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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Morning Drive: The League's Metro Preview

In the latest edition of The League, Brian and TJ break down the Metropolitan division. TJ lets slip what he really thinks. Brian is forced to do the unthinkable. And, of course, they bring you their predictions for the Division finish after the break.  Meanwhile give a listen!

Brian's Predictions:
1)  New York Rangers - The Rangers are great at both ends of the ice. A change in coaches should do them a lot of good as Tortorella's antics had grown stale in the Big Apple.
2)  Philadelphia Flyers -*Sigh* Just listen to the podcast.
3)  Pittsburgh Penguins - This team will miss Matt Cooke and everything that he brought. Injuries to Vokoun and Letang to start the season don't help.
4)  New York Islanders - The Islanders are young and the addition of Cal Clutterbuck, when he gets back from an injury, is going to add an element they were missing last season - intimidation.
5)  Washington Capitals - The addition of Mikhail Grabovski is interesting, but Mike Ribeiro will be missed in more ways than one on this team, most notably on the power play.
6)  New Jersey - Martin Brodeur is nearing retirement and the Devils have landed the most capable backup goaltender in the league. With all of their offensive shortcomings, the defense will once again bail them out.
7)  Columbus Blue Jackets - The Jackets are a team that seems to underachieve by force of habit. Changing conferences, let alone into this division, will be a learning experience.
8)  Carolina Hurricanes - Cam Ward can only do so much. The rest of his team seems to lack identity.

TJ's Predictions: 

1)  Pittsburgh - Obviously. 
2)  NY Rangers - All the talent on paper will come to life with new coach Alain Vigneault.  With Lundquvist in net and deep blue liners, the blue shirts look prime to give the Penguins a run for their money in the Metro. 
3)  Washington - With proper time to adjust to Adam Oates' system, this team will improve after last year.  More puck control and taking the chances given to them, will stabilize the Caps this year.  Will Ovechkin buy in?  (I think not) 
4)  Columbus - Returning Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky and a having full-season from Gaborik will strike fear in the Metro.  Maybe not this year, but next year will bring plenty of buzz about the Blue Jackets. 
5)  NY Islanders - If only they had a back-up for Nabokov.  I love Tavares, but this team is not ready to be a contender in the stacked Eastern Conference. 
6)  Philadelphia - Emery and Mason take the Flyers to the playoffs (this is an impossible headline).   
7)  New Jersey - Schneider is the man in nets now and hopefully the Devils realize this. Very shallow in NHL level talent will keep the Devils from being a true playoff contender. 
8)  Carolina - In another division, the Canes would have a better chance at a decent year.  However, the Metro is stacked and the Hurricanes lack the depth to prevent being blown away.

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