While NHL.com is doing their own 30 in 30. We decided to do our own 30 in 30, but a little more simpler and straight to the point.
Anaheim Duck – Is Jonas Hiller really over vertigo symptoms?
Just yesterday the NHL came out by saying Hiller is over vertigo symptoms and ready to start the 2011-2012 season. But since when does vertigo go away? Sure he may think he is over it for now, sitting at home, listening to his home town play the Alphorn. But when it comes time to get back on the ice and carry the Ducks all season long as he always does, don’t expect Hiller to stay vertigo free.
Boston Bruins – Will Tim Thomas have another outstanding season?
If this was some European goaltender and only cared about the money, the answer would be a big fat NO! But as for Thomas, the answer is still NO. He already proved his worth last season after coming off an injury and winning the cup. I mean after all without him, the Bruins were NOT winning the cup. He is getting older, and he does realize it’s almost time for Tuukka Rask to step in.
Buffalo Sabres – Will Villie Leino shoot more?
Coming from a Flyers fan, watching this guy I found myself screaming “SHOOT THE PUCKING PUCK” more often then not. Although there is nothing wrong with cycling and look for an open lane, but when there is missed opportunities causing turnovers over and over again, well it’s frustrating and Sabre fans will feel that soon.
Calgary Flames – Will they make the playoffs?
It’s the Flames, and the answer is still NO. Enough said.
Carolina Hurricanes – Did the Hurricanes add the missing peices to make a playoff run?
They added a solid defenseman and a solid backup to relieve All-Star Cam Ward. As well as a solid forward, Alexi Ponikarovsky, but Ponikarovsky is not a playoff type player. We all saw that when he was with the Penguins. Expect the Canes to make a late playoff run with Eric Stall carrying his team, but an early first round exit.
Chicago Blackhawks – Can Corey Crawford have another outstanding season?
He replaced Marty Turco, thankfully for Hawks fans. Having a GREAT rookie season 33-18-6 with a 2.30 goals-against average. And almost helped the Hawks beat the Choking Canucks in game 7 of the quarter finals. But without Brian Campbell in front, it may be difficult.
Colorado Avalanche – Will Semyon Varlamov stay injury free?
Highly talented in net, but injuries plagued this guy in the past. And if worse comes to worse they also have Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Actually, that’s not a good thing. Regardless the Av’s made some bold moves in the offseason and have a lot to prove. Whether last year was a bumb in the road, or a bumb that will turn into a crater. Oh and, Varlamov will get hurt again, and have fun counting his money.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Are the Jackets ready to make a playoff run?
Yes and No. Jeff Carter has a lot to prove to himself and to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. He needs to prove trading him was a BIG mistake, and playing along-side of Rick Nash he can do so. They also added James Wisniewski, who I believe is one of the best defensemen in the league. The only concerning matter to me, is the goaltending. They need Steve Mason to stand on his head and return to his 2009 form. And having a guy like Wisniewski in front of him, only gives him hope. With a tighly packed talented Western Conference it’s going to be difficult for the Jackets to make it in this season.
Dallas Stars – Should Joe Nieuwendyk be fired?
Detroit Red Wings – Can they do it again?
They lost Brian Rafalski, and the team is getting older. Experience will carry them, after-all it’s the Red Wings. And they have plenty of wiggle room below the salary cap to make some in season moves. Playoffs is a certain, but the Stanley Cup? Not this year.
Edmonton Oilers – Will they have a winning season?
They have the talent, but too young right now. They have all the right pieces in play for a bright future.
Florida Panthers – Is the Panther ready to “purr”?
Since Panthers don’t have the ability to roar, only purr, that’s exactly what they will do this season. Too many additions to the team, don’t expect too much chemistry this season. And don’t forget Tomas Vokoun no longer a purring Panther.
L.A Kings – Stanley Cup?
Last year they were my sleeper team in the West. That was until Anze Kopitar broke his ankle and missed the playoffs. They are also the Flyers of the West Coast. This team and the ex-Flyers have A LOT to prove and want to shove it in Holmgren’s face for sure. Especially Mike Richards. Look, there’s a reason why Mike Babcock went to Steve Yzerman during the Winter Olympics and said “If you want to win gold, we need a guy like Richards”. Every winning Stanley Cup team has a player like Richards, heck, you need a guy like him to win. And that’s exactly what the Kings will do. Expect them to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, possibly even winning it.
Minnesota Wild – Danny Heatley going to make an impact?
He may the first half of the season, then realize his team wont have a fighting chance in the playoffs and take an early vacation.
Montreal Canadiens – Will they follow the Bruins footsteps?
It might not be as bad as the 3-0 series lead the Bruins blew two years ago, but it still stings to lose a series that way. We saw the 2010 collapse made the Bruins more resilient this past season, which means it could do the same exact thing for the Canadiens in the upcoming campaign.
Nashville Predators – Will they make it past the second round?
I love this team, I was rooting for them all season and in the playoffs. Although they lost Joel Ward, who had a surprising impact in the playoffs, they still have Coach Barry Trotz. Who can squeeze anything, out of any line in the NHL.
New Jersey Devils – Another upsetting season?
The biggest loss for the Devils comes behind the bench with the departure of Lemaire, who called it quits for the second time in 11 months. And the addition of Peter DeBoer, although he has a reputation of “hard-working” I don’t think he is the answer to this team. Also the Devils need to have Brodeur have a bounce back season, but at the age of 39, it may be hard. But the good news is, they had a GREAT late season run after the all-star break and that should carry over into this season.
New York Islanders – Do they need a new stadium?
New York Rangers – Will Gaborik still continue to get injured?
YES! But the good news for Rags fans is that Brad Richards is there to help Gaborik score goals when he is in the line up.
Ottawa Senators – Did the Sens overpay Gonchar?
YES! Another washed up defensemen getting overpaid…cough Pronger…cough
Philadelphia Flyers – Did they puck up in trading Mike Richards?
Yes! I understand Jeff Carter, but the captain, your face of the franchise, the next Bobby Clarke!? The one guy every team needs to win the Cup? Mine as well put them in the same category as the Toronto Maple Laughs.
Phoenix Coyotes – Will they make the playoffs?
Without Ilya Bryzgalov, absolutely NOT!
Pittsburgh Penguins – Is Cindy Crosby ready to return?
Probably one of the hardest working players in the NHL, but the human brain can only overcome so much. Of all the things the NHL did to protect this guy, they let this head shot get away. Karma I guess. Without Crosby, the NHL ratings may drop tremendously. The NHL will do whatever they can to force him back this season, healthy or not. Bettman only cares about the money, as we all know.
San Jose Sharks – Will they become the favorite to win the Cup this season?
They do every year, making bookies tons of money. Pucking idiots…
St. Louis Blues – Sleeper team?
Not this year.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Is Steve Yzerman a genius?
YES! This guy is the face of the NHL. Pure genius, and expect his team to make another great playoff run.
Toronto Maple Laughs – Are they the laughing stock of the NHL?
Vancouver Canucks – Will Roberto Luongo choke this season? Will the Sedin twins combine for over 20 hits this season?
Yes, he will choke. And still jumping around like he won the Stanley Cup after beating the Hawks in game 7, oh and that’s after blowing a 3-0 series lead. And the Sedins’ will combine for 19 hits this season, because they still think they are playing in some garbage roller hockey league.
Washington Capitals – Will Nicklas Backstrom have a bounce back season?
He needs to, Backstrom looked like a lost duck last season. If he bounces back, the Capitals may very well win the Stanley Cup this season. Unless Semin blows his load again and misses Russia, again.
Winnipeg Jets – Does their logo look like something out of NHL 2011?
YES! Ugliest logo in the NHL. Looks like they took about 6 hours to come up with this design.
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