Russo's Eastern Conference predictions

  • Updated: September 30, 2013 - 9:35 PM
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Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will be favored by many to win the Eastern Conference.

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MICHAEL RUSSO’S EASTERN CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS

1. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

2013: 36-12-0, 1st in East (72 points)

• Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury broke down yet again in the postseason, but this is the regular season and Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal will light it up.

2. BOSTON BRUINS

2013: 28-14-5, 4th in East (62 points)

• Tremendous on the back end, starting with goalie Tuukka Rask, and now the B’s add Loui Eriksson to a deep group of forwards.

3. DETROIT RED WINGS

2013: 24-16-8, 7th in West (56 points)

• Most felt the Red Wings would collapse last season without Nicklas Lidstrom. Didn’t happen, and now they move to East, where they should thrive.

4. OTTAWA SENATORS

2013: 25-17-6, 7th in East (56 points)

• Forward Jason Spezza and defenseman Erik Karlsson are healthy, and the addition of goal scorer Bobby Ryan should more than make up for the loss of Daniel Alfredsson.

5. NEW YORK RANGERS

2013: 26-18-4, 6th in East (56 points)

• John Tortorella wore out his welcome, and now this tight group presumably will breathe easier behind goalie Henrik Lundqvist and rising star Derek Stepan.

6. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

2013: 26-17-5, 5th in East (57 points)

• Made the playoffs last year for the first time in eternity and followed it up by hopefully settling their erratic goalie situation in acquiring Jonathan Bernier.

7. NEW YORK ISLANDERS

2013: 24-17-7, 8th in East (55 points)

• New captain John Tavares put up an MVP-type season last year, and look for him again to lead this up-and-coming team.

8. WASHINGTON CAPITALS

2013: 27-18-3, 3rd in East (57 points)

• Alex Ovechkin got off to a slow start last season before pouring it on en route to his third Hart Trophy. No slow start this season.

9. MONTREAL CANADIENS

2013: 29-14-5, 2nd in East (63 points)

• Was a surprise out of the East last season, but last season’s Carey Price was nothing like the Carey Price of three years ago.

10. PHILADELPHIA Flyers

2013: 23-22-3, 10th in East (49 points)

• Ilya Bryzgalov and his idiosyncrasies were purged in the offseason, but the jury’s out as to whether Ray Emery and Steve Mason will solve Philly’s eternal goaltending issues.

11. COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

2013: 24-17-7, 9th in West (55 points)

• Hard-working team that should score more with a full season of Marian Gaborik, but goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will be asked again to carry the load.

12. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

2013: 18-26-4, 14th in East (40 points)

• The Lightning has scorers Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, but also has a terrible blue line.

13. FLORIDA PANTHERS

2013: 15-27-6, 15th in East (36 points)

• They’ve dug goalie Tim Thomas out of his sabbatical and are skilled with Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad and Shawn Matthias, but they’re still too young.

 

14. NEW JERSEY DEVILS

2013: 19-19-10, 11th in East (48 points)

• Ilya Kovalchuk up and retired, and this was a glacially slow team to begin with. This could be a tough go for the Devils.

15. CAROLINA HURRICANES

2013: 19-25-4, 13th in East (42 points)

• They better hope goalie Cam Ward is completely healthy after a knee injury, because defensively, this team has big issues.

16. BUFFALO SABRES

2013: 21-21-6, 12th in East (48 points)

• The pending free agency and trade discussion of Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller will be a distraction all season.

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Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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