Season Preview: Eastern Conference
It's that time of year again. When everyone is still unbeaten and full of hope. Let's breakdown where we all stand headed into the 2020-21 Sim Hockey Season.
1- Blue Jackets: So much fire power for Columbus heading into the 20/21 season. One of the top teams on paper. Does Jesse have the assets to add if he finds a deficiency in his organization during the season? Notice though that I said “if”.
2- Islanders: This division appears to be a two team race, but New York still owns their 2021 1st which should garner some major attention from the bottom feeders. You might give them the edge in their division to continue their dominance just because of that.
3- Hurricanes: Mr Cordell and company might not have the star power as the 1st two teams listed here, but he’s got 2 things they don’t have.. cap space to add a superstar, and 2 sons who both love him and love making trades 😁.
4- Rangers: Korpisalo has his work cut out for him if he’s to lead his team into a playoff spot. Kubalik and Matthews will need to be sniping regularly, but it’ll be a dogfight just to get in.
5- Devils: Jersey has some top notch talent in waiting, but don’t expect them to sacrifice it to get better just yet. They’ve got a shot at the playoffs, but will likely fall short.
6- Capitals: Larry appears to have some decent depth up front heading into the new campaign, but the D corps he’s currently fielding is not pro league caliber by any stretch of the imagination. There will be some scoring stats padded vs the Caps this season.
7- Penguins: Decent goaltending and Leon Draisaitl will keep you in a lot of games, but is Toby’s heart in it to win this season? Lack of depth may kill the Pens, and will certainly do so if Drai gets moved to the mile high city like the rumours are saying.
8- Flyers: Who does Anthony think is going to score for him? Will a non Flyers fan let him know that Aube-Kubel can’t be your highest SC forward.. 😉.
1- Bruins: Boy is there a ton of firepower on this roster. Greg and his deep pockets from making it big in the sportscard world, made a huge splash in free agency, and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the moves made might just push Boston over the top.
2- Maple Leafs: Has Garrett built the fastest team in sim hockey history? Does it even matter in the sim? Well we are about to find out as he ices one of the more competitive teams in the league. If Anton Khudobin steps it up in the postseason the sky is the limit.
3- Senators: Depth on defence might be tested after the big 2, but Esteban has been patient (just like at his other job dealing with Toby) deciding to spend much of the offseason revamping his franchise’s team defence as an entire unit. Backed by Kuemper, they’ll be a top contender again.
4- Canadiens: You wouldn’t want to go into the corners against the defensive corps that Mr Vardy has assembled. A very well rounded team of youth, veterans, offensive and defensive minded players. Only being well rounded might still not be enough in this division.
5- Lightning: It’ll be success by committee for the Bolts this season. Eric has 11 picks in the first 3 rounds next year, so if Tampa is in the mix for a playoff spot come deadline day, watch out for them as the dark horse to make a big splash.
6- Sabres: A franchise loaded for the future with lots of top prospects such as Nils Hoglander, who unfortunately the Pens bitterly missed out on in June, Buffalo has looked good this preseason. Especially on the PP. Interesting to see what route Jared takes this season.
7- Panthers: Never rule out a team loaded with cagey vets. Especially when Radulov and Corey Perry are amongst them. Overall though Florida will likely be on the outside looking in.
8- Red Wings: Can a small, skilled team be successful in sim hockey? The answer is usually no, so look for Dan to add some size and grit down the stretch to complement Detroit’s skilled, young core.