 wins last year with 1998 saves? The guy is simply fantastic and he deserved it last year only to get upped by a goalie that did one better. Not this time.

I will say though that this could all change if the NHL does decide to go to the larger nets they are contemplating using. Luongo has already gone on record by saying that he will retire of the league does make the switch. I know it won’t happen this season, but it has been a topic of discussion a lot lately.

Paulie: I’m so glad I wasn’t first on these cause then I’d have had to look up what they were for. Why didn’t they simplify the damn award names when they did away with the division names? And they’re making the net bigger? That would be cool. Make em like soccer goal size. But give the goalies pads that are like 2 feet wide. Anyway… best goalie this year? I’m gonna have to go with Luongo cause he’s won me like 3 fantasy hockey titles.

Charles Joseph: Broduer has owned the award recently. Luongo had claim to it last year. Miikka had a down year last year and should be back in the running this year. But I’m following the youth movement through the sport. The two goalies to watch this year are Marc Andre Fluery and Kari Lehtonen. I say MAF wins the award because Pittsburgh should be better than Atlanta.

8.) Hart Trophy

Charles Joseph: The Kid won it last year and its hard to see anyone else taking it this year. But that’s what everyone’s saying so I have to come up with something new. I usually go off the board with these, as I did in our baseball episode picking Jeff Francouer to by the NL MVP, but hey, win some lose some. But I’m going back out onto my limb and pick………….Michael Nylander to take home the Hart this year. He had 57 assists last year playing with the likes of Brendan Shannahan and Jaromir Jagr, you want to tell me he can’t approach 70-80 playing with Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin for a full year? Not to mention the added space he’ll have on the ice with defenders paying attention to Ovie should let Nylander get over 30 goals putting his point production at around 100. 100 points on what could be a much improved team would look pretty good to voters.

Danny: And I will NOT come up with something new since I think that Crosby is going to take it again. Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins took it last year as the youngest ever to win it and it wasn’t even close. It won’t be again this year although the runners-up consisting of Joe Thornton of the Sharks and Eric Staal of the Whalers (WHALERS!) will make it interesting. “The kid” will win his second in a row en route a lot of these trophies over a very long career.

Paulie: This I’ll go out on the limb. Cause I don’t wanna be all trendy and pick the actual winner with Crosby. I’ll say, Joe Thornton. He of the scoring the most points over the last three seasons.

9.) Stanley Cup Finals Predictions

Paulie: Wow, this one is really hard, cause you never really get the two best teams in the finals. Well, maybe in the east, but the west is usually so damned close you can never really tell once playoff hockey starts. I’m gonna go with…

San Jose vs. Ottawa with Ottawa taking home the cup.

Charles Joseph: Gabby is going to stay healthy this year and lead Minnesota to the Cup finals where they will meet the Pittsburgh Whippersnappers. And in a tight 6 game series the cup makes a trip to…

Come on….like I’m picking against Minnesota.

Danny: Easy peezy Japaneezy.

Anaheim Mighty…yes, MIGHTY Ducks Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins. In a tough and grueling six game series, the Ducks take home their second straight cup.

PEE-YOMPS (pimps)

Like movies? Then head over to The DVD Lounge where there are a lot of good people watching a lot of crap so you don’t have to. And for a person who has over 1300 DVDs and watches every movie imaginable, Travis really finds some things that even I have never heard of.

Popcorn Junkies is a place you really need to go check out as well because there are great people like Caroline, Ping, Michaelangelo, Kubryk, and more bringing you news and movie reviews at all hours of the night and day.

We outta this mug and I can’t believe how damn long this column turned out to be and CJ just wouldn’t frickin shut up. Go here in the forums! You know why!

I’m not sure if we’ll have a column next week cuz I’ll be moving and may have to wait a few days for internet access and all that. But somehow or another we’ll give you a heads up. Still, whether it is next week or the week after…we’re going to have another one spot special coming your way.

B-BALL!!!!!!

Have a good weekend everyone and pray for me as I move and try to endure my parents for an entire weekend.

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