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2010/2011 Divisional Previews, Part Four – Southeast Division

09/24/10

With all three divisions of the Western Conference covered, it’s time to move eastward! Next up is the Southeast Division. By now, you’re all used to the format so lets get moving!

Washington Capitals

Key Additions: N/A
Key Subtractions: Shaone Morrisonn, Jose Theodore, Eric Belanger

Top Prospects: Michal Neuvirth

Observations & Storylines: Bruce Boudreau and George McPhee had the advantage of picking from a crop of super-talented AHL and junior players with which to fill the holes on the roster. John Carlson especially ought to be a special player. Will the Capitals run wild on the division in 10/11? Signs point to yes. But unless the team can learn to win in the playoffs, the organization’s reputation as Sharks East will continue to grow.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Key Additions: Dan Ellis, Randy Jones, Simon Gagne
Key Subtractions: Kurtis Foster, Antero Niittymaki, Zenon Konopka, Alex Tanguay,

Top Prospects: Dustin Tokarski, Carter Ashton

Observations & Storylines: In his first summer as a general manager, Steve Yzerman did an admirable job building the team in his own image. But, as always, the Bolts’ forwards look good on paper while the goaltending is a bit shaky. Dan Ellis and Mike Smith will have to play their best in order to backstop the team into the playoffs. And how about the forward depth now? A top six of Stamkos, St. Louis, Gagne, Lecavalier, Downie, and Malone is a damn balanced pair of lines. Moore is good for the third line, but will the bottom six be able to grind it out enough?

Carolina Hurricanes

Key Additions: N/A
Key Subtractions: Rod Brind’Amour

Top Prospects: Bobby Sanguinetti, Riley Nash, Jared Staal

Observations & Storylines: The Canes have enough depth and balance and talent to do well enough to compete, but not enough to challenge for a post-season berth. It’s going to take a shrewd move by Jim Rutherford to give the team a boost into the playoffs unless Cam Ward rediscovers his rookie form.

Atlanta Thrashers

Key Additions: Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, Ben Eager, Chris Mason
Key Subtractions: Maxim Afinogenov, Slava Kozlov, Johan Hedberg

Top Prospects: Angelo Esposito, Paul Postma, Patrice Cormier

Observations & Storylines: A new front office, a new coach, and a solid influx of Cup-winning former Blackhawks have remade the roster of the Atlanta Thrashers. Add in the departures of Afinogenov and Kozlov and it’s a very different team. They’re going to be a better team this season, but not good enough. Keep an eye on Dustin Byfuglien starting at defense, as he’s got the potential to be a high-scoring d-man.

Florida Panthers

Key Additions: Steve Bernier, Dennis Wideman
Key Subtractions: Keith Ballard, Nathan Horton

Top Prospects: Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Plante

Observations & Storylines: The Panthers won’t do well this season. They don’t really ever do well. A solid track record of drafting may be able to revitalize this franchise, as long as Vokoun continues to keep on playing clutch on a regular basis. Another bottom-of-the-division finish for the Cats is a sad reality for those few native hockey fans in southern Florida.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/24/10 4:48 PM

    I’ll bet picking this division winner was hard, lol. Fun stat, The Southeast division has never had more than two teams make the playoffs.

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  1. Recapping The 2010/2011 Season – Eastern Conference « Black & Blue & Gold

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