After part-one, we have to go to part-two....mostly because it's the natural lead of progression from one part to another part. Simplicity, folks.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS: There's a couple of people who will be on the bubble in the new-old Jacques Lemaire run team. First, which of either Ben Walter or Tim Sestito will be in the fourth center role. The feeling of Walter taking the spot due to his solid production in Bridgeport last season, but Sestito's grit could put him over in that role as a energy line center. Another question is where could Cory Murphy fit into the defensive scheme, if at all. It seems that the defense is settled in where they are at right now, but signing Murphy is a little suspisicious considering they have a solid line-up as it is for the blue line.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS: Well-- plenty to say about the Isles, but one of the bubble guys is only there due to happenstance, Martin Biron. Biron is obviously insurance for Rick DiPietro and Dwayne Roloson, but if Biron outplays the latter, what could the Isles do with him-- parlay it into a decent deal for a skater, keep him for the insurance, or try and deal one of the other netminders?? Also, look for a battle between Jesse Joensuu and Tim Jackman for that final right wing spot, as Joensuu has plenty to prove and could turn it up a notch during camp in order to put the heat on Jackman.
NEW YORK RANGERS: A lot of the bubble stuff will depend on what happens with Brandon Dubinsky and his contract. This will put Brian Boyle, Tyler Arnason, and even younger Brodie Dupont in the running for a couple of center jobs. Dupont could sneak in, as his play in Hartford would be a determining factor, as it's within the family. Plus, Dupont has all the tools to be a multi-purpose player for the Rangers. Many would wonder how Matt Gilroy could fit in, but this pre-season is showing he's ready to take the next step and should work out well for the Rangers.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS: With James van Riemsdyk coming into the fold now, he's going to be under the microscope and it will be his spot to lose in training camp. He's impressed somewhat so far, so odds are he will have the spot; barring something crazy happening. The one thing for van Riemsdyk is whether he'd be willing to go to his off-wing in order to get a better position, considering that the right side is a lot weaker than the left side in the top-6.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: Oddly enough, the Stanley Cup champs don't have much of an issue for bubble players. They lost a couple defensemen, but gained Jay McKee in the process, which is a solid trade off. Though a fight could be between Alex Goligoski and Ben Lovejoy for the sixth spot, though Goligoski would win out seeing as how he's been up on the roster last season.
We'll finish our east coast tour with the Southeast Division tomorrow because that's how we role with things on TSOoA-- only features. All killer, no filler. That's a lie-- which is why we have AGM on Mondays.