Robin Brownlee's picks

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 5:04 PM ET

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1. Vancouver - Bert's back. The West Coast Express will roll.

2. Detroit - Red Wings slip, but still the class of the Central Division.

3. Dallas - Stars will win battle with Sharks for the Pacific Division title.

4. San Jose - Youth movement will mean some growing pains.

5. Calgary - Sutter's bunch is solid from top to bottom. Will push Canucks.

6. Edmonton - Additions of Pronger and Peca make the difference.

7. Colorado - No Forsberg. No Foote. No Kariya. No cigar in Denver.

8. Nashville - Kariya leads fleet-footed Predators back into the playoffs.

9. St. Louis - Loss of Pronger and Demitra has 'em singing the Blues.

10. Los Angeles - For all the changes, Kings remain mediocre.

11. Minnesota - Young talent, but a year or two away from prime time.

12. Columbus - Jackets headed in the right direction, but a long way to go.

13. Anaheim - The do-over begins for GM Brian Burke. Where to start?

14. Chicago - Khabibulin and Aucoin don't equal a post-season berth.

15. Phoenix - This lineup couldn't contend with No. 99 playing in his prime.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1. Philadelphia - Big, skilled forwards. Big, slow defence. Hmm.

2. Ottawa - What does Hasek have left? Heatley must return to form.

3. Tampa Bay - Defending champs win so-so Southeast Division easily.

4. Boston - Neck-and-neck with the Sens in Northeas.

5. New Jersey - Devils will slip without Niedermayer, Stevens.

6. Toronto - "Lindros crosses the blue line with his head down ..."

7. Montreal - Habs are very strong down the middle. Theodore the key.

8. N.Y. Islanders - Yashin is Mad Mike's go-to guy. Any questions?

9. Atlanta - Talented forwards and Lehtonen in net. Hopes hinge on Hossa.

10. Florida - Nieuwendyk, Roberts and Gelinas will provide playoff push.

11. Pittsburgh - Next One and Magnificent One begin Pens' resurgence.

12. Buffalo - Sabres could look like hell without Satan and Zhitnik.

13. Carolina - Lame attack. Questions in goal. Feeble power play. Yuck!

14. N.Y. Rangers - Hey, big spender! Misery at MSG. The do-over begins.

15. Washington - Twenty wins will be a moral victory for these sad sacks.


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