The Boston Bruins returned to the playoffs on the back of their first line.  I would argue that Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak were the best trio in the league.  Injuries hurt them immensely in their first round loss to the Senators but thankfully for them, they get a chance to run it back.  Boston’s roster is almost identical to last season’s except for some young players that are ready to make a full time leap.  They don’t have many interesting pieces from a fantasy perspective but they have a few elite options and some top end prospects.  Let’s take a look at what they’re working with:

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Amazingly, the Ottawa Senators were one goal away from making The Stanley Cup Finals last season.  It was a simple formula: have the best defenseman in the world on your team, a hot goaltender and nice forward depth (only one forward had more than 11 points in their 19 playoff games).  This year, they bring back the entire core from last season while adding a couple veterans and at least one, potentially two elite young talents.  There is clear room for improvement given that the Senators actually had a negative goal differential last season.  It’s fair to say that Ottawa overachieved last season but it’s also fair to say that their run wasn’t a complete fluke.  For fantasy, their team is very much like real life.  They have one elite player, solid forwards and a goaltender that can carry you for stretches or bury you.  Let’s take a look at what Ottawa is working with:

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The Montreal Canadiens stormed out of the gates last season and never looked back en route to winning the Atlantic Division.  They have a roster that seems like a random collection of players with no clear plan.  They’ve gutted their blue line losing a good top 4 in the last year (Subban, Beaulieu, Sergachev, Markov) leaving themselves depending on Shea Weber far too much.  Like last offseason, they made a massive trade in the summer, this time involving two young talents.   This is a team who is getting the small things right but the big things wrong and that gives me significant concern going forward.  Per usual, it’s all on Carey Price’s shoulders.  Their fantasy assets for this season look to be limited but there are a few guys with elite potential and some intriguing guys for deeper leagues.  Let’s take a look at what Les Habitants are working with:

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Oh baby! Reid joins me once again for a monster of a podcast. First off, we open up by tying up some loose ends around the league from a fantasy perspective. We look at holdouts, recent injuries and then some young players who look to be cracking the NHL roster for the first time. After that, we take a look at the big picture for this coming season. We breakdown all 30 teams by predicting whether they go over or under their projected point total from Vegas and to what degree of confidence we have in our pick. Add in some bets for players to win individual trophies or teams to win the Stanley Cup and you have an excellent breakdown for you gamblers out there, or anyone who simply wants a team by team season preview. We even mention Obama talking about Phil Kessel and a moment I can’t wait to happen at the White House, I promise you’ll laugh! All of that and more in this episode of the Razzball Hockey Podcast:

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We are less than two weeks away from the season starting! Today, Viz and Reid take a look at the Pacific Division. How does the coaching change affect the Ducks? How thin is the Kings roster? Can the Sharks superstars play at that level again? Is this the year for some breakouts in Arizona or are we still a year away? Can the Flames bounce back from last year’s disappointment? How good is McJesus going to be in Year 2? Is it worth spending more than 1 minute on the Canucks? All of that in more in our last division preview:

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We’ve finally made it to team 30. The Anaheim Ducks are the last team to preview for the upcoming season following a Pacific Division title. They ended up losing in game 7 to Nashville in the first round leading them to make a pair of horrible coaching decisions. Firing Bruce Boudreau and hiring Randy Carlyle is an absolute disaster for this team going from one of the best to one of the worst. I suspect that the change alone costs this team at least 10 points. Anyways, there’s still plenty of talent here at different age points that are worth looking at so let’s get to it!

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We’re onto the Western Conference in the latest addition of the Razzball Hockey Podcast. Today, Reid and I take a look at the strongest division in hockey, the Central Division. Who do we like on the Stars outside of the obvious guys? The same question is asked around the Blues. Can Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin repeat their success from last season? Am I crazy for liking guys on the Predators as much as I do? Will Bruce Boudreau have a big effect on the Wild’s performance? Can Colorado improve with a new coach? Spoiler: yes. And last, Reid and I gush about the potential of the Jets’ players to get the team back into the playoffs. All of that and more on today’s edition of the podcast.

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Man, the Kings could be in trouble very soon. Yes, they still have their superstar players but the roster gets thin very quickly. They were absolutely destroyed by their rival San Jose in the first round last season and it shouldn’t come as much surprise. The Sharks neutralized their top 6 and killed the Kings with their depth. While the actual team has question marks because Dean Lombardi can’t fill out a roster (just his team USA decisions), there are still plenty of fantasy studs on this team along with a couple interesting players. Let’s take a look at what they’re working with:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So I’m in this one league that drafts way too early each year. On top of that, it’s an email draft that typically takes up to 3 weeks to complete. And it’s deep. Very deep. Twenty teams, with 20-man rosters. So why do I torture myself year after year, with this slow-as-molasses-and-way-too-soon draft? Because it preps me for all the others I will take part in leading up to the season. They’re still playing World Cup games, for crying out loud. How is anyone supposed to be ready for this?

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We should have saw this coming. After years of failing to meet expectations, the public wasn’t expecting much from the Sharks in 2015-16 after missing the playoffs in 2014-15 and naturally made the Stanley Cup Finals. They are one of my favorite teams to watch for the absolutely loaded top 6 that they have while Brent Burns is making wild offensive rushes all game. There’s a ton of fantasy assets on this roster so let’s take a look at what they’re working with:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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