To borrow a term from one of our Boneheads (I apologize, but I can’t remember which one), I’ve got a meeting at Mr. Green’s office today, at one of my favorite meeting places — Centennial Golf Club in Carmel.
Our colleague Kevin Allen over at USA Today wrote some pre-pre-pre-season predictions including the following:
“5. The improved New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres should be moving up in the Eastern Conference standings, although it’s difficult to project who is falling. The Washington Capitals? Penguins? Don’t see it, but some do.”
It’s a great point. People are saying that the Rangers are now one of the top three or four teams in the East … which includes a stocked Washington; a Pittsburgh team that could have its two superstars back; a Philadelphia team that could go to the top or the bottom of the class after a confusing off-season; an extremely strong Tampa Bay squad; teams that played really well down the stretch last year in Montreal, Buffalo, and even Carolina and Toronto … plus, oh yeah, the defending Stanley Cup champion Bruins.
Are the Rangers better? Hell yeah. Are they automatically a top-four team, or even a definite playoff team? I think they are the latter, but I wouldn’t bet the mortgage.
Photo from Bradrichardshockey.com.