If we were to have a season this year, who would have a breakout year and who would have a down year?
Breakout year: Price
This would finally be the year where Price consistently steals games and possibly a series. If you look at the development curve of most goaltenders, this is where he is supposed to really breakout.
Down Year: Pacioretty
Success might get to his head a little bit and he may not be as hungry as he was last year. It's really tough to get two 30 goal seasons in a row. And I think Therien would break up that line to help the other lines which would hurt his production.
Down Year: Bourque. Looses his spot on the second line but manages around 15 goals on the third along with Eller and Prust/Moen against weaker competition then we expect him to face.
Up Year (not breakout): Colby Armstrong. The defacto Bourque replacement ends up being a decent compliment for Gionta/Pleks. He manages 15-20 (likely closer to 15 but if it happens(ed) early in the season I don't think 20 is impossible), mostly from being in the front of the net for a rebound but also helps to improve Pleks and Gionta's numbers by going into the dirty areas and winning puck battles for them.
Down year: Erik Cole and I think Bouillon will disappoint.
I think Cole will be fine. Bouillon won't disappoint expectations for him are already pretty low. He's a 6th/7th D and not what the team needed who will probably play 20 minutes for his bro Therrien and that's what
will be disappointing.
If someone shows some confidence in our young defencemen for once Weber could break out. There is also always one young AHL forward who earns his keep. Maybe Geoffrion or Palushaj.