So last week I started the weeklong trend of predictions, and I'll continue that today with the second half of my NHL predictions. So here we go!
1. Tampa Bay - Besides goaltending, its hard to argue against Tampa being the best team in the east right now, and its not like their goaltending is bad, but it is injury prone. But they have great offensive firepower and they're really deep in forwards and defensemen, so they should be alright.
2. Montreal - They're also fairly deep, and fairly strong on defense, but they'll still need to rely on Cary Price in order to advance deep into the playoffs.
3. Detroit - Here's where it gets interesting. None of the next few teams really stand out as playoff teams, but someone has to make it right? For they're starpower offence and semi-reliable goaltending, Detroit comes in 3rd.
4. Ottawa - They're a team that is going to be looked over again this year, and it makes sense to do so. But they have a better forward depth than the teams below them on this list, and their goaltending has shown to be dominant at times, unlike...
5. Toronto - They're lineup isn't bad by any means, but this is still a rebuilding team. Their problem is inconsistent goaltending, and that will need to be addressed (or Reimer/Bernier play their top form consistently) in order for them to become contenders.
6. Florida - I want to put them higher, really I do. But beyond a few key names (most of them being at the end of their career), there's not much going for this team.
7. Buffalo - Their team looks a lot better than last year, but with a shallow defense and questionable-at-best goaltending, its hard to see them higher than this.
8. Boston - Okay, I'd be pretty suprised if they fell this far, but with how awful their off-season was, a decline feels imminent. I like the Bruins, and I want to be wrong, but they have one solid line, good defence anchored by an aging Chara, and Rask. If Rask gets hurt, this could be a brutal season for the Bruins.
1. New York Rangers - They're still a dominant team, and it should shock no one if they have a deep run in the playoffs this year.
2. Washington - This team is retooled and ready to contend in this division. All they're really missing is a stand out defensemen, but they're current depth is pretty good.
3. New York Islanders - The Islanders and Capitals can easily be interchanged here. They're looking like they're finally ready to make a serious post-season push.
4. Pittsburgh (Wildcard) - Its hard putting them so low, but after how far they fell last year, this isn't exactly a confident looking group. Kessel adds firepower, and it'll just be enough to squeak them in.
5. Philadelphia (Wildcard) - There's plenty of reasons why they shouldn't be this high, but if they're goaltending and young players play to expectations, this could be the surprise team of the season.
6. Columbus - For the same reasons as above, Columbus could surprise a lot of teams too. Its close between the Flyers and Blue Jackets, but I like the Flyers offense just a little bit more.
7. New Jersey - The Devils and Hurricanes should be the bottom feeders of an otherwise strong division. Both have good goaltending, iffy defense and a solid top line, but I'll take New Jersey's offensive depth before Carolina's.
8. Carolina - If Ward plays well and their defensemen do better than I give them credit for, then they have a chance to move up a few spots. Otherwise, this will be a tough year.
So we don't have a competition going on this week, but in the meantime, you guys should suggest what our next competition should be. Personally, I'd like to see another WHA competition, especially with how well the last one went. I'd also like to see a competition for some junior leagues, like Jr A/B/C or teams from the American Junior level.
But what would you guys like to see as the next competition? Leave your ideas in the comments!
So don't forget we have our COTW vote going on this week as well. Voting has been pretty good lately, so hopefully you guys keep it up!
Its concept time!
COTW Sept 13-19 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
University of Minnesota - Adam G.
As far as I know, the main set here is a simplified version of their current main set. Still looks classic, as they deserve to look.
The alternate is new, and it looks fantastic. The stripes are busy but not overbearing, and it looks really oldschool.
Execution looks spot on.
The yoke on the alternate doesn't really match the oldschoolness of the rest of the jersey.
The chest stripes and numbers on the alternate could be a little lower, or thicker to fill out more of the bottom of the jersey.
Overall: The main set looks great but doesn't stand out as an improvement to the original. The main set looks really cool, but needs a little work. Great design all around though. 8.3/10
Edmonton Oilers - CPM
Next up is a really interesting redesign for the Oilers, using a logo based on the Oilers Entertainment Group.
This logo is actually really cool. Its hard to replace the Oilers logo, but if one were to say that is dated, then this is a great alternative.
The striping suits the classic nature of the Oilers.
The design is well executed.
The logo on the white jersey should have an outline outside of the white, so you can see the top of the oil drop.
I wish the cuff/hem pattern matched between both jerseys. The Oilers don't do this now, but with a modern redesign, maybe they should? What about a blue cuff and hem on the white jersey?
The TV numbers seem too close to the yoke.
Overall: I can take or leave the jersey design, but I'm really liking this logo use. 7.8/10
St. Kilda Saints - Duncan L.
Now we have two more concepts from Duncan's AFL series, starting with the Saints.
This arm style really looks sharp with these colours.
I'm really digging the yoke on the white jersey.
The alternate logo would otherwise be awful, but since its adapted from one of their logos, I'll take it.
I don't get the yellow/red/black colour scheme and where it comes from, but it looks fantastic as an alternate.
The text outline on the main set looks way too thick.
I don't get why the arm stripes on the home and away jerseys don't match in sizes.
Overall: There's a lot to like, and with a little better execution this could be COTW worthy. 7.7/10
Sydney Swans - Duncan L.
Duncan's 2nd AFL concept today is for the Sydney Swans.
I don't get their logo designs at all, but they are used beautifully here.
The striping on the main set looks really sharp, as does the yoke on the white jersey.
The "V" style arms is awesome on the alternate.
The style of the alternate contrasts the main set very well.
I don't like that the alternate is white, because the logo is primarily white and doesn't stand out well. If it was a red jersey with the same striping (inverted colours) with the same white logo, it would look a lot better I think.
Overall. Very awesome set! 8.5/10
Washington Capitals - Matt G.
Today's final concept belongs to Matt with his Washington Capitals redesign.
I really think the Weagle should be the primary mark, and this set shows why.
The striping and yoke work really well with the colours and style of the jersey.
The alternate is perfect! It looks like something Team USA would wear if it had a different logo. A blue alternate contrasts with the main set nicely, and the Winter Classic logo looks really effective here.
Shouldn't the American flag be flipped horizontally?
Overall: Other than the flag (which I'm not 100% on), this design is spectacular! 9/10
Matt G's Washington Capitals concept gets my COTW nomination today!
That's it for me today. Don't forget to vote and send in some suggestions for our next competition!
Thanks for reading, see you next week!