09 November 2007
Still there's some intriguing teams out east, that I plan on paying attention too as much as possible for whatever reason:
NY Rangers: Normally I don't buy into the whole "New York teams need to be good for the league to do well" mentality, and normally I hate NY-based teams because that's a pretty self-centered egotistic mentality, but for at least this season, it's good if the Rangers are good. They make a good story, last season they were a young up and coming team who were barely vanquished after a valiant effort. This season they brought in more fire-power. It's a good story, and the press will write about them more if they are good.
The NHL has a boatload of young stars that need recognition other than Crosby and Ovechkin, and Lundqvist is set to be the next great goaltender. He's been steller in net this season and was last season against Buffalo in the playoffs. If people tune in to see the Rangers, and get familiar with King Henrik, it's a great thing for the league. They also have one of the Staal brothers.
Philly Flyers The Flyers are a pretty good story themselves. Last season they fell apart despite having the talent on their roster. After a good offseason they look to be back to their normal place of making the playoffs.
Also the city of Philadelphia has gotten so much press about their current title drought, and if the Flyers challenge, and actually break it, it WILL get the press the NHL deserves.
Carolina Hurricanes: Can you believe they are really only a year removed from being Stanley Cup Champs? after a dismal 2006-07 season it appears as if they are back, and back in a big way. Is Cam Ward the real deal? Can they win over fans in Carolina with another deep playoff run?
Washington Capitals: They revamped everything about their organization, brought in a lot of free agents and their owner said the rebuilding was done. I thought they were still a year away but their owner put the pressure on them. So far they've been pretty bad but they have the talent to turn it around.
I'm sure there's other Eastern Conference teams worth following, but these are the teams that have caught my eye this season, and who I will be catching at least the occasional period of when I can get home in time.
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