Gents, unfortunately I don't have the time to preview the league as I have in the past (which was damn time consuming). But I really enjoy doing these season preview articles, and I know you like reading them. So I figured, why not put together something more half assed! Eastern Conference Season Preview 1. Buffalo Sabres (NorthEast Champs) A solid all around team, as always. The Sabres might not be as strong offensively as they've been in the past, but they still boast a very physical and goal oriented forward group. Defensively, they are mobile, and solid at both ends. In net, Ryan Miller backstops the team yet again as they look to reclaim the East from Florida. 2. Florida Panthers (SouthEast Champs) The Panthers might have the best defense in the league, with a solid mix of toughness, size, and scoring. They're going to need it with inexperienced Jonathan Quick in net. Offensively, they remain a solid, balanced team. However, their bottom two lines aren't as strong as they have been previously. 3. New York Islanders (Atlantic Champs) The Islanders are definitely a high octane offensive team with some serious firepower in Marian Gaborik and Dany Heatley. But they've also got a quality young defense to go with a quality young goaltender in Tuukka Rask. 4. Ottawa Senators The Senators have a lot of top end talent and that starts in goal with Roberto Luongo. They've also added Nik Lidstrom on defense and have a couple of really solid lines. Depth wise, they don't compare to some of the other teams in the East, so their star players will have to be just that. 5. New York Rangers It all starts in net for the Rangers, with one of the best goaltenders in the HFNHL, Tim Thomas. In front of Thomas is a balanced, yet rather average group of forwards and defenders. But if they can play a solid team game, Thomas should do the rest. 6. Pittsburgh Penguins Another in the line of balanced, yet not star studded teams. The Pens have a tremendous one, two punch down the middle, but a lack of star powered wings may cause their offense to fizzle. Defensively, they're solid, yet unspectacular. In net is Ilya Bryzgalov who should have a solid season. 7. Montreal Canadiens This is the year the Habs finally take that next step forward and become a consistent playoff team. They'll get good goaltending Jimmy Howard and have a solid, hardworking group of forwards and defenders. The Matt Duchene trade was a stroke of genius. 8. New Jersey Devils The Devils are a damn good offensive team, as always, but with the loss of Marc Andre Fleury and Robyn Regehr, are the Devils going to be able to keep the puck out? _________________________________________ 9. Toronto Maple Leafs The fortune of the Leaf's season probably rests in the hands of goaltender Tomas Vokoun. He's going to have to have a pretty phenomenal season in front of a rather mediocre group of forwards and defense. 10. Washington Capitals The Capitals are inching closer and are the second best team in the SouthEast. But is that really something to be proud of? Marked improvement won't necessarily mean a playoff spot in a competitive Eastern Conference. 11. Boston Bruins Every year, I underestimate the Bruins and they make the playoffs. You'd think I learned my lesson, but nope. A quality offense, but an average defense in front of a young goaltender in Craig Anderson could put the Bruins in a struggle for the playoffs. 12. Carolina Hurricanes Who will save Alex Ovechkin? Improvements were made to the team offensively with the acquisitions of Derek Roy and Saku Koivu, but what about a below average defense and starting goaltender? 13. Philadelphia Flyers Even with the acquisition of John Tavares and a bevy of young talent waiting in the wings, the Flyers just don't have the top end talent or depth to compete in the East. 14. Atlanta Thrashers The Thrashers are getting there, slowly. The foundational building blocks are there, but there are still severe holes on the roster, in combination with the disappointing rating of goaltender Marc Andre Fleury. 15. Tampa Bay Lightning Are the Lightning rebuilding? They'd probably be smart to do so, with too many holes on the roster, a soft defense and a lack of a starting goaltender. Stay tuned for the Western Conference.