BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 25: Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Florida Panthers makes a save on Tyler Ennis #63 of the Buffalo Sabres as Drew Stafford #21 of the Sabres tries to screen Vokoun at HSBC Arena on March 25, 2011 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Well, readers, here's what you had to say about the SE Division - I've included Tom Awad's VUKOTA projections as a comparison:
Washington - this team wasn't quite as good as its 107 points might have indicated last season. So 111 points is actually a big leap, even if you believe that Washington's goaltending was legitimately below-average last year and that Vokoun is a huge upgrade. Roughly two teams finish with 111+ points each season, and that's because everything breaks the right way for them. VUKOTA is much more realistic about likely outcomes.
Winnipeg - like I told you guys, you're way too optimistic about this team. There's a reason you needed to put down five-year commitments for season tickets.
Tampa - I think both our readers and VUKOTA are way too conservative about this team. They dominate puck possession, but they play a little differently with the lead than other teams, and they ended up with a mediocre goal-differential, which drives a lot of VUKOTA.
Florida - I should go back and remove the Panthers voters from the results. The one-quarter of readers who thought Florida would post 100+ points...I'd love to wager with you. Leave your name in the comments, winner chooses the charity of his choice.
Carolina - it seems like everyone basically sees all of the teams other than Washington in this division as being on the playoff bubble. VUKOTA thinks the Hurricanes are a little better.
We'll see who turns out to be more accurate...