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07-31-2012, 09:37 AM
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Lockjaw333's Avatar
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Jersey
Country: United States
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I don't think we are worse, I think we are just as good if not better. Its not always about offseason transactions. I think a lot of the improvement we can expect will come from who we already have on the team. I'm fairly optimistic for the following reasons.

1. Lost: Carle. Gained: Schenn, Meszaros, Gervais

I expect our defensive group to improve. Yes, we lost Carle (not that many of us are crying over that), but we gained Schenn and in a way Meszaros. Mez didn't have a great start to last season, but in the prior season he was arguably our best defenseman. He missed a lot of time last year, so having him healthy will be a huge plus. Also if you believe that Luke Schenn can and will return to the form he exhibited his rookie year, then that is a huge plus. I think just playing on a better team with more support and all of that Toronto pressure off his shoulders could allow for Luke to have a great year. Honestly if he becomes what he was touted to be, we look back at that as a BIG gain.

Also throw in Gervais as a plus. We're just adding him to the lineup, and frankly I'd rather have his versatility in the lineup and live with his mistakes than deal with more Lilja. If Gus or Bourdon beat him out, so be it, then he is just a nice depth piece.

2. Lost: Jagr, JVR. Gained: Fedotenko, Schenn, Couturier.

Yes, we lost Jagr, but he wasn't exactly carrying the team down the stretch. He was invisible towards the end of our playoff run, seemingly just running out of gas. JVR is indeed a sad story, I was one of the bigger JVR fans out there and felt like the organization should have given him more time. But when you look at the numbers, we aren't losing that much.

Factor in Brayden Schenn and Couturier improving, and I don't think we lost anything here. In fact if Schenn and Couts improve the way we expect them to, we are most certainly better. Add in baby-face Fedotenko to fill out one of our bottom 6 spots. I think he was a great pickup.

3. Lost: Bob. Gained: Bryz can only get better.

When you look his numbers from last year (excluding the playoffs), it doesn't seem like he had that bad of a year. But we all saw how putrid he was for a large chunk of the season. I have to expect that he can't be any worse than he was last year...I mean really, do you think its possible? I expect him to be much better and to not really be a story next year. I think he will play solid in net and give us a chance to win every start.

I liked Bobrovsky, but I don't know if he will ever turn into a great goaltender. I'm actually a Leighton fan (I admit its probably more my heart talking than my brain), so I don't mind him getting the chance to back up Bryz. I think they are going to ride the heck out of Bryz for 65+ games, so I don't see it as a big issue. If Bryz gets hurt though...yikes.

So I see the team improving. I think what we lost wasn't that critical to our sucess last year, and that guys who are already on the roster will improve significantly. I left our Voracek, who I expected to put up significantly better numbers next year (like most of you). Gotta think we will be better.

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