2010-11 Lazy Review: 2010 first round pick, 18 year old Jeff Skinner, was a revelation for the Canes. Not as excited about Skinner's performance: Skinner's girlfriend on prom night, according to gossip around the high school.
2011-12 Gut Reaction: The Canes will be led by captain Eric Staal, one of three Staal brothers currently playing in the NHL. The easiest way to tell Eric apart from brothers Jordan and Marc is his sandy hair, fair complexion, and rangy physique. Wait, that doesn't work.
2011-12 Informed Reaction: Carolina will be the 5th most compelling team in their division, due to the sexy Caps, the re-born Jets, the star-laden Lightning, and Florida's new "Take Your Picture With A Live Panther" promotion.
2011-12 Prediction: Of all the seasons in the history of the Hartford/Carolina franchise, this season will easily be it's most recent.
2010-11 Lazy Review: Florida continued their post-expansion league record 10 year streak of sending players to the World Championships in early April.
2011-12 Gut Reaction: This offseason will be remembered as the year GM Dale Tallon finally dragged the Panthers into the post-lockout NHL, giving their fans an opportunity to complain about terrible long term, big money contracts that make absolutely no sense just like fans of the other 29 NHL teams.
2011-12 Informed Reaction: Tallon went all-in on the Panthers' new marketing slogan of "We See Red" with his acquisition of noted gingers Brian Campbell, Sean Bergenheim, Tomas Fleischmann, and Kris Versteeg.
2011-12 Prediction: The Panthers will struggle again with a patchwork lineup, leading to next year's offseason roster experiment: personnel decisions via Mad Libs on July 1st.
2010-11 Lazy Review: The Cinderella Lightning came within one game of a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, cementing their transition from a team whose movie mogul former owners nearly changed their name to the "Cinderella Lightning".
2011-12 Gut Reaction: Tampa should be able to build on last season's success, as long as Steve Yzerman is still tight with whichever Satanic force he sold his soul to that allowed him to inherit the roster he did.
2011-12 Informed Reaction: The team's new uniforms closely resemble those worn by the Toronto Maple Leafs. In fact, at first glance, you may not be able to tell the two teams apart at all until you notice that Tampa players hold their sticks with the blade on the ice instead of upside-down, and are not comically skating into one another with Yakety Sax playing in the background.
2011-12 Prediction: The Lightning will make the playoffs, but fall short of last season's magical run to the conference final as coach Guy Boucher goes missing under mysterious circumstances after the release of the newest Batman movie.
2010-11 Lazy Review: Hockey fans became better acquainted with the Caps and jolly head coach Bruce Boudreau during HBO's acclaimed "24/7" series that chronicled exactly why the Caps will never win a Stanley Cup under the tutelage of jolly head coach Bruce Boudreau.
2011-12 Gut Reaction: Washington signed goalie Tomas Vokoun at a drastically reduced rate. This will make it easier for the Caps to mindlessly rotate their 7 goalies-of-the-future through their starting lineup at various points during the season.
2011-12 Informed Reaction: The Caps will once again be a prohibitive favorite in the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs, until they run into a team with the commitment and skill to keep Alex Ovechkin from making that SAME STUPID CUT-TO-THE-MIDDLE-FROM-THE-WING-AND-SHOOT MOVE HE'S BEEN DOING SINCE HE WAS SIX YEARS OLD.
2011-12 Prediction: Owner Ted Leonsis will forcefully declare in a mid-May blog that his organization is on the cusp of accomplishing it's ultimate goal of reaching the third step of the 46-step process of winning a Stanley Cup.
2010-11 Lazy Review: The former Thrashers got off to a hot start in 2010, but quickly hit a tailspin that coincided with rumors circulating around Atlanta that there was an NHL team playing in Atlanta.
2011-12 Gut Reaction: The Jets are the only team I no longer have a gut reaction on for the upcoming season. I already reacted to the news of Dustin Byfuglien's 286 pound gut. My reaction: "You fatass."
2011-12 Informed Reaction: Would it have really been that hard to bring back the original Jets logo, guys? REALLY?
2011-12 Prediction: Winnipeg will cement its place as a desirable destination for NHL players due to the rabid fan base, the excitement of the returned team, and the fact that it's STILL not as bad as Edmonton.