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-   -   Realistic expectations for next season? (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=266063)

Miller Time 07-02-2006 08:38 PM

Realistic expectations for next season?
 
So the bulk of the FA big names are gone, and barring a big trade it looks like Gainey is content to sit on the same team that squeezed into the playoffs in the last week of the season, on the back of an incredible stretch run.

The 05-06 team relied heavily on the play of some young/unproven players (higgins, perez, pleks, komi, cube, huet) to end up 8th in the eastern conference and give the eventual stanley cup champs a serious run for their money in the first round.

With Gainey apperently confident in this squad to reach the goals he has for the team for the 06-07 season (which are what, i don't know? ... another 7-8 finish I would imagine), what do we, the fans, reasonably expect with this line-up.

Personally, I'll be backing the team the whole way, but I find it hard to see us in the top 8 in the east...
Yes we have young players getting better, but so do Atlanta and Florida (not to mention Pittsburg, though unless malkin has crosbyesque/ovenchkinlike impact, they are still probably a year or two away).
Florida, Boston and Toronto have all made significant upgrades to their line up (even though flo is minus luongo), and Tampa will likely be better (they underachieved last year and Denis should make up for the loss of Kubina/Modin)

None of the teams ahead of us have lost enough to make us think that we are better equiped to contend then they are... IMO Ott will still contend even without chara/pothier, NY, NJ, Buffalo, Carolina, and Philly, will all ice similar teams to the ones that outpaced us last year.

So, realistically, without being a homer and clinging to a belief that our young guys are somehow more likely to shine than other teams young guys, I think that next year will be a step backwards for the team.

I will hold on to the hope that injuries/inspired play/dumb luck work in our favor to keep us in the top 8, but the logical side of my brain says that we don't have the "horses" to keep us in the eastern conference playoff race this year.

Anyone care to differ?
(and please, no "in bob we trust" rhetoric... he has not done much thus far to indicate that he is nay more schrewd than his peers when it comes to managing his roster... IMO Darryl Sutter is a great example of a GM with a plan that is working, even with the flames suprise 1st round exit this year)

J-D 07-02-2006 09:01 PM

I see the Montreal Canadiens battling for a playoff spot until the end, as usual.

davey999 07-02-2006 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J-D (Post 5895507)
I see the Montreal Canadiens battling for a playoff spot until the end, as usual.

Agreed, although I think there is a better than 50/50 chance they don't make it.

Carolina, Ottawa, Buffalo, Philly, NJ and NYR I would consider locks. Boston, Toronto, TB and Atlanta will be better.

SOLR 07-02-2006 09:16 PM

Ottawa lost some assets, and they sign our favorite piece of cheese to be their goal tender.

-Buffalo lost some assets.
-Boston and Toronto, will still be beatable.
-Washington and Pittsburgh will still be bad.
-Philadelphia didnt improved
-New Jersey will likely have to deal one big player
-Carolina will have Stanley cup blues?(all the location players gone!)
-Lightning might still be doing sideways, and the players may be trying to push Torto out.
-Thrashers loose some assets.
-NYI - Still bad.
-NY Rangers - Big Team.
-Panthers, the jury is out, will probably be better, but will make the south competitive, witch might cost some precious pts to the other 3 teams.

On our side:

Kostitsyn, chapter 1.
Higgins, chapter 2
Pleckanec, chapter 2, playing with a healthier knee.
Perezhogin, chapter 2
Ryder without an hernia(even if I dont like him)
Ribeiro playing his career(even if I dont like him)
Still possible trades or UFA.
Huet all year hopefully.(last year with him all year we are 4-5 in the conference)

We will fight for 6-8 playoffs spots.

henri2014 07-02-2006 09:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davey999 (Post 5895549)
Agreed, although I think there is a better than 50/50 chance they don't make it.

Carolina, Ottawa, Buffalo, Philly, NJ and NYR I would consider locks. Boston, Toronto, TB and Atlanta will be better.

I dont think NYR and Philly are locks for the playoffs, with the lost of desjardins and Johnsson Philly's D doesnt look really good.

Toronto and Boston are still under us, Atlanta still doesnt have any defensmen.

davey999 07-02-2006 09:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SOLR (Post 5895702)
Ottawa lost some assets, and they sign our favorite piece of cheese to be their goal tender.

-Buffalo lost some assets.
-Boston and Toronto, will still be beatable.
-Washington and Pittsburgh will still be bad.
-Philadelphia didnt improved
-New Jersey will likely have to deal one big player
-Carolina will have Stanley cup blues?(all the location players gone!)
-Lightning might still be doing sideways, and the players may be trying to push Torto out.
-Thrashers loose some assets.
-NYI - Still bad.
-NY Rangers - Big Team.
-Panthers, the jury is out, will probably be better, but will make the south competitive, witch might cost some precious pts to the other 3 teams.

On our side:

Kostitsyn, chapter 1.
Higgins, chapter 2
Pleckanec, chapter 2, playing with a healthier knee.
Perezhogin, chapter 2
Ryder without an hernia(even if I dont like him)
Ribeiro playing his career(even if I dont like him)
Still possible trades or UFA.
Huet all year hopefully.(last year with him all year we are 4-5 in the conference)

We will fight for 6-8 playoffs spots.

All the other teams can point to new players coming up or players improving, not just Montreal.

How about Buffalo with an improved Vanek? Philly with Carter and Richards having another year? Ottawa with Meszaros and Eaves?

The league isn't run in a vacuum.

Team_Spirit 07-02-2006 09:20 PM

The deadwood is almost all gone , i think the Habs will surprise and compete with Buffalo for 4th-6th. Huet will be there all year and won't hand out points to the others teams like Theo did all year , sometimes twice in a row... Carbo will coach the team giving ice time to our youngsters and turn them into impact players ( Higgins,Komi,Pleky are almost lock to perform with our wingers Perez and Kosty as wildcards )

davey999 07-02-2006 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jozeph_Balej (Post 5895762)
The deadwood is almost all gone , i think the Habs will surprise and compete with Buffalo for 4th-6th. Huet will be there all year and won't hand out points to the others teams like Theo did all year , sometimes twice in a row... Carbo will coach the team giving ice time to our youngsters and turn them into impact players ( Higgins,Komi,Pleky are almost lock to perform with our wingers Perez and Kosty as wildcards )

How can you be confident in Huet after one good half season? He was great last year, but IMO the jury is still out.

Sports1131 07-02-2006 09:27 PM

It's too early to set our expectations for next season, but I am very afraid that management's goal remains the same - build for 2009. I'd be very surprised if Gainey's goal for the season isn't to merely make the playoffs, as usual.

I'll be at every home game again, but it's so disappointing to know going in that the people that run the team don't have any hope of winning the Stanley Cup this year.

davey999 07-02-2006 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sports1131 (Post 5895832)
It's too early to set our expectations for next season, but I am very afraid that management's goal remains the same - build for 2009. I'd be very surprised if Gainey's goal for the season is to merely make the playoffs, as usual.

I'll be at every home game again, but it's so disappointing to know going in that the people that run the team don't have any hope of winning the Stanley Cup this year.

I agree. This 2009 stuff is total crap.

ForsbergForever 07-02-2006 09:43 PM

Am I the only one who doesn't think that Gainey has some fantastic plan that is far too clever and far-reaching in vision for us mere fans to comprehend? He bid for some UFAs (supposedly) and lost out, he decided not to resign some of the team's free agents (Sundstrom, Bulis, Simpson) and has not made any trades so far. I don't see any genius at work, only a man playing it safe and slowly eliminating weak spots as they present themself.

davey999 07-02-2006 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Forsberg4ever (Post 5896021)
Am I the only one who doesn't think that Gainey has some fantastic plan that is far too clever and far-reaching in vision for us mere fans to comprehend? He bid for some UFAs (supposedly) and lost out, he decided not to resign some of the team's free agents (Sundstrom, Bulis, Simpson) and has not made any trades so far. I don't see any genius at work, only a man playing it safe and slowly eliminating weak spots as they present themself.

You're not the only one. He hasn't earned this blind faith that most people on this board have for him.

Darz 07-02-2006 10:39 PM

Most people a year ago didn't expect much from Carolina or Buffalo, but one year later, and one is a Stanley Cup champ and the other is considered one of the best teams in the East.

For Mnotreal to have alot of success this upcoming year, alot of things are going to have to happen. The more of these things that happen, the more success the team will have. If all the things fall into place, we finish first in the conference and win the Cup.

Remember if everything was decided on paper before the season started we wouldn't need to go through the whole thing...right????

Sports1131 07-02-2006 10:39 PM

I like Gainey; he's just been too cautious for my liking thus far as GM of the Habs. I will admit that it's too early to judge his performance this offseason. Although I am not optimistic that we'll make any substantial improvements, who knows.

Sthabs 07-03-2006 12:43 AM

the way i see it
considering we lost some dead woods, also considering the fact that some of our rookies made huge improvement, and lookin forward to continue next year
i expect somethin between 45-50 wins, over 100 points, and IN the playoffs

I mean seriously, at this same point last year, everybody tought the pens were going to be awesome....

Kue 07-03-2006 01:06 AM

I can't see us make any big move up. I'd predict playoffs, but nothing higher than 6.

Freaky Habs Fan 07-03-2006 01:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davey999 (Post 5895815)
How can you be confident in Huet after one good half season? He was great last year, but IMO the jury is still out.

We still have Aebischer...

One of those two will do the job for sure...

Kirk Muller* 07-03-2006 02:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SOLR (Post 5895702)
On our side:

Kostitsyn, chapter 1.
Higgins, chapter 2
Pleckanec, chapter 2, playing with a healthier knee.
Perezhogin, chapter 2
Ryder without an hernia(even if I dont like him)
Ribeiro playing his career(even if I dont like him)
Still possible trades or UFA.
Huet all year hopefully.(last year with him all year we are 4-5 in the conference)

We will fight for 6-8 playoffs spots.

All of this is predicated on young guys like Higgins, Plekanec, Perezhogin, Ryder and Ribeiro improving (and Kostitsyn playing, but I don't see how that's an improvement; he didn't play last year). I can accept that.

But what about all the other teams who have young players? Are they all just going to stall completely? What about Buffalo? Sure they lost McKee, but aren't Vanek, Pominville, Roy, Tallinder, Kotalik, Gaustad, Pyatt, Kalinin and Novotny going to improve? Aren't Stajan, Steen, Welwood, Ponikarovsky and Colaiacovo going to improve for the Leafs? Aren't Pitkanen, Umberger, Carter, Meyer and Eager going to improve for the Flyers? You act as if only the Habs have young, up and coming players.

Another point is that getting rid of the so-called deadwood will have little impact. These players were deadwood because of various circumstances (free agency, go back to sweden, etc.), not because of their actual play. There is no realistic reason to believe that replacing Bulis and Sundstrom with Perezhogin and Kostitsyn will improve the team this year.

NewHabsEra* 07-03-2006 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kirk Muller (Post 5898236)
All of this is predicated on young guys like Higgins, Plekanec, Perezhogin, Ryder and Ribeiro improving (and Kostitsyn playing, but I don't see how that's an improvement; he didn't play last year). I can accept that.

But what about all the other teams who have young players? Are they all just going to stall completely? What about Buffalo? Sure they lost McKee, but aren't Vanek, Pominville, Roy, Tallinder, Kotalik, Gaustad, Pyatt, Kalinin and Novotny going to improve? Aren't Stajan, Steen, Welwood, Ponikarovsky and Colaiacovo going to improve for the Leafs? Aren't Pitkanen, Umberger, Carter, Meyer and Eager going to improve for the Flyers? You act as if only the Habs have young, up and coming players.

Another point is that getting rid of the so-called deadwood will have little impact. These players were deadwood because of various circumstances (free agency, go back to sweden, etc.), not because of their actual play. There is no realistic reason to believe that replacing Bulis and Sundstrom with Perezhogin and Kostitsyn will improve the team this year.

We all seen what a guy like Higgins can do last season, Plekanec played solid too but we didnt see half of what Perezhogin can do on the ice.. This kid is something special but he took longer than I expected to adjust... His play late in the season as well as in the playoffs let me think he will come back confident for the next season.. A confident Perezhogin = something you just cant imagine, something the youngest CH fans didnt had the chance too see in the past 10 years or so... And you know what? Kostitsyn is possibly even more purely skilled....What the Habs suffered the most in the last 10 years was the poor quality of their offensive players, now we have guys like Kovalev, Perezhogin, Kostitsyn and some other highly skilled prospects that improve our team a big deal... Guys like Koivu Higgins Plekanec arent as skilled as the guys stated above but they are top 6 material that play a great 2-way game with a high level of intensity... In our kids you have to believe, they are the key!

FinnHab 07-03-2006 04:20 AM

7th or 8th place is ours if Huet plays solid goaltending all season. And of course coaching is still one questionmark, how will Carbo/Muller succeeded..?

eddy 07-03-2006 04:41 AM

Well the offseason is FAR from over Gainey can still make a signing or two or trade to improve the club. If not we still have a decent and team nice thing about the Habs is that were so young rather then most of are players getting older and less productive for the most part they will be improving and becomming more useful. Guys like Komisarek, Plekanec, Perezhogin, Higgins, and possible rookies like Kostitsyn and Grabovsky could all possibly break out. Even younger guys like Ribs and Ryder may not have hit their prime yet.

Marksman 07-03-2006 04:48 AM

In my opinion its *way* too early to make any kind of assessment after two days into free agent season. Most of the teams have plenty of their rfa's unsigned - there is a good chance power balance shifts again if some teams are forced to make trades with their players to keep some cap room.

I would loved to see Arnott or someone else added, but next seasons Habs should be still improved over last years edition - one strength not mentioned is Gainey has kept our unit intact instead of ripping team apart and bringing in hockey mercenaries - which is good for team spirit.

tinyzombies 07-03-2006 04:57 AM

Depends on how healthy we can stay. I think this team is improved from last summer even with no moves and everyone was saying middle of the pack. That's probably where we would have ended up.

With Carbo behind the bench and with Gainey slowly putting size in the lineup (I expect more size before the summer is over), and with Huet there a full season, I expect middle of the pack again, if we stay healthy.

We could be a second round team this time around, but our lack of transition puck movement and size/grit/scoring in the top 6 are what is holding us back, unless some of our kids take big strides and Souray plays like he did a couple years ago.

Kirk Muller* 07-03-2006 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NewHabsArea (Post 5898475)
We all seen what a guy like Higgins can do last season, Plekanec played solid too but we didnt see half of what Perezhogin can do on the ice.. This kid is something special but he took longer than I expected to adjust... His play late in the season as well as in the playoffs let me think he will come back confident for the next season.. A confident Perezhogin = something you just cant imagine, something the youngest CH fans didnt had the chance too see in the past 10 years or so... And you know what? Kostitsyn is possibly even more purely skilled....What the Habs suffered the most in the last 10 years was the poor quality of their offensive players, now we have guys like Kovalev, Perezhogin, Kostitsyn and some other highly skilled prospects that improve our team a big deal... Guys like Koivu Higgins Plekanec arent as skilled as the guys stated above but they are top 6 material that play a great 2-way game with a high level of intensity... In our kids you have to believe, they are the key!

I DO believe in them. I think they will do well.

But if we're assuming good performances from our youngsters, there's no reason to assume that Toronto or Philadelphia or Buffalo or Ottawa's youngsters won't do the same.

davey999 07-03-2006 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kirk Muller (Post 5898236)
All of this is predicated on young guys like Higgins, Plekanec, Perezhogin, Ryder and Ribeiro improving (and Kostitsyn playing, but I don't see how that's an improvement; he didn't play last year). I can accept that.

But what about all the other teams who have young players? Are they all just going to stall completely? What about Buffalo? Sure they lost McKee, but aren't Vanek, Pominville, Roy, Tallinder, Kotalik, Gaustad, Pyatt, Kalinin and Novotny going to improve? Aren't Stajan, Steen, Welwood, Ponikarovsky and Colaiacovo going to improve for the Leafs? Aren't Pitkanen, Umberger, Carter, Meyer and Eager going to improve for the Flyers? You act as if only the Habs have young, up and coming players.

Another point is that getting rid of the so-called deadwood will have little impact. These players were deadwood because of various circumstances (free agency, go back to sweden, etc.), not because of their actual play. There is no realistic reason to believe that replacing Bulis and Sundstrom with Perezhogin and Kostitsyn will improve the team this year.

Well said. Exactly.


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