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12-12-2012, 06:39 PM
Talks to Goalposts
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Originally Posted by DAChampion View Post
There were no freak injuries last year, it was a comparable amount of injuries to what we suffer every single year except for 2007-08. I'll note that we had no injuries to our number 1 goalie (Price), no injuries to our 1st defensive pairing (Subban+Gorges), no injuries to our two best wingers (Cole, Pacioretty), and no injuries to our best forward and center (Plekanec), or any of our centers actually.

The second factor is that the roster we ended the year with is weaker than the roster we started the year with. We lost Hal Gill, Andrei Kostitsyn, and Michael Cammalleri, and replaced them with Francis Bouillon, Rene Bourque and Brandon Prust. Unlike last year, we wouldn't benefit from a 12th place team in the first 30 or 40 games racking up a safety margin over 15th place. We'd go straight to that 15th place.

The third factor is that the division got stronger. Boston will be about the same, but Ottawa, Toronto, and Buffalo should all improve. Buffalo is adding Cody Hodgson and John Scott (no more Lucic running into Miller), Toronto is rumored to be adding Roberto Luongo, and Ottawa is a young, good team.


The 2012 draft will help this team, but not in the 2012-2013 season, and probably not in the 2013-2014 season.
Buffalo added a low impact center in Hodgson who really hasn't done done more than support scoring in the NHL in his career but lost their best all round center in Derek Roy for Ott. Center was already their weakest position. They should be worse next year rather than better. Seriously, Cody Hogdson is nowhere near good enough a player to significantly shift a team's baseline of talent.

Otherwise, Ottawa probably overperformed some, I don't think Karlsson and Spezza can dominate like that every year but they do have a good overall team albeit with few players in their prime. And the Leafs getting a competent goaltender is only a problem when it actually happens.

Overall I don't think the balance of power in the NE really changed any. There's no Minnesota or Carolina that added two high impact players or anything. Luongo could change that a bit though but the Leafs are a shockingly weak team overall, not just in net. After Phaneuf and Grabrovski their number of players that can play both sides of the puck is very thin. Add a top 10 goalie and they are still hit and miss to make the playoffs. -32 outside of the shootout last year with a pretty healthy lineup and career years from their top scorers. Luongo probably only gets them half way to league average from that far down.

However, you're right that Montreal's paper strength right now is far worse than it was in 11-12.

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