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Aaron Rudnicki

***Official 2011-2012 NHL Season Discussion Thread***

6,693 posts in this topic

With the NBA season in jeopardy, time for some of you guys to get on board.

Psyched!

:thumbup:

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:blackdot:

As a Caps fan, I anticipate being utterly bored by the regular season and predictably disappointed by the playoffs.

Bring it on!

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:blackdot: As a Caps fan, I anticipate being utterly bored by the regular season and predictably disappointed by the playoffs.Bring it on!

The books REALLY like them, which is kind of surprising given their playoff woes. They're ahead of even the Penguins and Bruins, and behind only, and just barely behind for that matter, the Canucks for the highest odds of winning the Cup at +625 (Canucks are +600). Looks like the books really like the Vokoun addition, as do I. The guy has been one of the leagues best over the past 5-6 years.

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Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Erik Gustafsson, Brayden Schenn and Harry Zolnierczyk have been loaned to the Phantoms.

NHLFlyers Also, Holmgren confirms that Blair Betts, Oskars Bartulis & Matt Walker have been placed on waivers.

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Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Erik Gustafsson, Brayden Schenn and Harry Zolnierczyk have been loaned to the Phantoms.

I haven't been following this that closely but is this most likely just a temporary move to start the season or has he not looked ready during the preseason?

I guess it makes sense to take things slow with him but they have a lot riding on him after shipping out Richards.

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Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that Erik Gustafsson, Brayden Schenn and Harry Zolnierczyk have been loaned to the Phantoms.

I haven't been following this that closely but is this most likely just a temporary move to start the season or has he not looked ready during the preseason?

I guess it makes sense to take things slow with him but they have a lot riding on him after shipping out Richards.

Part of it is Schenn was hampered by a shoulder injury in camp. Part of it is for cap reasons according to Daren Dreger

Sources say Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn has been informed he will be temporarily assigned to the AHL and the motivation behind this move is 100% cap specific.

Schenn's contract, negotiated by the Los Angeles Kings will pay him $900,000 this year, plus $850,000 in entry level 'A' bonuses for a total of $1.75 million, however Schenn has substantial 'B' bonuses included in his deal that would be very cap unfriendly to the Flyers.

The 'B' bonuses in the first two years of his contract pay Schenn $1.265 million and $1.405 million if he plays 25 minutes in each of the 82 regular season games.

These are unlikely, if not impossible bonuses to achieve, although Philadelphia isn't willing to take the chance and face the possibility of having to absorb a cap hit of just over $3 million, so to cut the cap hit to a reasonable $1.75 million for this season, Schenn will be assigned to the Philadelphia Phantoms for at least one game, therefore nullifying the 'B' bonus clause this season.

In the third year of Schenn's contract, he doesn't have to play the 25 minutes in all regular season games to earn a handsome $1.5 million dollar bonus, but to qualify he would have to have an All-Star season, finish among the league's point leaders and win a major award.

The other part is that it gives them time to evaluate Couturier. He's supposed to stay up with the parent club for at least the nine game tryout. Don't know if they'll swap roster spots after that. Only thing is that if Couturier is sent to his junior team, he's there for the season. Couturier is 18, Schenn is 20, so you're looking at two different sets of rules.

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has any forward ever played at least 25 minutes in all 82 games of a season? what a ridiculous thing to be worried about.

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has any forward ever played at least 25 minutes in all 82 games of a season? what a ridiculous thing to be worried about.

:goodposting::lmao: I can't imagine the author of that article has the correct information. And saying "Philadelphia isn't willing to take the chance" that Schenn plays 25 minutes in every game of an 82 game season is a laughably idiotic statement.

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has any forward ever played at least 25 minutes in all 82 games of a season? what a ridiculous thing to be worried about.

:goodposting::lmao: I can't imagine the author of that article has the correct information. And saying "Philadelphia isn't willing to take the chance" that Schenn plays 25 minutes in every game of an 82 game season is a laughably idiotic statement.
I like Dreger but that 25 minute shtick was ridiculous.Capgeek's explanation makes more sense.

#Flyers Brayden Schenn is only eligible for $1.405m in B bonuses if he spends every day on the Flyers' roster and appears in 82 games. That means Brayden Schenn's cap hit should drop from $3.11m to $1.705m after just one day in the minors.

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Brandon Saad has made the Blackhawks opening day roster. He signed his entry level deal today and likely will be heading back to the juniors before playing 9 games. Simply amazing that a 2nd round pick was kept over every other AHL prospect the Hawks have and will debut on the #1 line with Towes and Sharp. Really have liked the way this kid is playing, makes good decisions with and without the puck, can handle himself along the boards. I imagine that if Stalberg's injury takes longer to heal or Saad lights it up he will stick around longer than 9 games, since once he's sent back to the juniors it's difficult to bring him back up.

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Very excited for the season, however I expect a very "meh" first 2 months with Kessler out and Raymond possibly out all year. Go Vancouver!

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Any interest in doing preseason picks in here, just for giggles and ball-busting down the road? Pick a few categories like Cup champ, runner-up, division winners, maybe some award winners. See who comes the closest at the end.

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has any forward ever played at least 25 minutes in all 82 games of a season? what a ridiculous thing to be worried about.

:goodposting::lmao: I can't imagine the author of that article has the correct information. And saying "Philadelphia isn't willing to take the chance" that Schenn plays 25 minutes in every game of an 82 game season is a laughably idiotic statement.
I like Dreger but that 25 minute shtick was ridiculous.Capgeek's explanation makes more sense.

#Flyers Brayden Schenn is only eligible for $1.405m in B bonuses if he spends every day on the Flyers' roster and appears in 82 games. That means Brayden Schenn's cap hit should drop from $3.11m to $1.705m after just one day in the minors.

Still unhappy with losing Schenn and Simmonds. Richards better not do what so many vets used to do when they came here.

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

:popcorn:

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

Agreed

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Rangers waived Sean Avery. That's interesting.

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

Agreed
:no:

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

Agreed
:no:
go on...

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

Agreed
:no:
go on...
Their top line has been dominant in the preseason so far I suppose, so maybe if that carries over they'll have a shot; but I don't see it. The rest of the forwards corps looks solid but unspectacular, if Pierre-Marc Bouchard gets injured again they could struggle with secondary scoring. And it doesn't look like they got any young prospects that could surprise this year (assuming Granlund is going back to Finland). Then there's the defense, which looks pretty terrible on paper; like a bunch of castoff 3rd pairing kind of guys. Goalie position should be solid with Backstrom/Harding. So simply put, I don't think they're one of the best 8 teams in the conference.

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

Agreed
:no:
go on...
Their top line has been dominant in the preseason so far I suppose, so maybe if that carries over they'll have a shot; but I don't see it. The rest of the forwards corps looks solid but unspectacular, if Pierre-Marc Bouchard gets injured again they could struggle with secondary scoring. And it doesn't look like they got any young prospects that could surprise this year (assuming Granlund is going back to Finland). Then there's the defense, which looks pretty terrible on paper; like a bunch of castoff 3rd pairing kind of guys. Goalie position should be solid with Backstrom/Harding. So simply put, I don't think they're one of the best 8 teams in the conference.
Flat out, this is the best top 6 this franchise has ever had and I’d argue that the top 9 can compete with every team in the league. They will finally have the scoring they’ve been looking for with 3 legit 30 goalscorers (4 if you count Koivu since I think he will hit that mark eventually, but not this year). Koivu will show what kind of offensive capability he has this year (I will be shocked if he doesn’t eclipse his career high of 71 pts and 49 assists) now that he finally has two competent goal scoring wingers on his line (no offence to Brunette, he was just really slowing down) and they are already showing lots of chemistry. Heatley has gotten a bad rap the past couple years as he’s battled through some injuries and he will thrive with an excellent two way playmaker like Koivu in the middle. I’m not even a big Seto fan at all, I don’t think he can create and is overrated, but he can finish and he will get plenty of opportunity to do that this year. The second line should also be solid and provide good support scoring. Latendresse was babysat all summer and in a contract year so he is back in shape and I expect production like what he showed a glimpse of his first year in Minnesota. Bouchard is another excellent playmaker and will really help create on this line and should be back to full form after the long layoff. Cullen brings stready 2 way play giving some nice balance like with the top line. With a healthy Zidlicky and the added talent up front, the PP will very likely improve on the 18% from last year. The bottom 6 is a solid group of grinders and I'll take Brodziak, Clutter, and Powe any day as one of the better two way lines that can match up against top lines. Gillies is finally ready to make the jump and be a solid defensive forward. I do agree that they are still very thin and injuries, while they can derail any team, pose a significant threat to the Wild since alot of their best prospects are not ready or not available yet. And no, Granlund will not be coming over this year, that decision was made a while ago.On D, I’m not sure how you can say the defense is “pretty terrible” and I’ve seen this criticism alot. They were middle of the road in GAA (16th) and middle of the road in PK (14th) and they return everyone but Burns. Does losing Burns hurt? Yes, but not nearly as much defensively as people want to think. He has always been wildly inconsistent on defense and has never really been positionally sound since he takes alot of chances. You miss Burns' offense, but Zidlicky missed alot of time last year and came to camp in great shape and along with the emergence of Spurgeon, should be enough to make up for that loss. Zanon is an underrated shot blocking min. eater and Schultz is a steady borderline 1st pairing guy. Lundin is added depth and Scandella showed he is capable of being a top 4 guy last season. Not alot of size/grit other than Stoner, but overall this blue line is no worse than average and returns all but one starter from last season when they statistically weren't a bad defense but did give up a lot (ton) of shots. May not be a stable of Norris candidates, but a group of “castoff third pairings” is a gross misrepresentation. With Harding back (Hackett also decent depth) they don't skip a beat losing the surprisingly good play from Theodore. I don’t think they improve much at all defensively, but I also think they will be steady enough to win.The other nice thing is that even though EDM and COL should improve a bit, they still play in the worst division in the league which is aided by Vancouver taking a bit of a step back. The schedule is also a bit more friendly compared to last year (relatively speaking since they are a high travel team to begin with) with 8 less back to backs and alot less total miles thanks to more convenient road trips.The big wild card here is Yeo. Not sure what to make of him. But every indication I have is he's a no-nonsense guy with some swagger who is going to get effort. System-wise it remains to be seen but I think he will try to fit to what he has on the roster. All I know is the PP stuff from his PIT days is overblown. Houston hit at 20% last year and the Pens have had their PP issues since he left.I expect this team to fall in the mid to high 90’s in points and be fighting for a playoff spot in April.

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You heard it here first, folks. Wild surprise a bit and secure a playoff spot this year.

Agreed
:no:
go on...
Their top line has been dominant in the preseason so far I suppose, so maybe if that carries over they'll have a shot; but I don't see it. The rest of the forwards corps looks solid but unspectacular, if Pierre-Marc Bouchard gets injured again they could struggle with secondary scoring. And it doesn't look like they got any young prospects that could surprise this year (assuming Granlund is going back to Finland). Then there's the defense, which looks pretty terrible on paper; like a bunch of castoff 3rd pairing kind of guys. Goalie position should be solid with Backstrom/Harding. So simply put, I don't think they're one of the best 8 teams in the conference.
Flat out, this is the best top 6 this franchise has ever had and I’d argue that the top 9 can compete with every team in the league. They will finally have the scoring they’ve been looking for with 3 legit 30 goalscorers (4 if you count Koivu since I think he will hit that mark eventually, but not this year). Koivu will show what kind of offensive capability he has this year (I will be shocked if he doesn’t eclipse his career high of 71 pts and 49 assists) now that he finally has two competent goal scoring wingers on his line (no offence to Brunette, he was just really slowing down) and they are already showing lots of chemistry. Heatley has gotten a bad rap the past couple years as he’s battled through some injuries and he will thrive with an excellent two way playmaker like Koivu in the middle. I’m not even a big Seto fan at all, I don’t think he can create and is overrated, but he can finish and he will get plenty of opportunity to do that this year. The second line should also be solid and provide good support scoring. Latendresse was babysat all summer and in a contract year so he is back in shape and I expect production like what he showed a glimpse of his first year in Minnesota. Bouchard is another excellent playmaker and will really help create on this line and should be back to full form after the long layoff. Cullen brings stready 2 way play giving some nice balance like with the top line. With a healthy Zidlicky and the added talent up front, the PP will very likely improve on the 18% from last year. The bottom 6 is a solid group of grinders and I'll take Brodziak, Clutter, and Powe any day as one of the better two way lines that can match up against top lines. Gillies is finally ready to make the jump and be a solid defensive forward. I do agree that they are still very thin and injuries, while they can derail any team, pose a significant threat to the Wild since alot of their best prospects are not ready or not available yet. And no, Granlund will not be coming over this year, that decision was made a while ago.On D, I’m not sure how you can say the defense is “pretty terrible” and I’ve seen this criticism alot. They were middle of the road in GAA (16th) and middle of the road in PK (14th) and they return everyone but Burns. Does losing Burns hurt? Yes, but not nearly as much defensively as people want to think. He has always been wildly inconsistent on defense and has never really been positionally sound since he takes alot of chances. You miss Burns' offense, but Zidlicky missed alot of time last year and came to camp in great shape and along with the emergence of Spurgeon, should be enough to make up for that loss. Zanon is an underrated shot blocking min. eater and Schultz is a steady borderline 1st pairing guy. Lundin is added depth and Scandella showed he is capable of being a top 4 guy last season. Not alot of size/grit other than Stoner, but overall this blue line is no worse than average and returns all but one starter from last season when they statistically weren't a bad defense but did give up a lot (ton) of shots. May not be a stable of Norris candidates, but a group of “castoff third pairings” is a gross misrepresentation. With Harding back (Hackett also decent depth) they don't skip a beat losing the surprisingly good play from Theodore. I don’t think they improve much at all defensively, but I also think they will be steady enough to win.The other nice thing is that even though EDM and COL should improve a bit, they still play in the worst division in the league which is aided by Vancouver taking a bit of a step back. The schedule is also a bit more friendly compared to last year (relatively speaking since they are a high travel team to begin with) with 8 less back to backs and alot less total miles thanks to more convenient road trips.The big wild card here is Yeo. Not sure what to make of him. But every indication I have is he's a no-nonsense guy with some swagger who is going to get effort. System-wise it remains to be seen but I think he will try to fit to what he has on the roster. All I know is the PP stuff from his PIT days is overblown. Houston hit at 20% last year and the Pens have had their PP issues since he left.I expect this team to fall in the mid to high 90’s in points and be fighting for a playoff spot in April.
:goodposting:

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great post, BB.

if Latendresse/Bouchard play up to their potential, those top 2 lines will be the strength of the team. also like the 3rd line and the defense isn't as bad as it looks.

I think the West is weaker this year than it's been in awhile. definitely a good opportunity for teams like the Wild, Blues, and Blue Jackets to make the playoffs.

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My picks:

Eastern Playoffs:

1. Washington

2. Buffalo

3. Pittsburgh

4. Boston

5. Tampa

6. Philadelphia

7. NY Rangers

8. Toronto

----

9. New Jersey

10. Carolina

11. NY Islanders

12. Montreal

13. Winnipeg

14. Florida

15. Ottawa

Western Playoffs:

1. San Jose

2. Vancouver

3. Chicago

4. Detroit

5. LA Kings

6. Anaheim

7. St.Louis

8. Columbus

------

9. Nashville

10. Minnesota

11. Colorado

12. Calgary

13. Dallas

14. Phoenix

15. Edmonton

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Saw this tweeted by Sean Leahy:

EA Sports NHL 12 sim has PIT def CHI in Cup. VAN win Pres Trophy. It had pegged the Hawks as '10 champs & predicted VAN/BOS final last yr.

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Think anyone is going to take a look at Avery?

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Think anyone is going to take a look at Avery?

doubtful with his contract and other issues. he cleared waivers and sounds like he might be headed to Europe.

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Brandon Saad has made the Blackhawks opening day roster. He signed his entry level deal today and likely will be heading back to the juniors before playing 9 games. Simply amazing that a 2nd round pick was kept over every other AHL prospect the Hawks have and will debut on the #1 line with Towes and Sharp. Really have liked the way this kid is playing, makes good decisions with and without the puck, can handle himself along the boards. I imagine that if Stalberg's injury takes longer to heal or Saad lights it up he will stick around longer than 9 games, since once he's sent back to the juniors it's difficult to bring him back up.

Was really hoping the Pens would grab the local kid in the draft this year. Looks like he's going to be a very good one. But after seeing the way Morrow played in the preseason, I'm more than happy with the Pens decision. Kid looks like he's got the potential to be a superstar.

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What's the word on Shea Weber's future in Nashville?

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not NHL related, but I just got the following email to say that Notre Dame is going to join Hockey East in 2013.

Notre Dame to Join Hockey East in 2013-14 Season

10/5/2011 | Men's Ice Hockey

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Hockey East Association and the University of Notre Dame announced today that Notre Dame has been accepted into the league as the 11th member school in the conference and will begin play starting with the 2013-14 season. The announcement came at a press conference on the ice at Notre Dame's new Compton Family Ice Arena.

“It is not an overstatement to say that this is one of the most significant days in the history of our conference,” said Hockey East commissioner Joe Bertagna. “The addition of new institutions is always exciting but Notre Dame brings a unique set of qualities and circumstances to the continued growth of our league. We are proud to welcome Notre Dame into the fold and we look forward to getting to the many details that come with this announcement.”

Hockey East began as a seven-member conference with Boston College, Boston University, Maine, UMass-Lowell, New Hampshire, Northeastern and Providence College making up the original members in the 1984-85 inaugural season. The conference has added teams on three occasions prior to today. Merrimack College was the eighth member beginning play in 1989-90, Massachusetts joined in 1994-95 and the University of Vermont became the 10th team in the 2005-06 season.

“We are excited to be joining Hockey East beginning in the 2013-14 season,” said North Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. “Many factors played a role in our decision, but three were of special importance to us. The first two were the critical issues of the student-athlete experience and Notre Dame's fit with the other schools in the conference. But of special importance in this instance was our goal of giving our hockey program an unprecedented level of national exposure through our expanded partnership with the NBC Sports Group. Athletics at Notre Dame has always served as a platform for promoting the University.”

Notre Dame is currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and has had two stints in the CCHA during its 44 years of Division I hockey. Notre Dame has won two CCHA regular-season and tournament titles (2007 and 2009). Hockey East will be the third Division I conference that the Irish will have belonged to; the Irish started in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) from 1971-81, then moved to the CCHA from 1981-83 and again from 1992-2013. Notre Dame also played as a Division I independent from 1968-71 and 1984-92.

The current shift in conferences began with the Big Ten's decision to form its own hockey league beginning in 2013-14. That started the realignment process in both the WCHA and the CCHA that has occurred this past summer and fall.

“We are honored and pleased to join Hockey East for the 2013-14 season,” said Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson. “It is an established league with a great tradition and outstanding programs that share Notre Dame's values. The exposure for our players and team in a major media and NHL market will be second to none. Hockey East's commitment to playing a smaller league schedule will allow us to enhance our home and non-conference schedule with traditional western and Big Ten rivals. This will allow us to bring a lot of great games to the Compton Family Ice Arena and create a more diverse, nationally televised schedule. We are grateful to Joe Bertagna and the Hockey East conference members for this tremendous opportunity.”

Hockey East teams have faced off against Notre Dame 69 times dating back to 1970. Most recently the Fighting Irish eliminated both Merrimack and New Hampshire from the 2011 NCAA Tournament in the Northeast Regional at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. to advance to its second appearance in the Frozen Four. This season, Notre Dame will face three Hockey East teams during the regular-season, all at the Compton Family Ice Arena. Boston College visits on November 18 for the “Dedication Game”, Northeastern will travel for a two-game series on December 2-3 and Boston University will play the Irish on New Year's Eve, December 31.

The Hockey East Association is a 10-team Division I college men's hockey conference founded in 1984 and an eight-team Division I women's league which began play in 2002-03. The men's league has won seven NCAA championships in the past 19 years. Since 1999, Hockey East has won five NCAA Championships and has placed 18 teams in the Frozen Four, along with 45 teams in the NCAA Tournament.

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Lets the darts fly!

Eastern Playoffs:

1. Pittsburgh

2. Washington

3. Boston

4. Buffalo

5. NY Rangers

6. Tampa

7. NY Islanders

8. New Jersey

----

9. Philadelphia

10. Winnipeg

11. Montreal

12. Toronto

13. Carolina

14. Florida

15. Ottawa

Western Playoffs:

1. Vancouver

2. San Jose

3. Chicago

4. Detroit

5. Nashville

6. Anaheim

7. St.Louis

8. LA Kings

------

9. Columbus

10. Dallas

11. Colorado

12. Minnesota

13. Calgary

14. Edmonton

15. Phoenix

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not NHL related, but I just got the following email to say that Notre Dame is going to join Hockey East in 2013.

That deal pretty much was sealed the other day when the new NCHC announced it wasn't planning to expand beyond its original eight teams.For the record, there is a writer here in Massachusetts that covers Merrimack that has been on top of this one since the summer. Dead on.Now the question is where will HE turn for a 12th team to balance things out. RPI has been rumored and seems logical, while Quinnipiac has done a nice job elevating its program in recent seasons.

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Two other teams I think will surprise are the Leafs and Isles. I think both will be in the hunt the final week of the year.

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Of course Boudreau changes lines any time they go two shifts without a goal, but, FWIW, here's my guess at opening night lines for Washington:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-BrouwerSemin-Laich-KnubleChimera-Johannson-WardHendricks-Halpern-BeagleForward scratches: King, PerreaultGreen-HamrlikCarlson-AlznerSchultz-WidemanDefense scratches: CollinsVokounNeuvirth

I've never been a huge fan of Laich at C, but I think that's what they'll go with. Not sure who I'd want carrying the puck up the ice on that 2nd line. Semin is going to try to do too much and Laich and Knuble will probably just dump it in. I guess that wouldn't be horrible, but not sure that plays into Semin's strengths.

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B's announce final roster for tomorrow night's puck drop against the Flyers:

Forwards: Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Jordan Caron, Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Daniel Paille, Rich Peverley, Benoit Pouliot, Tyler Seguin, Shawn Thornton

Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, Andrew Ference, Adam McQuaid, Dennis Seidenberg

Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas

Very few changes from the end of last season: Pouliot, Corvo in; Bartkowski and Caron up from Providence; Recchi, Ryder, Kaberle out (Kampfer on IR).

Was hoping Chris Clark would stick. Oh well. Won't have to buy that jersey. :kicksrock:

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Saw this tweeted by Sean Leahy:

EA Sports NHL 12 sim has PIT def CHI in Cup. VAN win Pres Trophy. It had pegged the Hawks as '10 champs & predicted VAN/BOS final last yr.

http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=377442

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I've never been a huge fan of Laich at C, but I think that's what they'll go with. Not sure who I'd want carrying the puck up the ice on that 2nd line. Semin is going to try to do too much and Laich and Knuble will probably just dump it in. I guess that wouldn't be horrible, but not sure that plays into Semin's strengths.

I thought I read that Johansson was going to get a chance to center one of the top two lines this year.

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