expecting 30-30 for Kostitsyn is foolish. Also, given the high level of play Pacioretty put up last year he's probably a better bet for it than AK.
Next year Kostitsyn will probably be around 23-23-46 while I bet Pacioretty will be more like 25-28-53. A fair amount of the difference will be from Pacioretty's power play points where he has developed into a strong behind/in-front-of net player which compliments existing team PP talents. At even strength they will play similar roles and produce similarily with potentially either one having the better year.
If Pacioretty doesn't have a Zednik-like reaction/syndrom after the devastating hit he took from Chara, I think it's fair to say the Habs will be counting on him to fulfill a pretty big offensive role next season. The way he was driving the net and shooting with confidence prior to his injury, I believe 30 goals is not out of question for him...
AK is a more complete player IMO, especially with the way his defensive game got better last year. Max Pac plays well for 30 games and apparently he's suddendly our savior. Don't get me wrong, I loved his game last year as he was playing like we hoped he would but it's a real small sample size. Hopefully he comes back and plays at the same level of play he was when he got injured this year.
They'll be in the same range point wise even if their abilities and play are different. Both will be inconsistent, Pacioretty because he is still a sophomore and AK because...well he's AK...lacks some "mental thoughness".
Otherwise both are absolutely necessary in our roster. Without them we are soft and small.
Look at it this way: a player's production is determined by his capacity to get the upper hand, playwise, and the skill to bank on that opportunity.
Patch is less skilled than AK. Less good shots, passing, etc...
But Patch has a much better hockey sense and he achieve play superiority much more often. AK seems to struggle to achieve superiority on the ice.. But when he does, SCORE!!!
AK on the 3rd line will outplay the other 3rd line about as much as any other 3rd liner, but his pure skill will make him score with a much, much higher regularity. See AK as an overskilled 3rd liner
Pacioretty has the work ethic, determination and the line/ice time factor I'd be willing to bet, plus he's tremendously talented and big as well.
Kostitsyn has the hitting factor, he can be a gamebreaker at times and does possess the more high end talent. I do however think he'll be playing mostly with Eller on the 3rd line and will pot 25-25-50 respectively.
Pacioretty the opposite of the OP imo. I see him potting 30-30-60 while Gio puts up similar numbers and Gomez actually has a 5-55-60 type season too. I just have this insane gut feeling the stars are going to align for us this upcoming season. Gauthier should be fired if this team doesn't improve barring serious injuries. We're in a position to make this team a contender and I think with 4 solid lines and some good D on the back end we'll have no worries. Plus we have Price, nuff said?