Are the Blues now the best team in the Central?
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07-22-2012, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Originally Posted by
2 Minute Minor
Columbus was not a bad team at the end of the season. I think they're going to be a pain in the ass for a lot of people, but come up short of the playoffs. I think this is the year Detroit slides back appreciably. I think folks will be disappointed at how effective Nashville continues to be, regardless of who they have playing. Trotz is just too good of a coach, he'll have them playing well enough to be in the playoff hunt the entire season.
Chicago, I'm too biased against them to have an accurate projection. I think they lack the depth to be an elite team, but on any given night they can play with anyone. Not having their Captain out for an extended period would be important for them.
1) Columbus was exactly a .500 team down the stretch(14-14-1) and even on their "strong end of the season only went 6-4 over the last 10. And that was playing in a no pressure environment with a ton of rookies taking up roster spots. There is no way they could sustain a high level of play long enough to get a PO berth. It's going to take at least 2 years and a monster return on Rick Nash for them to be a PO team.
2) Trotz went 5 years without making the PO's after taking over Nashville and has missed the PO's 6 times in 13 years as an NHL coach. I get that Trotz is considered one of the best coaches in the League, but even the best coach needs a team to work with and Trotz just isn't working with much for next year. He doesn't have any scoring and that defense is downright ugly without Weber and Suter leading the way. I doubt they go completely into the tank, but they look like we did from 2008-2011. Just on the outside with not enough scoring or defense to get over the hump.
3) Chicago is the closest competition we have, but they finished 8 points behind us in the standings and haven't done anything to close that gap. 8 points is a LOT of ground to make up in the Western conference. I think they'll grab one of the PO spots, but they aren't going to be competing with us for the top spot.
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