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Silver Nuggets: Which is More Likely Series: Pittsburgh vs Carolina

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NO LONGER ON THE THIRD LINE! WOOOOOO!
NO LONGER ON THE THIRD LINE! WOOOOOO!

Yesterday we went back to the roots of WIML pitting two scenarios featuring Senators players against each other. I asked which was more likely: that Craig Anderson finished top-10 in wins or that Erik Karlsson finished 2nd on the team in points. With 65% of the vote, you went with the Honeymooner, and Sheer_Craziness put it best, and compared Alex Auld to saran wrap... so win-win.

Karlsson

I can’t see Anderson improving much on a 33-win season. I can’t see Karlsson improving much on a 78-point season. But I do expect the Northeast will get tougher, and that Ottawa will still be a bubble team.

Assuming that our backup is better than Saran wrap this coming season, and if we assume Ottawa is in the same ballpark for wins, I think the number of wins from Bishop/Lehner will be higher than the number from Auld/Bishop/Lehner this past season. So Anderson’s total drops off a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him more like 12th, as a heavy-load goalie on a team right around 16th in the league.

Karlsson will have little competition. Spezza will put up a lot, but who else? I don’t see Turris doubling his output, Alfie should stay about the same, and Michalek showed us last year that he doesn’t put up a ton of assists when he’s playing his best hockey

Today we go back to the rest of the league, and look at a couple teams in the Eastern Conference that look to challenge for division titles in two wildly different divisions: The Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Today's question is this:

Which is more likely? That Carolina wins the Southeast Division OR that Pittsburgh wins the Atlantic Division?

Carolina: Has been a summer of change for the Hurricanes, as they have acquired Alexander Semin via free agency and Jordan Staal via trade. This compliments their all-star goalie Cam Ward and captain Eric Staal. The southeast was won last season by a Florida Panthers team that doesn't look to be ready to repeat. The question here is Washington, but with high roster turnover and a brand new coach, will they be back to being the beasts of the southeast, or can they be calmed by the Hurricanes?

Pittsburgh: Arguably the most talented team in the league, the Penguins are always favourites before the season starts. With Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby they have two of the best players in the league, if not the best two. Marc-Andre Fleury had a tough playoffs though, and there is no telling how the loss of Jordan Staal will affect the team. Lastly, playing in the Atlantic division, they play 6 games against each of the Devils (Stanley Cup finalists), Rangers (Eastern Conference beasts) and Flyers (their kryptonite).

So, what say you?

Links.

Sens News:

  • Adnan asks what are reasonable expectations for Erik Karlsson this season. I'd say anything over 55 points is a solid season, and he will learn to adapt to coaches keying in on him, and be back to 60-65 points after this season. [SSS]
  • Unfortunately Cody Ceci was a healthy scratch in the deciding game between Canada and Russia last night. One bright side is the likelihood of Ryan Murray making the NHL as well as possibly Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Murphy. That could open the door for Ceci if he starts the season strong. [6thSens]
  • Senators player spotlight shines on Jason Spezza today. [Sens]
  • A look at some of the top Senators prospects! [TSP]
League News
  • The Canada-Russia game last night was wildly entertaining, with Ryan Strome scoring the overtime winner to clinch the series. Was nice to watch some hockey in the middle of August. [NHL]
  • Sounds like the proposal the NHLPA put forth yesterday was pretty "out there" in terms of creativity. Good news is, the league is apparently intrigued by some of the ideas. Here is hoping they can get something done soon. [PD]