It's Hockey Night in America tonight.
Great time to be alive.
We'll probably never agree with Ovechkin again.
But he's right when he says "Drop the puck" in that stupid Versus commercial.
As opposed to the West, we actually did an East Preview last season.
And we got 7 out of 8 playoff teams.
But that means nothing.
Guaranteed 90% of whoever is reading this probably got 7 out of 8 right.
So, after the jump is our look at the East for the upcoming season.
QUICK CALL TO ARMS:
If you have NHL Network, "Is This The Year?" is being looped this morning. (Thursday)
At the 40-minute mark of the show (8:40am, 9:40am, 10:40am, etc.), coming out of a commercial break, they show clips of Fitzgerald scoring on Barrasso in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.
If you can get those clips on YouTube, you're getting a shirt from storeblog.
Jump for the East preview.
This is a Penguins blog, after all.
We'll have the reasons for this pick in the big-time Pens preview on Friday.
As if we need reasons.
How come the Capitals don't give Oveckin the "C"?
We don't understand.
Chris Clark is the captain?
Did he sign some type of lifetime contract that no one knows about?
Has he ever scored a goal?
Chris Clark possesses the leadership skills of a villain in a Vin Diesel movie. What a joke.
If the Caps know what's good for them, they should try not to win their division.
If they can sneak in with the sixth seed or something, they're probably going to the Finals.
The Pens-Caps rivalry isn't a rivalry until both teams can actually win in the playoffs against each other.
Boston will probably be the only competition at the top of the Northeast.
Ottawa sucks. Toronto is still one year away.
Lindy Ruff always looks too pissed off for us to pick the Sabres to do big things.
Montreal turned off the salary-cap option in the offseason and signed everyone.
They will be much better. They should win by default.
Carey Price better get his shit in order.
Then again, in the Bible, a sign of the onset of Armageddon
is the Canadiens throwing money at everyone and missing the playoffs.
The Flyers are the trendy pick this year. Just like they were last year. And the year before that.
Everyone is claiming that the addition of Ray Emery will put the Flyers over the top.
The only thing Ray Emery is going to put Philly over the top in is cocaine sales.
Why haven't the Flyers gone anywhere in recent playoff seasons? Goaltending.
Well, they have Ray Emery now. He does have a Stanley Cup Finals under his belt.
Then again, that Sens team was the only team in the Eastern Conference that year.
We bet our Twitter account he kowtows to the Philly atmosphere and gets into a goalie fight.
Then we have Chris Pronger going to Philly. Suck it.
Ovechkin/Pronger will be fun to watch.
Malkin/Timonen, Crosby/Pronger will be even better.
As we said with the Caps, it's not a modern rivalry until the Flyers do something to the Pens in the playoffs.
Boston isn't going to do shit this year.
Tim Thomas' season last year was an aberration.He's like 40 years old and all of a sudden is a beast? Nope.
Trade one of your top scorers to your division rival. Check.
Re-sign Mark Reechi. Check.
What a bizarre offseason for the Bruins.
Who exactly is going to score Kessel's goals this year?
And why are we jobbing them this much yet putting them among the best in the East?
Barring that very odd collapse to the Caps last season,
the Rangers were going to the second round of the playoffs again.
They have the team defense. They need scoring.
They got Marian Gaborik but got rid of Scott Gomez.
They let Antropov go, and they have Kotalik
Jury is still out.
The Leafs return to the playoffs.
What happens if a semi-strong West team gets supplanted into the East?
That's what former Ducks GM Burke is trying to do. And it's the right move.
Their blue line is as big as your sac now.
Toronto getting to the dance would be good for the NHL.
We don't know why, but it just would.
Whenever we're figuring out the Pens magic number, we see where the perennial 9th-seed Panthers are.
They lost Bouwmeester. Is their goaltender Craig Anderson? No one even knows.
Don't care who you are. You don't rebound from pooping on yourself.
Brodeur is gonna probably set another record this year.
The Devils have sold their playoff condo.
No clue why we're not picking them last.
Probably cause we feel bad for Lecavalier.
This is Ilya Kovalchuk's tryout year.
They're trying to surround him with talent, but it won't be enough.
He's another player that deserves better.
They probably won't be this bad.
But Lindy Ruff is pee.
Cash for Clunkers = Aging Alex Kovalev.
No one entertains "Kovy to Pens" rumors anymore for a reason.
Heatley's gone. Game.
Pascal Leclaire should be all right, but he'll have less run support than Randy Johnson.
If it was possible to get AIDS from watching a team play hockey, Long Island would be locked down.
The Isles are amidst some shaky ground regarding their stay in Long Island.
Here's hoping to a good year so they don't move.