Sunday, August 28, 2011

Five Teams to Keep Tabs On

As a Caps fan, one per division. The Southeast, obviously, is covered.

Central: Nashville. Their situation with Suter, Weber, and Rinne looks like Carlson, Alzner, and Neuvirth in a few years, with a great shutdown pair and good goalie with depth coming up the pipeline in net all going FA around the same time. Certainly bears watching. If any gets to July 1 unsigned, the Capitals should look into signing 'em, obviously.

Ryan Ellis also looks like a guy that bears watching. As a fellow undersized 2011 World Junior All Star puck moving defenseman from the 2009 second round who boasts a cannon of a shot but a fringe physical game that features only a nice hip check, he may very well give us some insight into how Dmitry Orlov will adapt to the NHL.

Pacific: San Jose, for obvious reasons. Can they finally win the Cup? Three years from now, Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle will go UFA, among other Sharks. Win in the next three years or bust.

Northwest: Colorado. We do hold their first, after all.

Atlantic: Pittsburgh. They are the best team in the East outside of Washington, and it's not close. Prepare for an ECF date with the Pens.

Northeast: Ottawa. They'll be selling, and have several useful players, notably Alfredsson and Phillips.

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