Early season predictions from The Hockey News & McKeens Hockey

The Hockey News
1. Ottawa
2. NY Rangers
3. Pittsburgh
4. Buffalo
5. Carolina
6. Tampa Bay
7. New Jersey
8. Atlanta
9. Philadelphia
10. Washington
11. Toronto
12. Florida
13. Montreal
14. NY Islanders
15. Boston

McKeens Hockey
1. Pittsburgh
2. Ottawa
3. NY Rangers
4. Buffalo
5. New Jersey
6. Toronto
7. Carolina
8. Montreal
9. Tampa Bay
10. Philadelphia
11. Florida
12. Washington
13. Boston
14. Atlanta
15. NY Islanders

My Take: Both Magazines have a mutual agreement that the Penguins, Rangers and Ottawa are the favorites in the Eastern Conference. No surprise as both magazines have the Islanders and Bruins as the bottom feeders in the East. It’s going to be a long season for both squads. The middle of the pack is going to be hard to predict. New Jersey is a team, where it is difficult to predict where they will finish. The loss of Rafalski, Gomez is going to hurt but they have a great farm system and still have Marty Brodeur. I figured one of these magazines would have the Flyers around the 6th or 7th spot. The Flyers are a much improved team but anywhere between the 8th-10th spot seems just right.