TSN: Habs will win east.
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09-30-2011, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Originally Posted by
100% agree with this.
So the question then becomes: How the hell do we get those goals? We have enough good shooters and enough guys with good scoring instincts, yet we remain one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. What I think is missing is simple net presence -- players able and willing to plant themselves near the crease and bang away until a rebound or a deflection goes in. We're a team that moves the puck into their zone very well, but as long as we're held to the perimeters we'll remain offensively crippled. Cole has shown some promise in net-crashing and Patch certainly has the balls to do it -- will it be enough?
I don't by the perimeter shot theory. For one, I haven't seen any empirical that shows the Habs were actually shooting from the outside. The scoring chance numbers (which are shot attempts from an area that is definitely not in the perimter) that have been tracked last season show that the Habs were just fine in getting good opportunities. The puck just didn't go in as much as you would expect, and that happens from time to time.
Take a look at Boston's goal-scoring and team shooting percentage over the last 4 seasons. Two seasons ago the Bruins scored 206 goals. They got a huge swing in shooting percentage and added a quality forward in Horton and ended up with 246 goals last season. They've swung back-and-forth between high and low shooting percentages over the past 4 seasons or so.
The Habs had 216 goals last season. Regression of team shooting percentage toward average should give the Habs about another 20 goals next season. Add in a conservative 10 additional marginal goals from Cole and the team should be above-average offensively next season. Assuming the powerplay doesn't suddenly fall apart or the team doesn't collapse in terms of puck-possession. There's enough talent there that I wouldn't expect either to happen.
Winning the East is a stretch in my opinion. It could happen (because randomness plays a big role in hockey) but I believe the Habs are below the top-tier in the East (Washington, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay).
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