Andy could carry us into 7th or 8th but he'll need some scoring help. If the scoring comes with Andy's or Bishop's bad games where they lose 5-4 and dries up when they hold the fort for many more 1-0 or 2-1 losses then expect a 9-11 finish. It's still a fairly young team at some key positions so anything can happen.
Probably finish in the bottom 5 this year...Andy wont keep up these kind of stats.. and unless 2 or 3 of our rookies start lighting it up we wont have the firepower to compensate for not only losing spezza but for andy coming back down to earth.
we're a 6-10 team, just like last year, but with higher expectations.
it is disappointing that bishop wasted a win opportunity in tampa, and the sens offense has wasted win opportunities in montreal and carolina though. We need to capitalize on these opportunities now because that women's WC road trip will be tough.
Zibanejad is not a top 5 talent, but yeah we were lucky enough to get Karlsson and thereby not needing to tank to get an elite talent in the league that is usually found in the top 3 of a draft.
With that said you don't need to tank to make a great team. Realistically look at any draft and you can find players that were taken either late in the first round or in the later rounds that has ended up as good or better than most top 30 picks. It's just a matter of having a great drafting team (Karlsson case in point).
I mean, in theory from 2009 to 2004 alone if someone really had the best scouting staff available you could have all these players without ever getting better than a 15th overall pick:
Erik Karlsson (15th)
Jamie Benn (129th) or PK Subban (43rd)
Ryan O'Reilly (33rd)
Claude Giroux (22nd)
James Neal (33rd) or Keith Yandle (105th)
Alexander Edler (91st)
That's not even including all of them just the ones that stood out right away. You don't need to tank to build a great team and Ottawa is an example of that, too. Build smart and you can build while winning -- which is what Ottawa should be doing if they aren't injured.