New Jersey has talent to repeat

Nothing short of a Stanley Cup will do for Ottawa, which still has one of the strongest lineups in the NHL.

Updated: October 9, 2003, 1:47 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
Only two things are certain in the mostly unpredictable Eastern Conference this season: The Senators will lead the way again and everyone will underestimate the Devils. They'll just have to play the games now for us to find out how the rest shakes out.

Here's a look at the big questions facing teams in the East this season:

Atlanta Thrashers -- Obviously, the biggest question is how the Thrashers recover emotionally from the death of teammate Dan Snyder. The less-important impact Snyder's death has on the team's hockey performance is uncertain, although it so far has had a unifying effect and a brief distraction from their mourning.