- Washington Capitals: The 'First Place' Capitals are the only team in the SE that is above .500 (factoring in OT losses, as losses) The Caps are 11-10 with a mere 25 points, but are coming off a third strait loss. Sure they have injuries, but what team at this point doesn't? They probably will eventually win this dregs of a division, but it won't be pretty. They are the best team here. Scarily, from there it gets MUCH worse.
- Carolina Hurricanes, who at 11-11 and 4-6 in their last 10 are the next best team. We expected much more from the 2006 Cup champs and thus far we and their fans undoubtedly are very disappointed in what we have seen. Peter Laviolette, despite his recent mark http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2008/11/congratulations-peter.html is undoubtedly on the brink unless he turns things around SOON! From there the disappointment is even more clear in the next best team in the SE
- Tampa Bay Lightning. They, with their colossally bad 6-14 record have already sacrificed their coach,http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2008/11/mullet-about-to-be-cut.html but continue to suck nonetheless. Many of us saw them as a possible playoff bubble team, NOT a 2009 Draft lottery team. They have way too much offensive talent to be struggling in scoring. They could turn it around, but the hole is already very deep!
- Atlanta Thrashers- probably the only NON-surprise is to see the 'Trash' near the bottom of the heap of the worst division (near the bottom of the entire NHL) They, as mentioned above, are close to being a near certainty to be relocated. They actually have played better 6-4 in last 10, to get to this 'lofty' spot in the standings.
- Florida Panthers- Not a surprise that they are off to a slow start. (But we didn't think they'd be this bad!) They seem to do this every year. No doubt they'll have a great second half then miss the post season by less than a handful of points. http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2008/07/no-mans-land.html They, along with the aforementioned Thrashers are on the precipice of being sold off and moved. Would you pay money to see them?
3) Melrose will probably not be the last management casualty this season in the SE. We SHOULD finally see Don Waddell let go by Atlanta. As we have frequently mentioned, he is the worst hockey executive since Mike Milbury left the scene. After him Jacques Martin in Florida needs to be fired. He has shown no ability to build a team either. His coach, Peter DeBoer we will give the benefit of the doubt, like we do for John Anderson in Florida. As we alluded to we could also see Mr. Laviolette looking for employment before long if things don't turn around. Only in DC(where they fired their coach about this time last year) would we expect to not see any management turnover before the season ends. When all is said and done the division will probably struggle to place more than its mandatory team in the playoffs. The division winner will again probably not exceed 100 points. We expected more, but alas, we guess some things don't change. The SE Division still sucks!