What do you guys expect???

pb1300
09-24-2003, 04:26 AM
Barring injuries, I think the Panthers have a talented enough team to make one of the last playoff spots. I think the defense will be improved, and the addition of grit and leadership is a big plus for this team. If the guys (other than Kozzy and Olli) can contribute, we could be seeing the second coming of the Marlins.

justapantherfan
09-24-2003, 04:33 AM
I too believe that they will make the play-offs this year. I doubt it will be high up in the spot, but non the less a play-off spot. :handclap:

evildreams
09-24-2003, 04:48 AM
with the fairly full-time additions (nedorost, e. messier, hoglund, goren, samuelsson, horton, nash, kadlec, odelein, van ryn, mezei, gill, krajicek), i will be very disappointed if they can't squeeze in in a very weak eastern conference, where fringers like NYI can make it in with Garth Snow in net and softy Yashin as their go-to guy.

Acadmus
09-24-2003, 07:31 AM
Even with injuries, the Panthers finally seem deep enough this season to maintain a steady pace, which should have them competing for one of the last couple of playoff spots. If someone goes down, the list of eligible call-ups is decent. I'll say it's a toss-up as to whether they make it there, though.

That said, the Panthers also have all the elements of being a dark horse candidate for the Southeast division title. They're a bunch of highly-talented players with great goaltending who were lacking in veteran leadership and a physical element. This year they have all four pieces. They really could surprise, but it's just a possibility. Going with the odds, I still say competing for spots 6-8 in March.

Clash*
09-24-2003, 08:15 AM
Realisticly speakin, with teams like Buffalo, Carolina, and Atlanta all havin improved their teams, and none of last years' playoff teams havin lost significant enough personnel, expectin the playoffs is shooting high. Our division alone will be tougher.

Carolina rebuilt their defense with Boughner, Markov, and the reacquisition of Wesley. The have Vrbata for an entire season, with Cole and Brindamoor comin back from season ending injuries. And goalie isn't really a weakness, as Kevin Weekes was havin an awesome year, up until the time he suffered a concussion. He's back healthy, and with a solid defense in front of him, won't get knocked around as much.

Atlanta has strengthened themselves with the additions of our very own Majesky and the addition of first round pick, Braydon Coburn. They also have Marc Savard for an entire year, to center Dany Heatley. Byron Dafoe is in camp, instead of joinin the team midseason, and Pasi Nurminen is much like our very own Hurme' in that he's good enough to be the starter. Plus they'll be playin the entire season under Bob Hartley, so they'll have that stability.

Tampa and Washington both are still playoff caliber teams. Tampa lost nothin of significance (Prospal bein debatable, but inconsistency until a contract year, something's fishy and its not the Gulf redfish) and Khabibulin will want to prove last year was a fluke of a season. Washington lost two defensemen and will be fielding a very young defense, but Kolzig never has two average to subpar years in a row. And with names like Jagr, Bondra, Gonchar, and Lang, they have the potential to outscore the other team to offset the lack of defense.
That's just our division alone. You then want to look at teams like Buffalo and the Rangers who added players like Drury and DeVries respectively, to fill what they perceived as holes. Buffalo also has Daniel Briere for an entire season, and a lot of potential waitin to breakout with Afinogenov, Pyatt and Connelly. Teams like Boston didn't lose anything except an average netminder and replaced him with the same, and with names like Thorton, Rolston, Murray, and Samsonov, they have the fire power to still make the playoffs. There's only one team in the East we are pretty much guarenteed to finish ahead of and its Mario's Penguins. Everyone else is either on par or ahead of us at this stage of our rebuilding.

Our on ice product will be much to drastically improved, but our point totals will be hard to see the same kind of improvement with. Expectin a playoff seed, like many seem to believe is gonna happen, is puttin too much pressure on these guys, and in the end gonna hurt them. How many times have we heard boos in the ODC when the team didn't perform up to expectations. These guys are mostly still kids and veteran leadership doesn't change that overnite.

sting_fan
09-24-2003, 09:18 AM
Well said Clash.

Heimy
09-24-2003, 09:32 AM
Realisticly speakin, with teams like Buffalo, Carolina, and Atlanta all havin improved their teams, and none of last years' playoff teams havin lost significant enough personnel, expectin the playoffs is shooting high. Our division alone will be tougher.

Carolina rebuilt their defense with Boughner, Markov, and the reacquisition of Wesley. The have Vrbata for an entire season, with Cole and Brindamoor comin back from season ending injuries. And goalie isn't really a weakness, as Kevin Weekes was havin an awesome year, up until the time he suffered a concussion. He's back healthy, and with a solid defense in front of him, won't get knocked around as much.

Atlanta has strengthened themselves with the additions of our very own Majesky and the addition of first round pick, Braydon Coburn. They also have Marc Savard for an entire year, to center Dany Heatley. Byron Dafoe is in camp, instead of joinin the team midseason, and Pasi Nurminen is much like our very own Hurme' in that he's good enough to be the starter. Plus they'll be playin the entire season under Bob Hartley, so they'll have that stability.

Tampa and Washington both are still playoff caliber teams. Tampa lost nothin of significance (Prospal bein debatable, but inconsistency until a contract year, something's fishy and its not the Gulf redfish) and Khabibulin will want to prove last year was a fluke of a season. Washington lost two defensemen and will be fielding a very young defense, but Kolzig never has two average to subpar years in a row. And with names like Jagr, Bondra, Gonchar, and Lang, they have the potential to outscore the other team to offset the lack of defense.
That's just our division alone. You then want to look at teams like Buffalo and the Rangers who added players like Drury and DeVries respectively, to fill what they perceived as holes. Buffalo also has Daniel Briere for an entire season, and a lot of potential waitin to breakout with Afinogenov, Pyatt and Connelly. Teams like Boston didn't lose anything except an average netminder and replaced him with the same, and with names like Thorton, Rolston, Murray, and Samsonov, they have the fire power to still make the playoffs. There's only one team in the East we are pretty much guarenteed to finish ahead of and its Mario's Penguins. Everyone else is either on par or ahead of us at this stage of our rebuilding.

Our on ice product will be much to drastically improved, but our point totals will be hard to see the same kind of improvement with. Expectin a playoff seed, like many seem to believe is gonna happen, is puttin too much pressure on these guys, and in the end gonna hurt them. How many times have we heard boos in the ODC when the team didn't perform up to expectations. These guys are mostly still kids and veteran leadership doesn't change that overnite.



Good conference assessment Clash. I only disagree with your last paragraph. Putting pressure on these guys is the only way I know of to fully evaluate them and make whatever changes prove necessary. IMO having high expectations is the only way to think and can, in the right environment be a self fulfilling prophecy.