Out on a Limb: Greg's Predictions Revisited

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IJuly 17, 2008

Well, after being eaten alive just a few short weeks ago, in my article titled Out on a Limb: Predicting Next Season's Final NHL Standings, I've decided to change some of my picks around and finalize them in this article.

Not many of my picks have changed, but some have so I have to re-do the entire final NHL standings for next season. Before reading this, I suggest reading the original article, which by clicking on the title above will re-direct you to it. But for those of you lazy enough, the standings are listed below. But to read the analysis of every team, you must read the original.

Original Predictions

Eastern Conference

1. Montreal Canadiens (102)*

2. New York Rangers (100)*

3. Washington Capitals (97)*

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (98)

5. Boston Bruins (96)

6. Carolina Hurricanes (95)

7. Philadelphia Flyers (95)

8. Toronto Maple Leafs (93)

9. Tampa Bay Lightning (92)

10. Ottawa Senators (91)

11. New Jersey Devils (84)

12. Buffalo Sabres (84)

13. Florida Panthers (82)

14. Atlanta Thrashers (75)

15. New York Islanders (73)

Western Conference

1. Detroit Red Wings (114)*

2. Minnesota Wild (106)*

3. Dallas Stars (105)*

4. San Jose Sharks (105)

5. Chicago Blackhawks (96)

6. Colorado Avalanche (96)

7. Phoenix Coyotes (95)

8. Anaheim Ducks (92)

9. Calgary Flames (91)

10. St. Louis Blues (87)

11. Nashville Predators (87)

12. Columbus Blue Jackets (86)

13. Vancouver Canucks (81)

14. Los Angeles Kings (79)

15. Edmonton Oilers (78)

Now I will lay out my new "Out on a Limb" picks for your viewing pleasure. Here you have it, the 2008/2009 Final NHL Standings (points indicated in parentheses):

Eastern Conference

1. Montreal Canadiens (106)*

2. New York Rangers (101)*

3. Washington Capitals (98)*

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (98)

5. Boston Bruins (95)

6. Carolina Hurricanes (94)

7. Philadelphia Flyers (92)

8. New Jersey Devils (92)

9. Ottawa Senators (91)

10. Tampa Bay Lightning (89)

11. Atlanta Thrashers (88)

12. Toronto Maple Leafs (84)

13. Buffalo Sabres (83)

14. Florida Panthers (82)

15. New York Islanders (76)

Western Conference

1. Detroit Red Wings (114)

2. Dallas Stars (109)

3. Minesotta Wild (105)

4. Chicago Blackhawks (99)

5. Phoenix Coyotes (98)

6. San Jose Sharks (96)

7. Anaheim Ducks (93)

8. Colorado Avalanche (92)

9. Calgary Flames (90)

10. Vancouver Canucks (88)

11. St. Louis Blues (88)

12. Columbus Blue Jackets (83)

13. Nashville Predators (83)

14. Edmonton Oilers (79)

15. Los Angeles Kings (75)

Eastern Conference Analysis:

Once again, the Montreal Canadiens will find themselves in first place in the Eastern Conference. With virtually the same team as last season, plus Alex Tanguay, the team will remain, the fast, explosive team they were. Only problem is the goaltending, which is why they will not make it past the second round.

The New York Rangers are now past the Jagr era and are headed in the right direction. Without having to cater to all his needs, they can now play a fast, agressive style of North-South hockey, something they've been waiting for. Redden also has to prove he was worth the enormous contract he was given and if he can, the team will go far. It's time for the Jagr Bleeding Hearts to shut up.

The Washington Capitals once again have the same, explosive team as last season. Look for Ovechkin to score 70 goals this season and for goaltender Jose Theodore to play well in front of a much more steadier defense.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will have to survive without Marian Hossa and I think they can manage. With adding Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko into the mix, the Penguins will once again be contenders for the Stanley Cup.

The New Jersey Devils had one of the better off seasons when they signed one of my favorite players, Brian Rolston. They impressed me so much that they went from not making the playoffs in the first article to sneaking in at the eigth spot in this one. They were the only team to do that.

The Tampba Bay Lightning improved a great deal and will be in the running for a playoff spot all season long, but with Barry Melrose as they're coach, I jsut can't take them seriously as a playoff contender.

Western Conference Analysis:

The Detroit Red Wings added the hottest forward on the market in Marian Hossa. Add him to Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk and it just scares the hell out of me. They will repeat as the Stanley Cup champion in 2009.

The Dallas Stars were good last season and they got even better with the addition of Sean Avery. Plus, a full season with Brad Richards will do wonders for an already amazing offense. Mike Ribeiro will score 40 goals this season.

Now to the first of two teams new to the playoff scene. The Chicago Blackhawks get my vote as the most talented team in hockey. With Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews leading the way, their offense is scary. And if that trade ever comes through and they land Kopitar, this team could go deep in the playoffs.

The next team is the Rodney Dangerfield of hockey, the Phoenix Coyotes. With their young talent getting more developed and experienced, and the addition of Olli Jokinen, the team will storm into the playoffs. Add to that a full season of goal tending from Ilya Brygalov, and this is the best position the franchise has ever been in.

Well I hoped you enjoyed reading. Please feel free to comment with all your love and hate...