Flo The Action wrote:
there's alot of ifs and buts but i wouldn't call you a fool for saying we might make the playoffs next year. i'm not sure what odds I'd give it, maybe 30 % chance we make it? It really depends on who is part of this team in September.
I'd much rather stay at 6 then overpay to move up and draft Stome. fair chance he'll be a second line C.
couturier I like, even I'd say I'd take over Lando. Again I'm not an anti-lando but after reading a bunch on him if he reaches the best case scenario that's been pegged for him i'm fine with that. If he ends up a second line winger scoring some 20 goals a year i think we could of done better.
30% is probably fair, if a little conservative. If we get a healthy season out of a few key performers (Mr. Anderson, Spezz, Michalek, Alfie, Karlsson), a bounce back season from Gonchar, Phillips, and Regin, and a further development from Foligno, Butler, Greening and any other B-towners, we'll be in great shape. Of course, all those "ifs" mean that 30% is probably fairly accurate.
At the start of the season we were 100% convinced we would make the playoffs. The only piece of uncertaintly was if we would finish better than 5th from the previous year, or below.
What's changed since last year? We lost Ruutu, Kovalev, Fisher and Kelly. Taking their career averages (which is being very generous to Kovalev) that's 19 goals per 82-games, less if you account for injuries (Fisher's style of play takes a toll, for sure), and even lower if you account for Kovalev's drop off. So, can we count on 18-20 goals for their replacements? Foligno, Butler and Greening, if they play top-six minutes, should make up the bulk of those 70-75 goals (and Foligno's production as a third liner will have to be replaced by someone, of course; how about Regin? Can he have a bounce-back season and better Foligno's 17 from two years ago? Then there's the #6 pick, Shannon (possibly) getting a full season, a healthy Alfredsson and Michalek.
On the back-end, Kuba will not break his leg again. Don't forget that this guy led the team in per-game ice time when we finished 5th in the East. Gonchar was mishandled by Clouston, so I expect him to do better if played on his off-side. His conditioning concerns me, but with Kalrsson and Rundblad pushing I am not really concerned about production from the back end. Rundblad replaces Campoli? Cowen replaces Kuba (or "good" Kuba replaces "bad" Kuba)?
Defensively, I don't think any of the kids steps in and replaces Kelly, but Anderson should more than make up the difference.
And with MacLean coming in, we should be playing a better team game.
I'm convinced we'll be better than last year. Are we going to be better than the year before? Somewhere between last year dn the year before, lies that 8th spot. I think our chances of getting there are better than 30%.