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(Part 2) GDT: #3: Avalanche @ Flyers - Monday, Oct. 11, 2010 -
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10-12-2010, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Originally Posted by
Who are the real contenders, then?
I think the West is pretty weak this year, especially when compared to the East. For that reason I'd be surprised if the Cup winner doesn't come from the East. Also, if you look at the Cup winners the last 10 or so years, the East and West generally take turns winning it all. Or at least split the Cup wins 50/50.
Chicago got gutted.
Yeah, I think they're overrated just for the mere fact that they won the Cup last year. I don't consider them contenders and I'd be surprised if they were a top team if they were in the East (this year).
Their depth is atrocious for obvious reasons, I don't like downgrading from Niemi to Turco, and the long Cup run should only make them more tired (if anything).
Detroit is a geriatrics convention.
Datsyuk and Zetterberg are at perfectly fine ages at 32 and 30 respectively. Hudler is 28 while Filppula and Howard are both 26. Rafalski is only a year older then Pronger.
Their core is still young and still effective for the most part. Do I think they're a little older then I would like (well, if I were a Detroit fan?), but they've proven to be the most well-managed and most consistent franchise for a long while now. No reason to doubt them just because they're a bit on the older side. Kind of a harsh thing to say coming from a fan of a team that relies on two 35+ year old d-men.
With all that said, I don't think they're nearly as strong as previous years and I doubt they win the Cup. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether they're a contender or not.
San Jose is mental midget land.
"Mental toughness" is something as intangible and pointless to bring up (most of the time) as things like "locker room presence" (I hear Walker has great locker room presence).
I understand what you mean though. Even if their club were as good as it was in previous years, which I don't think it is because their defense is bad as is their goaltending, I still wouldn't consider them contenders. As it is, they're just as overrated as Chicago I believe and far from contenders. I mean, if what they've had in the past wasn't good enough and they're only worse now then what is there to suggest that they're good enough now?
The best scorers on that team last year were 24, 22, 19, and 24.
Which means, as a collective, I expect them to be better this year.
Sure, but that doesn't mean much. Like I said before, their forward group is tough, young, and energetic, but it lacks any true top-end talent at the moment and is nowhere good enough to be a contender. Look at their top scorers last year. They had no 30 goal guys last year, no 80 point players, and beyond the big three of Duchene, Stastny, and Stewart our scoring is pretty pitiful. Especially with Mueller out. Milan Hejduk was our 4th highest scorer last year despite missing 26 games and being ancient.
Youth can only get you so far. It's not like any of these players are guaranteed to progress either. We're just as prone to sophomore slumps, injuries, and disappointing seasons in general as any other team.
Not to mention that our best offensive talent on the blue-line is fricking Liles (who is currently leading the team in points). That's just sad.
They have solid goaltending.
They have a starter with one great season under his belt (and I think he'll continue to be great), but I find it hard to believe that he'll surpass or even match his effort last year (and look how far even that effort got them last year, 8th place and 1st round exit). I wouldn't be surprised if were to fall back to earth for whatever reason (being tired from last season, last season being a fluke, w/e) and our backup goalie as well as our depth in the farm system at goalie is pretty bad.
Do I expect 'em to win the Cup? Nope, but they're certainly contenders in a crowded West with a lot of question marks.
Yeah, like I said before, I think your definition of contender really varies from what my definition is. I don't see how a team can be considered a contender if you don't think there's a good possibility that they'll win the Cup. Seems kind of contradictory to me.
Besides, like I said before, go ask any (other) Avs fan and you'll find out that most of us would be happy to just make the playoffs, let alone win the Cup.
As for who the favorites out West are, like I said before, I think the West is pretty weak this year. Especially compared to the last few years.
Vancouver and possibly Detroit are definitely the favorites and at least one of the two (Vancouver) are contenders. I think St. Louis has great potential as a dark-horse or to god on a Cinderella run. I think Phoenix is really underrated and I think they're a very sound, tough team to play against that should make the playoffs, but I extremely doubt they win the Cup so I don't consider them contenders. LA has a really strong team, but I'm not sold on them yet. I can see why someone would consider them a contender though.
So, out West, I only see two or three contenders at best.
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