I try to figure how the Habs cannot be the best team in the league.. And I just cant.
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07-17-2006, 06:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Originally Posted by
I think the Leafs will be strong. Their kids are good and tough and with Kubina, their defense just jumped another level. I think Raycroft is a solid goalie too. He had three different leg injuries last year and was playing behind a terrible defense. He'll round into form. Maurice is a strong coach too, so they'll play strong, high-percentage hockey.
The Sens are still soft imo and losing Chara and Havlat doesn't help (neither does getting nothing in return). Very talented, but soft. The goaltending is good, and only good. I expect at least a 10 point tumble in points, maybe more if they have injuries. I think the Leafs are gonna enjoy beating them up...
Boston is better with Chara, Stuart, Mara and Jurcina and their goaltending is excellent. Signing Savard was a mistake, but they have decent depth up front now.
If we beat those three teams, I'll be happy.
I agree with a lot of your post... I also think all the teams have improved, or were able to beat us to begin with...
BUT... By going through the teams with a fine tooth comb... we can expose what they dont have and try to compare them...
Toronto Maple Leafs
Goaltending, Raycroft was a worthy gamble... I still think JFJ chose 6 days too early. There were a boat load of good goaltenders looking for jobs, and he makes a deal, sending his #1 goaltending prospect (yaya... Poggie... blah blah... the consistent consensus is that Pogge is below Rask) for the goaltender who posted the worst numbers in the entire ****ing league!!!
Is he able to rebound... sure. Would I bet the house on it (question mark) nope. Not even my pet dog, Cooper. Hes talented, but he was crap last year. Seriously.
Talk to any leaf fan as to who their back up is... It is a slight mix... More knowledgeable hockey fans (who are leaf fans) will tell you either JS Aubin (and no I do not believe most realize hes been in the NHL a full season yet)... or Mikael Tellqvist. Aubin was awesome for them when it didnt matter anymore down the stretch... and Tellqvist is off and on. Hès still battlling consistency.
Defensively... LOL. Toronto has spent $20 million dollars in the least efficient way I have ever seen. I am being brutally honest here. Awful brains by JFJ on this subject. People can say what they want... but 20 million on these 4 is IMO a horrendous move. As they still have holes all over the place.
McCabe, is very much like our Sheldon Souray. Hès a little less physical than #44, and produces more points, but also produces more brain farts, and is at BEST inconsistent defensively. not a bad d-man... but he needs help.
Help does not come in the form of any of their new top 4.
Kaberle... is a type of d who does not involve himself physically, and provides average stick work... Leads to him playing a slightly undersized game, and is average defensively (at best case).
Kubina... a decent puckmoving defenceman who has holes in his defensive work. Inconsistent physical play. He needed Sydor much more than the other way around... and IMO the leafs are in for a world of hurt when they realize what Kubina brings for 5 million a season.
Finally Hal Gill... LOLOLOLOLOLOL
Just proved that JFJ still just might have a CH burning in his heart afterall
By your own account, Boston has a horrible defence... Well, it begins with this guy. he makes Pierre Dagenais look at least average. Heès going to be lit up like a firebug next year against us... Slow piece of crap this is... I still cant believe they got rid of a guy like Berg (who had skill, just didnt put it all together consistently) for this ****ing Pylon at 2.1 a year.
And of course the final 2 d-men...
Of course talking to the leafs... the fans realize that this was an awful period for their team. They lost out on a tonne of top end guys because they now simply cant afford to keep them around EVEN AT REDUCED SALARIES...
Up front, the leafs have problems on the wings... and depth problems as well.. .They are overdepending on players who quite frankly have never done what is expected of them next year (a la Andrei Kostitsyn fans in here). Add to this the fact, the failure of many leaf fans to realize the importance of Jason Allisonès job last year... and wère looking at a decent team, that IMO will have problems scoring consistently. Look for a tail off the scoring dept. due to the change at coach (Paul Mauricès defence always first in comparison to Pat Quinns shoot-out-the-lights philosophy)...
Well, goaltending IMO theyre going to be just fine. Gerber is a decent starter who give it all game in game out. He was sick with the flu during our series, so please dont base him off of that at all... it simply must be cast aside. A decent back up in Emery as well... They have a decent tandem, not stellar, but theyll do the job on most nights with the group ahead of them.
Hereès where the big change happens. Ottawa has a very strong top 6 defence. All with bonafide skills, and no real holes (like I was mentioning Toronto). Very mobile, and more no name than previous top 6ès they iced in recent years, but theyre stronger than they have ever been on d before... EVEN with losing Chara.
Redden & Phillips (IMO one of the most underrated d in the show) is a solid first line tandem, and following them up is the strong 2 way play of Meszaros, and Preissing (from the Havlat deal)... Add the bottom 2 of Corvo (40 pts last year) and the talented Volchenkov... and IMO the reason they have the best d should be plain and clear. So many interchangeable parts. So mobile, tough to play against, and responsible... They look different, which in their case could be an even scarier thing (if used properly).
Up front... They still have a very dynamic group. Itès weakened a bit... but not nearly as much as some believe. Their top 2 lines are still strong... With exception to the Left side... Lower line depth could be the achillès heel in Ottawa... but they certainly have a strong set of forwards... If the senators op lines remain clicking... they should be definate contenders in our division... They still have many weapons to account on, and better defence than any other team in OUR division can go against. The question remains on that lower line depth... and trust in their goaltenders (seemed to really affect them last year...) Gerber is pwned by both hab goalies... But it might be all for nought looking at their decent top 2 line depth... They did strike gold with Patrick Eaves, who potted 20 in his rookie year (LW) will he be able to replace Havlat... nope. Will he do a decent job... probably, he offers great heart, and tenacity so it may actually be a better fit...
Ryan Miller... Miller... Miller time... Mill-wright... whatever... Hès going to be a good one. The American goaltender for the next decade (unless DiPetro finally gets off his arse). Almost had the team heading to the cup this year. Backed up by Biron... heès good to, but will probably be off somewhere. Regardless, Miller is already their #1 starter, and already backboned them to a 110 point season. Easily could be considered the MAJOR threat our division has now. (Buffalo)
oofah... Top 6 is comparable to any team in the NHL. they have solid prospects down in their top 6 and even further. A star can be found any night... Spacek (fresh off a runner-up run) will try (unsuccessfully) to cover McKee... Numminen is the rock back there for the young group, but hès no spring chicken... Itll be interesting to see how Ruff handles Teppo after watching his team crumble when he placed to much responsibility on the wise vet, and got him injured. They have solid depth d, in Campbell, Lydman, Kalinen and Tallinder... not even mentioning Jillson as #7, and a few other diamonds in the rough of their depth. Very solid group of 6.
mmm... Theyre going to rival us in speed thats for sure. They had a bunch of guys arrive last year. Strong forwards (strongest in the division)... leads to a fearless tough group who can take no **** and stand up against any opponent. Buffalo may not be the team everyone fears yet... but slowly they are getting there. Their LW of Dumont, Kotalik, Vanek and Roy is incredible. add to this a strong up the middle grouping of Briere, Connolly, Drury and Gaustad and their right wing is in good to great shape with Afinogenov, Hecht, Pominville, and Mair...
This team is a lesson to all those wanting us to be moving around now for the future... Buffalo started rebuilding around the same time we did... they arrived last year (and I believe we will this year)... They are incredibly dynamic, and built for the new NHL (as we are) barring disaster in the arbitration room (which would be a shame) we will be returning to high levels of rivalry again against the Sabres, as they are going to be very good.
They went in to a half way rebuild to where they are now.
Goaltending, they haveToivonen and Thomas with rask, and Sigalet in the wings... They are decent, albeit a bit fresh behind the ears in comparison to the rest of the teams in this division...
On D, they have a young stable, with a good top 3 in Chara, Mara, and Stuart... Certainly a dark horse d if there was one in our division... However there are holes in their d... Chara has never been able to perform well in pressure cooker games (3 G in 48 playoff games is a good example of this)... Mara is just as weak defensively as he is talented offensively, and Stuart is definately a solid 2 way d-man... they do however need 3 more d to step up... they have potential to get it but it may be too much to ask from such a green group of d-men.
Forward wise, they have a solid group, weak defensively, but they can score. Boston is going to be a darkhorse team in our division who may turn it around just as quickly as they foundered.... Good for them ,bad for the rest of the division...
Everything has to go right in order for Bean town to right their ship in to a playoff spot... I think they could, they have burgeoning skill in Bergeron, Boyes, and Zhamnov, Savard, Murray, Axelsson and potentially Kessel...
I am just honestly wondering how well will they be at stopping goals.
Now on to us...
Goaltending wise, we have a very talented tandem. Huetès performance last year was nothing short of awesome, and Aebi is a # 1 goalie. Both guys will push eachother, and IMO we are the strongest heading n to the season in the pipes. in our division. Huet being the only goaltender walking home with an award in our conference (Roger Crozier saving grace award).
Defence, we dont have a potently offensive group... But they work hard as a tandem... Markov is crafting himself in to a worthy # 1 d-man... He doesnt have a natural #2 yet (hopefully Komi). but a strong # 3é4 in Souray and Rivet is definately an asset. The third pairing is the most underrated of them all, as teams think very little of Bouillon and Dandenault... but they are speedy responsible defencemen who are the puck rushers of the team. Good depth on the LD, a bit wary on the right however.
Forwards, were speedy, and dangeorous now. a solid top 12 makes us hard to beat on paper... however we need everyone to sta reasonably healthy in order to retain the strength of our forwards... The higher the player is on the squad in this circumstance the more serious that injury will be... If were healthy there is no reason why we cant compete against ANY team in the league.
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