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So there are 8 weeks left in the regular season and here are my predictions.  In the East, Buffalo will continue to impress and win.  New Jersey will be creeping up but I believe that they will fall short in catching Buffalo.  As far as divisions go in the East, Buffalo has pretty much locked up the Northeast.  In the Atlantic, New Jersey will prevail over a chasing Pittsburgh.  As far as the Southeast is concerned, there are three teams in the chase for the division title.  Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Carolina are all conceivably worthy, however I believe that Tampa  Bay will prevail.  Tampa has two very good fowards in Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St.Louis that will carry this team to the playoffs.


In the West, There are many teams in the mix.  Obviously there is Anaheim and Nashville, but now there is also Detroit and Dallas making moves.  In the Central, it's either going to be Nashville or Detroit.  My prediction is that Nashville will outlast Detroit and may go on to win the conference.  In the Northwest division all five teams are in the mix.  My prediction for the division winning team, Vancouver.  Vancouver has been very good of late, and their exceptional goaltending will keep them on top.  In the Pacific, there are three teams with the possibility of winning the division.  There are the Anaheim Ducks, whose success all season leads many to think that they will win the Pacific, however this reporter thinks otherwise.  My money is in either Dallas or San Jose.  Dallas has been in the mix all year, but their year long injury problems have caused them to drop in the standings.  In the last month however, the Stars have regained some of the big guns in Modano and Lindros, this may prove to give the Stars the boost they need.  San Jose on the other hand has been the shadow of the Anaheim Ducks all year, sitting just behind them.  However at this time the Sharks are just three points behind the Ducks and one point ahead of Dallas, these next few weeks for the Sharks may make or break their division hopes.  Overall, the Pacific is my favorite division.

 

My playoff predictions-

Division Winners

Eastern Conference-

 Atlantic- New  Jersey

Northeast- Buffalo

Southeast- Tampa Bay

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Western Conference-

Central- Nashville

Northwest- Vancouver

Pacific- Dallas(Yes....Dallas)

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The two teams that will meet in the Stanley Cup Finals are Buffalo for the East and Dallas for the West in a rematch of the 1999 Finals.  In this series I believe Dallas will still win the cup, but hopefully with out all of the "No Goal" nonsense.

-Miles T.