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NHL Mid-Season Review

The NHL season is heading to the half way point. So far, there's been some great hits, hard-nosed fights and spectacular goals. So put on your helmet and get ready to drop the gloves with The Zone's look at the NHL season so far.

Who wins the Cup? The New Jersey Devils took the cup last year with their tight defense, tough checking, and great goaltending from Martin Brodeur. But with the return of Mario Lemieux to the NHL, look out for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In the powerful West, it'll be a fight between the St. Louis Blues, the San Jose Sharks and the Colorado Avalanche. If Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg are healthy, the Avalanche should bury everyone else in the West. The Zone's picking the Penguins and the Avalanche to meet in the final with the Avs taking the Cup.

Who finishes last? The NHL welcomed two new teams this season - the Minnesota Wild and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both these teams have struggled big time. But the once respected Montreal Candiens have been even worse. The "flying frenchmen" have nose-dived into last place and don't appear to be going anywhere.

Most points? Jaromir Jagr was great before. Now he'll be playing the rest of the season with Mario Lemieux - double trouble! Unless Jagr gets smoked by the Zamboni, he'll win another scoring title. J.J. is a magician on the ice with several more seasons worth of tricks yet to come.

Most goals? Ziggy Palffy of the LA Kings has zig zagged his way to the top of the scoring parade. Ziggy should zip in at least 50 goals before the season ends this year.

Top Rookie? The Sedin Twins from the Vancouver Canucks. For the first time, voters will get confused and pick two players for the award. The identical twins from Sweden will score identical points and win identical awards.

Biggest Goon? Well, with Marty McHatchet (McSorley) out of the league this year, The Zone votes Peter Worrell of the Florida Panthers as the biggest thug. This guy will drop the gloves at any given chance. He can't score, his team sucks and he's got a rabid cat on his jersey... Stay tuned for lots of high sticks, cut lips, and dirty tricks.

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