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.
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.