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07-02-2011, 03:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Originally Posted by
Its definitely a downgrade, but at no point in the regular season do I recall us ever icing a fully healthy defense.
There are ways in which this defense can be better than last season (regular season), providing that they are healthier, Ballard starts playing like he has his entire career outside of Vancouver, and Edler brings his game to another level. However, the unit is definitely worse on paper and has a lot more "ifs" to it than last year. Hopefully Gillis makes a move to upgrade the forward ranks to soften the blow to the defense.
That's the reason I think we'll be okay.
I understand that injuries are part of the game but if we can stay relatively healthy on the back end I think we'll be okay.
With Ehrhoff what we lost was an insurance policy to some extent. If Edler stays healthy then the loss of Ehrhoff won't be as significant IMO. I think it does make an impact but when you compare our team to the rest of the west I think we're looking good.
I think it's safe to say that unless we get hit real hard by injuries we'll win the NW division again.
Outside of the NW division here's a list of my contenders:
1. San Jose-very strong top six up front and top four on back end. Not sold on goalie
2. LA-very strong down the middle, very solid defence and good in goal
3. Chicago-very strong top 4 up front, very strong top 2 on back end, questionable in goal. Good potential overall but not sold that they are better then us.
4. Detroit-just like us didn't replace their top four defencemen but there's still time.
Here's a list of my potential contenders:
1. Anaheim if Hiller is good to go and their defence can play well
2. St. Louis if they can stay healthy and get a strong push from their young kids
Here's my list of playoff contending but that's about it:
1. Nashville-always in the thick of things and they'll be real good defensively
2. Calgary-should be in the thick of things
3. Columbus-still not sold on their defence though but should be a playoff contender
Here's my list of bottom feeders:
1. Phoenix-poor goaltending
At this point if I had to predict I would say it's going to be Vancouver, San Jose and LA battling it out for top spot in the West with Chicago and Detroit just a small step behind.
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