Im optimist we can reach the 100point mark , if Huet and Aebischer give us quality goaltending a 7 point raise isin't out of reach. I didn't take the time to analize the schedule in deep yet but with no olympic rush it should help us to keep our legs fresh and avoid stupid injuries, esp. on the backend because the team struggles a lot when more than 1 guy goes down.
I can't quite figure out why most are predicting a drop in points for us. Our top 6 has improved (Samsonov>Zednik, Higgins for a full season), Plekanec and Perezhogin are that much better, Johnson was a good pick-up. Our defence is unchanged. And our goaltending is much stronger. Our only real losses were Zed, Bulis and Sunny, all dead weight and didn't have good seasons.
Plus we've got some flexibilty to make some moves mid-season with two starting goalies and good prospect depth.
Look around in the NE Division. Ottawa lost Havlat, Chara and Hasek and figures to be worse. Buffalo lost Dumont, McKee and probably Connelly for a good chunk of time. Toronto isn't any better and has no goalie. Only Boston improved but they're still not a playoff team.
To me this adds up to at least 3 or 4 more wins over last season.
yeah i am under the impression we will do better, but not break the 100 point mark. in the range of 95-98 pts with 42-46 wins. finishing 5th or 6th hopefully.
i know the team is better, and i am looking forward to seeing what they can do this year, but it is a tough league and we have a tough division, so i dont expect miracles. there are strong teams to compete with including:
(in no particular order)
yes i said tampa bay lightning. i think they will win their division this year, as carolina will fall back and place 7-8th..