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Season Preview



Anaheim Ducks
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Anaheim recalibrated at the end of last season and looked like the team that won the 2007 Stanley Cup. This season, the resemblance might be more apparent, even if the roster is dramatically different.
Five Things | Team Preview
Will the Ducks miss star defensemen Chris Pronger and Francois Beauchemin?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs. San Jose
Home Opener: Oct. 2 vs. San Jose
Longest Homestand: 7 games (2 times)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Jan 21-Feb 1) Back-to-Back: 17 series

Atlanta Thrashers
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Anyone who has watched the Thrashers since they joined the league has come to expect them to be on the outside looking in when the playoffs roll around. It won't be much different this season.
Five Things | Team Preview
Is this Ilya Kovalchuk's last season in Atlanta? Or will the Thrashers be able to re-sign their captain?
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Tampa Bay
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Tampa Bay
Longest Homestand: 5 games (2 times)
Longest Road Trip: 7 games (Dec 23-Jan 5)
Back-to-Back: 16 series

Boston Bruins
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Bruins still look like the team that dominated last season with top goalie Tim Thomas and best defenseman Zdeno Chara. Coach Claude Julien has the key pieces in place for another run.
Five Things | Team Preview
Boston signed coach Claude Julien to an extention. Are good things ahead for the Bruins?
Opening Night: Oct. 1 vs. Washington
Home Opener: Oct. 1 vs. Washington
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Oct 1-12)
Longest Road Trip: 7 games (Mar 6-16) Back-to-Back: 17 series

Buffalo Sabres
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Sabres have found ways to fill the gaps largely from their own system, and the talent level hasn't been bad. The pieces are in place for the Sabres to be playoff contender.
Five Things | Team Preview
A more consistent effort by the Sabres could lead them back to the postseason.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Montreal
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Montreal
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Dec 3-11)
Longest Road Trip: 7 games (Jan 14-25) Back-to-Back: 18 series

Calgary Flames
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Five years after an unexpected run to the Stanley Cup Finals, it looks like the window of opportunity really wasn't open as wide as the Flames might have once thought.
Five Things | Team Preview
Coach Brent Sutter joins the family in Calgary. Can the brothers turn the Flames into a contender?
Opening Night: Oct. 1 vs. Vancouver
Home Opener: Oct. vs. Vancouver
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Oct 16-31)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Nov 27-Dec 7)
Back-to-Back: 14 series

Carolina Hurricanes
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
A tighter defense, resurgent Cam Ward and an offense that takes advantage of its overall speed was enough to get Carolina to the final four in the playoffs. Maybe it will take them further this time.
Five Things | Team Preview
Carolina's roster looks like the one they won the Stanley Cup with. Are they good for another run?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs. Philadelphia
Home Opener: Oct. 2 vs. Philadelphia
Longest Homestand: 4 games (2 times)
Longest Road Trip: 4 games (3 times)
Back-to-Back: 16 series

Chicago Blackhawks
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
After enjoying a storybook season, the Blackhawks have stumbled through a couple of months of public relations disasters that took much of the shine off everything they've accomplished in the last year.
Five Things | Team Preview
Can the Blackhawks shake off the problems that plagued them this offseason?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs. Florida (Finland)
Home Opener: Oct. 10 vs. Colorado
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Dec 13-22)
Longest Road Trip: 8 games (Jan 16-30) Back-to-Back: 18 series

Colorado Avalanche
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Avs are in an unfamiliar place coming off a last place finish for the only time since moving to Colorado. They head into a new season with little reason for optimism.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Joe Sakic era has ended in Denver and it is time for the Avalanche to rebuild.
Opening Night: Oct. 1 vs. San Jose
Home Opener: Oct. 1 vs. San Jose
Longest Homestand: 5 games (2 times)
Longest Road Trip: 7 games (Oct 8-21)
Back-to-Back: 15 series

Columbus Blue Jackets
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The everything blended together last season behind rookie of the year Steve Mason, and the Blue Jackets finally made it to the postseason. Now they have to build on it.
Five Things | Team Preview
Columbus surprised on its way to the playoffs. Now the Jackets will see if they can do it again.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Minnesota
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Minnesota
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Feb 4-14)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (Nov 19-26)
Back-to-Back: 12 series

Dallas Stars
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
There has been a change of direction with the addition of GM Joe Nieuwendyk and Coach Marc Crawford. It gives the Stars the opportunity to prove they were not one-hit wonders in 2008.
Five Things | Team Preview
There are a couple of new sheriffs in Dallas: Marc Crawford and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Nashville
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Nashville
Longest Homestand: 6 games (Mar 12-21)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (Dec 8-17) Back-to-Back: 12 series

Detroit Red Wings
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Despite lockouts and economic model changes, the Red Wings have found a way to remain an elite organization and no one will be surprised if they add to their trophy case this coming season.
Five Things | Team Preview
What will it take for Detroit to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third straight year?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs. St. Louis (Sweden)
Home Opener: Oct. 8 vs. Chicago
Longest Homestand: 4 games (Nov 12-20)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (3 times) Back-to-Back: 13 series

Edmonton Oilers
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Oilers head into the new season with basically the same lineup that lost eight of the final 11 games last season. It really isn't much cause for optimism heading into the new campaign.
Five Things | Team Preview
Will adding Nikolai Khabibulin lead the Oilers back to the postseason?
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Calgary
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Calgary
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Nov 18-27)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Nov 28-Dec 11) Back-to-Back: 11 series

Florida Panthers
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The last time Florida made the playoffs, Bill Clinton was President. Much has changed in the world since then, but the Panthers have remained consistent in their inability to move forward.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Panthers are seeking new owners and a GM, and that may impact the team on the ice.
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs. Chicago (Finland)
Home Opener: Oct. 10 vs. New Jersey
Longest Homestand: 4 games (Mar 16-21)
Longest Road Trip: 4 games (Dec 9-14)
Back-to-Back: 17 series

Los Angeles Kings
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
A little optimism is probably required for a franchise that hasn't sniffed a playoff spot in six seasons. But one of these days, the future really will arrive for the Kings.
Five Things | Team Preview
One of the youngest teams in the NHL last season, the Kings added a couple vets this summer.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Phoenix
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Phoenix
Longest Homestand: 7 games (Jan 7-21)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Oct 10-19) Back-to-Back: 12 series

Minnesota Wild
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Times have changed in the West and the Wild need to adapt. Enter new GM Chuck Fletcher and coach Todd Richards. Both are expected to create a more aggressive, offensive style for the team.
Five Things | Team Preview
With a new GM, coach and offensive mentality, the Wild are all about change this season.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 at Columbus
Home Opener: Oct. 6 vs. Anaheim
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Feb 4-14)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (2 times) Back-to-Back: 15 series

Montreal Canadiens
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
There are new owners, a new coach and a lot of new faces in uniform in Montreal. Major change was inevitable for the Canadiens after one of the most difficult seasons in team history.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Habs shook up their roster over the summer after a disasterous 2008-09 campaign.
Opening Night: Oct. 1 at Toronto
Home Opener: Oct. 15 vs. Colorado
Longest Homestand: 6 games (Oct 15-26)
Longest Road Trip: 7 games (Dec 19-31) Back-to-Back: 16 series

Nashville Predators
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Predators could use some luck after missing the playoffs for the first time in five seasons and having a goaltender they know they can count on would probably qualify.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Predators need a strong effort by Pekka Rinne to climb out of the Central Division cellar.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 at Dallas
Home Opener: Oct. 8 vs. Colorado
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Nov 14-23)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (Oct 17-28)
Back-to-Back: 15 series

New Jersey Devils
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The defensive-minded Jacques Lemaire, who returned to the Devils this summer, believes he has adapted his system to the post-lockout era. In New Jersey, he sees the potential for more offense.
Five Things | Team Preview
Is it back to the future with New Jersey and coach Jacques Lemaire?
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Philadelphia
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Philadelphia
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Dec 9-18)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (Jan 9-18) Back-to-Back: 18 series

New York Islanders
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The good news for the Islanders is that things can't get much worse. The team has a reason for excitement heading into the season, thanks to the arrival of top draft pick John Tavares.
Five Things | Team Preview
What can the Islanders and fans in New York expect from John Tavares?
Opening Night: Oct. 3 vs. Pittsburgh
Home Opener: Oct. vs. Pittsburgh
Longest Homestand: 4 games (Dec 17-23)
Longest Road Trip: 7 games (Nov 11-23) Back-to-Back: 18 series

New York Rangers
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
GM Glen Sather's latest reconstruction gives the Rangers a new-look offense that could make this team, with the kind of goaltending Lundqvist provides, a dangerous one. Time will tell.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Rangers picked up fire power during the summer. Will they get up and go from the start?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 at Pittsburgh
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Ottawa
Longest Homestand: 3 games (7 times)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Mar 25-Apr 6) Back-to-Back: 12 series

Ottawa Senators
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Dany Heatley kept the Senators in limbo this summer with his trade demand. Fortunately for Ottawa, it had very little tinkering to do to the lineup that had the bulk of its key personnel still under contract.
Five Things | Team Preview
Will Alexei Kovalev be able to fill the offensive void left by Dany Heatley?
Opening Night: Oct. 3 at New York Rangers
Home Opener: Oct. 8 vs. New York Islanders
Longest Homestand: 5 games (2 times)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (2 times) Back-to-Back: 11 series

Philadelphia Flyers
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Flyers have the offense, defense and potentially the goaltending, but they have been lacking an intangible ingredient. They set out to change that by bringing in a future Hall of Famer.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Flyers make several moves over the summer to vault themselves into the league's elite.
Opening Night: Oct. 2 at Carolina
Home Opener: Oct. 6 vs. Washington
Longest Homestand: 6 games (Jan 19-30)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Dec 23-Jan 3) Back-to-Back: 16 series

Phoenix Coyotes
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Coyotes seem to be dying a death of a thousand cuts. It's slow, painful and inevitably means the end of the desert existence for a franchise that already has one foot out the door. Five Things | Team Preview The future of the Coyotes is one of the NHL's top stories. What happens next?
Opening Night: Oct. 3 at Los Angeles
Home Opener: Oct. 10 vs. Columbus
Longest Homestand: 6 games (Jan 9-21)
Longest Road Trip: 4 games (3 times) Back-to-Back: 13 series

Pittsburgh Penguins
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Penguins' collective effort was at the heart of their Stanley Cup victory. They'll get a chance to do it again because GM Ray Shero has done a masterful job of keeping the lineup together.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Penguins are young and now champs. Is this the start of a new dynasty?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs. N.Y. Rangers
Home Opener: Oct. 2 vs. N.Y. Rangers
Longest Homestand: 6 games (Mar 27-Apr 8)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (2 times) Back-to-Back: 16 series

San Jose Sharks
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Shouldn't the Sharks have won a Stanley Cup or made the Finals by now? They've had the talent to do it, but all San Jose has managed to accomplish is to become the NHL's biggest enigma.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Sharks added Dany Heatley during the offseason. Will it lead them to success?
Opening Night: Oct. 1 at Colorado
Home Opener: Oct. 8 vs. Columbus
Longest Homestand: 5 games (3 times)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (3 times) Back-to-Back: 13 series

St. Louis Blues
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Blues made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons last spring. St. Louis made few changes to its lineup over the summer with the belief that its young talent will take another step forward.
Five Things | Team Preview
Sometimes making no moves is a good move. Is that the case for the Blues?
Opening Night: Oct. 2 vs Detroit (Sweden)
Home Opener: Oct. 8 vs. Atlanta
Longest Homestand: 6 games (Dec 11-21)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (Dec 23-Jan 2)
Back-to-Back: 18 series

Tampa Bay Lightning
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Lightning were nothing if not a league laughing stock last season, because of an erratic ownership situation and ill-conceived personnel decisions. This time, the joke might be on everyone else.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Bolts improved their defense this summer making them a dark horse for a playoff berth.
Opening Night: Oct. 3 at Atlanta
Home Opener: Oct. 8 vs. New Jersey
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Dec 23-Jan 2)
Longest Road Trip: 6 games (Dec 11-21)
Back-to-Back: 12 series

Toronto Maple Leafs
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
It shouldn't be any surprise that the expectation level has been raised a little in Toronto now that the Maple Leafs have gone through the first significant stage of their rebuilding under GM Brian Burke.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Leafs improved their defense during the offseason, but where will the offense come from?
Opening Night: Oct. 1 vs. Montreal
Home Opener: Oct. 1 vs. Montreal
Longest Homestand: 4 games (Mar 30-Apr 6)
Longest Road Trip: 5 games (2 times) Back-to-Back: 18 series

Vancouver Canucks
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
Signing Roberto Luongo and the Sedins was critical for the Canucks, who have a strong supporting cast in youngsters like Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows, and one of the league's better defenses.
Five Things | Team Preview
Roberto Luongo said he wants to finish his career as a Canuck, and backs it up with a big contract.
Opening Night: Oct. 1 at Calgary
Home Opener: Oct. 5 vs. Columbus
Longest Homestand: 8 games (Dec 10-26)
Longest Road Trip: 8 games (Jan 30-Feb 14) Back-to-Back: 14 series

Washington Capitals
Wes Goldstein's Take Video Preview The Basics
The Capitals looked like a serious Stanley Cup contender last season with two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin and their young players proving they are all-star talents. Washington is no less a threat now.
Five Things | Team Preview
The Capitals were on the verge of a Cup run last spring and could make it happen this season.
Opening Night: Oct. 1 at Boston
Home Opener: Oct. 3 vs. Toronto
Longest Homestand: 5 games (Mar 4-12)
Longest Road Trip: 4 games (2 times)
Back-to-Back: 13 series