• 01/13/2009, 06:11PM ET

The Bruins will win the Eastern Conference.

soccerfish77 (3-4-0) vs LGP: Pensational! (47-9-0)

The Bruins have great goaltending, great defense, scoring from almost everybody and are constantly filling spots left vacant by injury with young players who have been performing very well up to this point. Also the Bruins have the hottest line in hockey with Krecji, Ryder and Wheeler and the Bruins also have Chara and Wideman both of whom could win the Norris. The Bruins have given up the least amount of goals and have Savard who is top 5 in the league for assists. They seem to be destined for a Eastern Conference title.

Alrighty then. I could take the "going for an easy win" angle, however I don't believe that will be necessary.

Yes, the Bs have everything you say they have and, Yes, they are playing very very good hockey.

The problem with your statement is this: It's WAY too soon to be crowning a Conference Champion. With almost half of the season left, there are too many possibilities out there that could throw a monkey wrench into your premature celebration.

1)Injuries-If Chara or Wideman or both go down(see Philly last year), do you think the Bs can overcome losing them? What about losing 1 or 2 top wingers or a goalie for the Playoffs?

2)Deadline deals-There are a number of top players rumored to be on the market and several teams in the East could grab one. With the likes of Kovalchuk, Lecavalier, St. Louis, maybe Nash and others primed to be traded, any team could make a significant move to the top.

3)Goaltending-NHL goaltending can be as fickle as a junior high cheerleader, particularly in the Playoffs. It's not a stretch for a goalie to get real cold, real fast. A red hot goalie for another team could easily steal a series as well.

More to come, stay tuned.

Chara being sidelined for an extended period of time is probably the only thing that can derail the Bruins. With both Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez playing like number 1 goalies, if one struggles the other one can step in and carry the load. The issue with deadline deals is that each player you mentioned (Lecavalier, St Louis, Kovalchuk and Nash) all could have a high asking price which some teams in the race for the conference championship might not want to give up.

"Chara being probably the only thing that can derail the Bruins"

Want to bet Patriots' fans were saying the same thing about Brady? There are no sure bets mid-way through a season.

"both playing like number 1 goalies."

In the regular season yes, but both are very inexperienced in the Playoffs.

Thomas- 7 games 3-4 record
Fernandez-7 games (started) 3-4 record

Forgive me if I'm not impressed. The Playofs are an entirely different story than the regular season. It's like holding hands versus getting laid the first time, one has a lot more pressure.

Re: deadline deals and high asking prices

The Pens got Hossa and Dupuis for Armstrong, Christensen, a minor leaguer and a pick. Minimal to no effect on the starting line up, appearance in the Finals was the result.

The President's Trophy, awarded to the team with the most points, has been given 22 times. Only 9 (41%) of those teams made it to the Stanley Cup Finals proving that regular season results mean jack squat.

You're saying the Bs WILL win the Conference. I've given several reasons why that is not a guarantee that you have yet to sufficiently counter. Way too much can still happen.

The Pats had a record that would make the playoffs almost any other year in the NFL. They lost the playoff spot on third and fourth tiebreakers. Cassel did a fine job keeping the Pats at an 11-5 record. You are correct that both Thomas and Fernandez are inexperienced in the playoffs but I was trying to argue for regular season. Playoffs are completly different. However, if the Bruins can rally back from a 3-1 deficit against a Montreal team that had dominated them last year, I can't think about what this team could do playing like this.

"The Pats had a record that would make the playoffs almost any other year"

Yeah? Almost?? Big Deal! Fizz ALMOST got to second base with a woman, still doesn't make him any less of a virgin.

"I was trying to argue for regular season"

Trying, yet you failed. The WINNER of the Eastern Conference is awarded the Prince of Wales Trophy and goes to the Stanley Cup Finals. The team with the most points merely gets the number one seed, but has WON nothing. Your TD title my friend.

"I can't think about what this team could do playing like this"

You've made my point for me, thank you. NO ONE can think about how their team will play, let alone KNOW how their team will play once the Playoffs start. It's a whole new world, kind of like Frank dating outside of his family.

The top seed in the East has made the Stanley Cup Finals only twice in the last 11 Playoffs, in the West it's 4 times. That's 6 of 22 or 27.2%. Still like your odds? Looks further and further away from a guarantee to me.

Simply put, the Bs are a very good team, but you can no way in hell guarantee a Conference win at this time. Too many variables in the toughest Playoffs in all of sports.


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