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08-22-2013, 04:57 PM
Iron Duke
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Fontana, CA
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Originally Posted by Roman Yoshi View Post
Looking at the west yes they are pretty much locks barring major injuries. Minnesota will be better this year than last year IMHO. They have a lot of young pieces that got better. I feel like most Preds fans forget that it isn't just our prospects that are growing. Zucker, Granlund, Brodin, Etc will all be better this year. Yes they lost Seto and Clutterbuck, but added Cooke and potentially Niņo if he can get his head out of his rectum. They also added Jon Blum who I predict will have a career year this year.

Edmonton could be a lot better team this year with their additions. Who knows about some of the other teams out west. I have EDMand PHX pegged ahead of us. The real wildcard, however, is Colorado who I actually believe will finish ahead of us this year with a Tampa Bay like performance under Yzerman and Guy Boucher. All the elements are there for that kind of year from them. There is a lot of excitement and energy in that organization. I believe it will work for a year the the wheels will come off.

The Preds will be contending for a playoff spot, but we are one weber or rinne injury away from being welcoming mats. There are far too many questions up front. This year is a gap year for us. We are rebuilding and have added key components to allow our youth to grow. Some young guys will get shots, others will be called up on injury basis. But this team is at best a fringe playoff team that will be mincemeat after the playoffs start.

More irratiting though is the term of our new pieces contracts and the caphits that come with them. I suspect that Poile is using them to fill spots this year and will then dump them when the NHL expands during the draft. Just two cents but that's what I would do.
Minnesota is more impressive on paper, though they have some pretty big question marks defensively outside of Suter and Brodin (assuming he stays up to last year's form). Most are penciling them in by default based on them making the playoffs last year and us, Dallas, Colorado and Winnipeg not doing so.

Colorado having that kind of season would be an incredible overachievement. Their defense is poor and unexperienced, and is likely to expose them severely over the course of a full season.

The only real locks are likely to be: Los Angeles, Chicago, and St. Louis, though I would include San Jose based off basically being the same roster that has consistently made it in the last few seasons, and possibly throw Anaheim in as well, assuming Selanne returns. That leaves anywhere from 1-3 possible spots for teams from the Central, and there is no reason the Preds can't be one of them. I think expecting the playoffs is a bit much, but also expecting a 20-25 finish is underselling a bit.

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