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I've never seen the standings this close

Not in my memory bank, anyway. Going into the All Star break there are teams all over the East and West standings that can:
- go on a 3-game losing skid and be out of a playoff spot
- be stuck in 14th spot (or 15th, like the Lightning), go on a 6-8 game winning streak and make the playoffs over the next 30 games
- can finish second in their division and miss the playoffs
- more specifically, a team can lose 1 game while a division rival wins a game and the 2 teams swap 3rd spot in the Conference with 10th, as is the case with Carolina and Washington right now.

It's fucking nuts is what it is, and I am loving every minute of it. It's good to see so many markets being competitive and the old monopoly's of Detroit, Colorado, Rangers and Toronto GONE. Everyone gets a chance now. Everyone can build a contending team in a short, perhaps 3-year span, and contending teams can fall apart over a summer, right Buffalo? But at least Buffalo is still in contention to make the playoffs still. They are not out of it. No one is, except the Kings it seems.
So much can and will happen over the next 30-plus games. It also makes me wonder how much player movement we'll see by the trade deadline, not only because of playoff contention, but also failure to sign an impending free agent.
God, I love hockey. This season is a treat to watch.

As far as my standings predictions from before the season started....... I am going to mock myself by posting them in corelation to the actual standings at this point.

1. Rangers (I say their FA spending madness pays off)
2. Pittsburgh (getting better and better every year)
3. Carolina (A return to form for the former champs)
4. Ottawa
5. Tampa Bay
6. Toronto
7. Devils
8. Bruins
9. Atlanta
10. Buffalo
11. Flyers
12. Montreal
13. Florida (oh no..not picking these guys to make the playoffs again)
14. Islanders (may struggle with identity after so much player movement)
15. Washington (sorry, Ted)

Western Conference

1. Vancouver (not being biased either. Just need one more top 6 forward)
2. Detroit (a weak division)
3. Anaheim (Cup hangover? A returning Niedermayer and Selanne?)
4. San Jose
5. Minnesota
6. Calgary
7. Colorado (late season push in 06-07 plus addidtions of Hannan and Smyth help)
8. St. Louis (I really like the direction John Davidson is taking this team)
9. Dallas (ballsy call, huh?)
10. Los Angeles
11. Nashville (too gutted)
12. Columbus
13. Chicago
14. Edmonton (the decline continues)
15. Phoenix (Gretzky loses his job)

Geeziz. Putting Detroit ahead of the Canucks would have been the logical thing to do because of their division. Acquiring a goalie saved Gretzky's ass. Aside from that... well, there's still plenty of time left!

Check out the McKeen's and Hockey News predictions here.

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