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08-22-2007, 02:34 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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I would say:

Likely to make the playoffs
Not a lock to make the playoffs
Unlikely to be a cup contender but likely to make the playoffs.

This team is underrated because people focus on the departures and our summer circumstances. It's a bit like predicting the Senators were doomed after losing Havlat and Chara and Hasek without considering what was left.

Our goalie is very good, our top 6 is great, our D is solid, our 3rd line is better built and our 4th is sufficient. My biggest concern is depth at F and G. If Sully is done, if Mason gets hurt, if any of two of our Top 6 are out for an extended period of time.... then we have more trouble. Last year we had the luxury of Hartnell, Rads and even Forsberg on the 3rd line at times. We had Mason as a capable backup that saved us when TV had his freak break. The two other big keys for us: Rads has to emerge as a scoring threat and Mason has to deal with the "true #1" status and maintain consistently solid play.

Again, I think this team is underrated, along with the Blues and to a lesser extent the Blue Jackets. It will be a tougher division so getting points will be harder.

I agree, though, that this team could be better built for the playoffs.

I would predict a 5th to 7th place finish. (with a margin of error from 3rd to 9th).

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