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10-18-2012, 11:58 PM
  #5
rumrokh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimzey59 View Post
Cole- It appears Cole will be given a shot at the vacant top pairing spot.
He doesn't play on either special teams unit so his ATOI will likely be under 18 minutes a night. If he does well, his main job will be eating up the "soft" minutes to keep Jax, Shattenkirk and Polak fresh.
Best case scenario for Cole production wise is 20-25 points. More likely he'll be in the mid-low teens similar to what Jackman and Polak produce. Cole is primarily a defensive D man and won't put up a lot of production(never has, at any level). His value is in his defensive game.

Stewart- It appears Stewart will be given the first chance at the 2nd line RW spot. Stewart does get regular PP duties so his ATOI should be fairly high as long as he's producing. If he's not producing, he'll drop through the lineup and his ATOI will drop accordingly.
Production wise; it's an either or situation IMO. Either Stewart rebounds and is likely to top 30 goals and 60 points; or he doesn't and ends up with a line similar to last season(15 goals, 30 points). I don't see a middle ground here.
While Cole has never been a big offensive producer, I think he's shown he has more offensive flare than Jackman and Polak. Long term, he may not produce any better, but he has solid potential to do so because he has somewhat better hands and instincts (he looked good playing forward on Notre Dame's powerplay). He's pretty unlikely to blossom offensively in the upcoming season, though, that's for sure. If he blossoms defensively, though, I would be surprised if he didn't see time on the penalty kill.

I don't see why Stewart can't have the middle ground. Towards the end of last year, even when he wasn't scoring, he still forechecked and backchecked well. Not ideal for his abilities, but still a different Stewart from the one who started the season. With or without powerplay time and that kind of effort all the time, bouncing between the second and third line, 40-50 points wouldn't be weird at all. That's not necessarily what I think or hope he'll do, but nothing indicates to me that it's a full bounce-back or bust.

Actually, I'd be surprised if Stewart didn't improve noticeably. Not inked in for 30 goals, but he seems to have matured enough in the past year that I expect more than 30 points.


Last edited by rumrokh: 10-19-2012 at 01:16 AM. Reason: grammar
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