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11-16-2012, 12:09 PM
  #71
416Leafer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolburn View Post
I replied to your points in blue above. Seeing what other teams have done in the East, I dont see the Panthers as "easily the biggest slide team" at all.
Neither do I. I think NJ/Ott are the most likely to take a huge slide. I just don't have Florida written in as a likely playoff team. More as a bubble team, I'd expect them to finish ~9th/10th.

As to your other points.
- Kuba is very inconsistent. Last year he was good, the year before? Ottawa fans wanted him run out of town. I would say that it's quite unlikely that he plays at a similar level as he did last year
- Versteeg/Fleishmann MIGHT continue to play at the same level. But that's the question anytime anybody has a career year. Sometimes they show that it was a longterm step-forward, other times they show that it was a flash in the pan.
- Statistically Theodore had the best season he's had since 2003-2004. He's never had a higher save % in that span, and he's tied it once, and that was in a 32 game sample size.
- Even if Carolina/Washington have only improved on paper and haven't "proven" anything yet, it's likely that it WILL come together for at least one of those teams, maybe both
- Yes, Florida does have a number of awesome prospects. Markstrom is probably another ~2 years away, Huberdeau I think will make an impact for the 2013-2014 season, though I'm not entirely sure he would do that this current season

Essentially there are just a lot of question marks, just like a lot of the middle of the pack teams. Which means hot/cold seasons from key players, key injuries, break-out seasons, etc will have a huge impact on deciding the fate of those teams vying for the last few spots.

I'm not saying they're guaranteed to miss the playoffs. Just that they're definitely a bubble team, and not in that top group of teams that you can almost guarantee will make it. I would definitely put Boston, NYR, Pittsburgh, Philly, Washington, and Carolina ahead of them, and then put Florida in a group of about 4-5 teams fighting for those last 2 spots, not to mention the potential for a big "surprise" season from any of the projected bottom couple of teams (see Ottawa/Florida last year as examples).

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