Least In The East, Best In The West

Posted November 7, 2011

Predictions for The Best And Worst Teams in Both Conferences

So far, the 2011-2012 season has brought some big surprises (Edmonton) and some things that could’ve been anticipated before the first puck dropped back in October (Luongo still sucks). Though it is far too soon to tell with certainty where each club will finish in the standings, November is usually the last chance a team gets to start winning if they have any post-season aspirations. Without further ado, here are my predictions for the best and worst teams in each conferences, including the President’s Trophy winner and the team with the first overall draft pick.

Justin Bieber surprised face

Somebody just told him that Phil Kessel is leading the NHL in points. (photo courtesy of CBS via www.blog.zap2it.com/pop2it)

Eastern Conference

Number 1: Washington Capitals

I know this is an easy choice, but let’s be honest: The Capitals have been one hell of a (regular-season) team for a while, and this year’s roster is probably our best in recent memory. The third line of Brooks Laich, Joel Ward, and Jason Chimera has ensured that we have a balanced attack, while Marcus Johansson has proved that his brilliance in game 4 of the Rangers series wasn’t just a fluke.

Can the Capitals win the President’s Trophy for the second time in three years? You bet they can.

Number 15: New York Islanders

When you’re relying on Rick DiPietro‘s health as a key to long-term success, you are asking for trouble. The man is less durable than the average piñata, and you can’t win in the Atlantic Division without a goalie. The Islanders are destined for yet another year of mediocrity, while the Coliseum slowly crumbles down around them.

Islanders De-Motivational Poster

So true. (photo courtesy of www.sodahead.com)

Western Conference

Number 1: Chicago Blackhawks

Look for the Blackhawks to have a bounce-back season after being forced to rely on the Wild to help them squeak into the post-season last year. Patrick Kane is looking good at center, while Corey Crawford still has a lot of yet-unrealized potential in net. If Jonathan Toews can return to his Conn Smythe-winning form, the Blackhawks will be a tough team to beat.

Number 15 (and also Number 30): Columbus Blue Jackets

Columbus Blue Jackets Ice Girls and Cannon Crew

They might have a better record with these people on the roster. (photo courtesy the Columbus Blue Jackets via www.bluejackets.nhl.com)

When you have 5 points in 14 games, you’re official web site has polls like this, and you have what amounts to an all-male cheerleading squad for a damn NHL team,  it’s time to start planning the Draft party. The Chili’s in downtown Columbus gets a lot of business around the time of high school graduations, so book now, Blue Jackets!