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Will Panthers make the playoffs next season?

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Old
05-10-2012, 07:31 AM
  #1
SufferingCatFan
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Will Panthers make the playoffs next season?

It was great to make the playoffs this season with a team of spare parts assembled last offseason by Tallon during free agency. We now have a lot of UFAs and RFAs, who may or may not be resigned, and a lot of prospects, who may or may not make the grade. Given all the uncertainty, is it really realistic for us to assume that we will be a playoff team next season? Discuss.

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05-10-2012, 08:38 AM
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I believe we will, but I'm certainly not "assuming" us to be a sure playoff team. It all depends how our young guns (Huberdeau, Howden, Markström etc.) can step it up next season. It's also still a mystery how our team will look like after the off-season and draft. We still have Garrison and Versteeg to sign, Ellerby and who knows even Kulikov as potential trade bait. The free agent pool doesn't look too strong on forwards that we could realistically sign. I'm not expecting Parise or Semin to be here next season so it all comes down to what kind of tricks Dale Tallon has up his sleeve. He could very well make a surprising deal to land some high caliber player in a deal of some kind (especially at the draft) because I don't have too high hopes on the FA pool.

The bottom line is: We are in a good position to be a stronger team (at least on paper) than start of last year thanks to some cap space and the potential of Huberdeau and Markström. If we can keep our main core together and add some good piece to help our offense then I think we have a really good chance to not only be in the playoffs, but have a better season than last season. If we stay about the same as last year than it's again a more of a 50-50 situation.

One way or another I think we're have 50% chance at worst, but also have the potential to be a lot better than last year.

Still think that it's a bit too early to discuss too much about next years playoffs since with Dale Tallon our team could still look a lot different next year.

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05-10-2012, 08:41 AM
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adam graves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SufferingCatFan View Post
It was great to make the playoffs this season with a team of spare parts assembled last offseason by Tallon during free agency. We now have a lot of UFAs and RFAs, who may or may not be resigned, and a lot of prospects, who may or may not make the grade. Given all the uncertainty, is it really realistic for us to assume that we will be a playoff team next season? Discuss.
Yes It's realistic. It's safe to say our goaltending will improve. We will have a young new star. Our present young stars wil be that much better.

on 7/2 tho we can speak more intelligently .we will then see how "all in" management is in wither "cap".

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05-10-2012, 09:20 AM
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If we sign one bigger UFA or make a trade, and don't lose any core pieces, and if Hubie shines, we should be a playoff team. This year's result should help.

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05-10-2012, 09:31 AM
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We need to add 2 offensive players this offseason to have me believe we can get in again.
One of those players should be Huberdeau, but we need another guy who can score 25-30 goals.

I don't know how much our owners are willing to spend, but, I wouldn't mind seeing PA Parenteau(sp) here on a 2 year deal. 9million over 2 years.

With the Devils going far, the chance of Parise leaving drops IMO, and there will not be a lot of top 6 type of players on the free agent market.

Hell, I wonder what the Sharks would want for Havlat?
Get another Tallon guy in here.

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05-10-2012, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootIt View Post
We need to add 2 offensive players this offseason to have me believe we can get in again.
One of those players should be Huberdeau, but we need another guy who can score 25-30 goals.

I don't know how much our owners are willing to spend, but, I wouldn't mind seeing PA Parenteau(sp) here on a 2 year deal. 9million over 2 years.

With the Devils going far, the chance of Parise leaving drops IMO, and there will not be a lot of top 6 type of players on the free agent market.

Hell, I wonder what the Sharks would want for Havlat?
Get another Tallon guy in here.
Love Havlat, sadly he gets injured way too much, and we already have enough injury problems.

Would be good to get another skill guy like Havlat though.

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05-10-2012, 09:50 AM
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Love Havlat, sadly he gets injured way too much, and we already have enough injury problems.

Would be good to get another skill guy like Havlat though.
Very true. One of the main reasons why I don't want Upshall to be thought of a top 6 guy for next year. Gets injured too much to be counted for a major role.

Because otherwise, this top 6 isn't that bad:

Flesichmann-Weiss-Upshall
Huberdeau-X-Versteeg

If that's the plan, we would need a better center than Matthias/Goc for the 2nd line role. Off the top of my head, Stoll would be an ok signing, especially if we do not re-sign Garrison, due to Stoll's hard point shot on the PP. If I didn't have high hopes for Shore and Bjugstad, would of liked to see Tallon go HAM for Staal.

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05-10-2012, 10:14 AM
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Yes It's realistic. It's safe to say our goaltending will improve. We will have a young new star. Our present young stars wil be that much better.

on 7/2 tho we can speak more intelligently .we will then see how "all in" management is in wither "cap".
I dunno if its safe to say our goaltending will improve. It was our most reliable and consistent position last year wasnt it? I know Markstrom's poop doesn't stink but Clemm was great as a backup and Theo was far better than most anticipated. It will be hard to get much improvemnt out of the position when it was already pretty damn good. I have news for everyone, Markstrom isnt going to have a 1.42 GAA next year.

The improvemnt needs to come from the development of our youngstars, and the addition of more scoring.

Adding another 25 goal scorer will increase our chances of making the playoffs again a million times more than Markstrom standing between the pipes for 20 games.

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05-10-2012, 10:21 AM
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I wouldn't be so sure. I'm optimistic, but let's remember that the only reason we made the playoffs is because the Southeast was weak this year and Washington couldn't keep their **** together. If it weren't for those factors, we would have backed in at #7 or #8.

This is not to say I'm convinced we won't make the playoffs, but the bottom line is that this team needs to improve over the offseason, especially offensively. We'll likely see a tandem of Theodore/Markstrom, so our goaltending strength shouldn't be altered too much.

It all comes down to whether or not we can keep our defensive core together and improve our top-6. This will be difficult, considering we'll be outpriced by other teams in free agency and making a trade will be next to impossible without giving up big pieces of our future.

I'd also like to remind you all that we really didn't look all that great the second half of the season. If not for the chemistry of Weiss/Flash/Versteeg early in the year, chemistry that eventually dissipated in dramatic fashion, we never would have made the playoffs.

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05-10-2012, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Clint View Post
...this team needs to improve over the offseason, especially offensively. We'll likely see a tandem of Theodore/Markstrom, so our goaltending strength shouldn't be altered too much.

It all comes down to whether or not we can keep our defensive core together and improve our top-6. This will be difficult, considering we'll be outpriced by other teams in free agency and making a trade will be next to impossible without giving up big pieces of our future.

I'd also like to remind you all that we really didn't look all that great the second half of the season. If not for the chemistry of Weiss/Flash/Versteeg early in the year, chemistry that eventually dissipated in dramatic fashion, we never would have made the playoffs.
Well said.

I think if we go into next year without adding a top 6 center, we may take a step back in the standings. We were lucky Weiss didn't miss significant playing time due to injury this year.

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05-10-2012, 10:50 AM
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Apart from Huberdeau, we don’t really know who’s coming and going in the off-season. So I’ll ignore the players and look at the team numbers. Post-Moneyball, baseball forecasts tend to use Runs Scored/Allowed because it’s more predictable year-to-year than wins and losses. Here’s what that approach shows for the Panthers...

Goal Differential = -24 (11th in the East, 21st in the NHL)
Points = 94 (6th in the East, SE Division winner, 14th in the NHL)

The number of points Florida earned was a huge anomaly based on its goal differential. Take out the Panthers and look at the other 29 teams: the top 15 in Goal Differential made the playoffs, while the bottom 14 didn’t. The Capitals were the only other team to make it with a negative Goal Differential.

So what factors helped the Panthers outperform their Goal Differential, and are those factors likely to be repeated?


THE DIVISION WAS REALLY TERRIBLE
2011-2012 Southeast Division Overall Goal Differential = -129

That was by far the worst mark in the league (the Northwest was second with a -61). The Southeast wasn’t good in the years before, but it wasn’t as historically bad.
2010-2011 Southeast Division Overall Goal Differential = -49
2009-2010 Southeast Division Overall Goal Differential = -42

Realignment is on hold, so it will be the same teams next year. Any regression to the mean—say the goal differentials we saw in 2009-2011—would mean that the Panthers will have a much tougher time next year.


OVERTIME
OT Games played = 25 (1st in the East, 1st in the NHL)
OT Win % = 28% (14th in the East, 28th in the NHL)

Yes, the Panthers were terrible in OT. But you'd rather be terrible in overtime than be great in regulation.

Panthers OT Record = 32 points in 25 games, or 1.28 points/game.
Panthers Non-OT Record = 62 points in 57 games, or 1.09 points/game.

Overtime seems to be a bit of a crapshoot—some of the best records belong to bad teams like Tampa and Minnesota. More than likely, the Panthers will play fewer overtime games in 2012-2013, but win more of them. Could be a wash or a slight improvement in terms of points in the standings.


WHAT ABOUT INJURIES?
Man-games lost to injury = 261 (6th in the East, 12th in the NHL)

The injuries seemed devastating, but the truth is that the Panthers were injured just a little more than average. I wouldn’t count on a huge boost from player health next season.


OVERALL
The Panthers were net beneficiaries of the kinds of in-season circumstances that boost your point total but are unlikely to repeat themselves the following season. They will probably need to improve their goal differential significantly just in order to get the same number of points in the standings. My prediction=fighting for the 8 seed on the final weekend.

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05-10-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angry_treefrog View Post
Well said.

I think if we go into next year without adding a top 6 center, we may take a step back in the standings. We were lucky Weiss didn't miss significant playing time due to injury this year.
Agreed. Flash, Weiss, and Versteeg are all legitimate top-6 forwards as we all know. But Huberdeau shouldn't put up much more than 40 points next year, Samuelsson isn't getting any younger - if he'll even be here - and Kopecky, Goc, and Bergenheim are merely third liners. Very good third liners, but third liners all the same.

If we don't find a way to take the pressure of Flash/Weiss/Versteeg (they really need a line nickname) with a strong second line, we might be doomed.

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05-10-2012, 10:52 AM
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But you'd rather be terrible in overtime than be great in regulation.
I lolled. I know what point you're trying to get at, but you worded this just all wrong.

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05-10-2012, 10:56 AM
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Division speaking, I assume it will be a lot harder to win. I can see Carolina playing how they did in the 2nd half of this season, next year. I can also see a more consistent Caps team as well. And if Tampa can get someone like Loungo, they'll be tough to beat.

Dogfight for sure.

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05-10-2012, 11:02 AM
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Yep, we'll be in. Tallon recognizes the issues, has stated his desire to fix them, and has a history of getting the job done.

We didn't back in, we ****kng EARNED in. Period. Did what was needed throughout the season...which is 82 games. Overcame adversity, big injuries, a rookie coach, and a slew of new players needing to figure each other out.

Looking forward to him making us stronger, not allowing us to be weaker.

Not sure how this is really a question. didn't realize so many saw the glass half empty

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05-10-2012, 11:20 AM
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Yep, we'll be in. Tallon recognizes the issues, has stated his desire to fix them, and has a history of getting the job done.

We didn't back in, we ****kng EARNED in. Period. Did what was needed throughout the season...which is 82 games. Overcame adversity, big injuries, a rookie coach, and a slew of new players needing to figure each other out.

Looking forward to him making us stronger, not allowing us to be weaker.

Not sure how this is really a question. didn't realize so many saw the glass half empty
I don't think it's that outrageous to question things. Not just our division had a bad year, but honestly the entire conference had a bit of a down year last year. If the Sabres don't sleep walk through the first half of the season, they're easily ahead of us (and will be picked ahead of us next year with fair reason). Washington was terribly inconsistent and still finished just two points behind us. We were actually just that close to missing the playoffs this season. Factor in Tampa Bay took a tremendous step back (they could be back in the mix if they get a goalie), and teams like Winnipeg and Toronto not being all that far off from competing, and anything is possible next year.

We were a surprise team this season. We do have a lot of tools for future success and I'm as excited as you are to see where that leads. But if we don't make some improvements, and possibly lose a couple of pieces, it's not unrealistic at all to think we could miss the playoffs next year.

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05-10-2012, 11:43 AM
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Did you think that maybe the Conference was different because the rest of the League didn't have us to step on? Obviously not the sole reason, but it's one.

As I said earlier, we had plenty of adversity of our own and still made it. Tallon isn't going to allow the team to make a big stumble. He adjusted the team this year when needed, he'll do it again.

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05-10-2012, 12:30 PM
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I don't think it's a complete lock that we'll make the playoffs again, but after seeing what this team did this season and will only get better spawns for positive thoughts from me. I have complete faith in Tallon that he will know the competition and know exactly what elements to re-tool on if he feels that we're not competitive enough. It should be much tougher to get in and repeat as division champions. I expect every team in the SE next season to be more competitive and feel that any of the five teams can make it in if they have a great offseason and go on a roll at some point of the season as we did in October & November. I think with relatively a simiilar roster from this past, with the guys knowing that they just earned themselves a playoff spot and a division chamionship (despite our competition having somewhat disappointing year), I think it'll help team moral greatly over the course of the season. I just believe things will get better from here and this past season was just step one of many better to come.

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05-10-2012, 12:46 PM
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REALLY premature if you ask me. We dont even know if there will even be a next season yet. BUT...if they re-sign Garrison, Steeg, and Samuelsson, and bring up Markstrom and Huby, barring any major injuries, we should contend for the playoffs again. No reason to think otherwise.

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05-11-2012, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Laus723 View Post
Did you think that maybe the Conference was different because the rest of the League didn't have us to step on? Obviously not the sole reason, but it's one.

As I said earlier, we had plenty of adversity of our own and still made it. Tallon isn't going to allow the team to make a big stumble. He adjusted the team this year when needed, he'll do it again.
The sky is the limit next season.

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05-11-2012, 11:46 PM
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I lolled. I know what point you're trying to get at, but you worded this just all wrong.
Wint, other than this one sentence, I think your post was insightful and interesting, and I agree with what you said: it's too early to look at individual players, so the only realistic approach is something like you have done: analyze the things we do know.

Some people say that our goal differential doesn't matter. Which is true when you look at it ex-post. Looking forward though, it does have an influence in how things are likely to be going forward. You said it really well Wint: there seems to be a major anomaly between our goal differential and our point total. Reversing to the mean will likely reverse us back out of playoffs. That's just a fact and it's one of the few things that truly can be said about last season. However, when one adds in some softer factors like Tallon's track record, the picture is not negative at all. It does mean though that we need to be pro-active. There will likely be no playoffs if we don't improve.

One thing I don't agree with you, is that you say OT (and I'll add SO) is a crapshoot. I do not have any real information about this, but I do believe that those teams that do well in OT and SO put a special emphasis in them. Starting from the way they build their team. There's just too many points on the table to not do that. We'd be smart to join those teams.

Unless you can prove me wrong by showing that it's different teams doing well in OT and SO from one year to another. Would like to see the analysis if someone's up for it: looking into history, is it possible to consistently outperform the rest of the league in OT and SO? And if so, by how much?

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05-12-2012, 08:36 AM
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I say we win the cup next year.

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05-12-2012, 04:53 PM
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I say we win the cup next year.
anything is possible at this point. If you had told me last october that the panthers would lose in double OT to a New Jersey team that is headed to the eastern conference finals against one of NYR/Caps. And out west either Phoenix or LA will represent the western conference in the stanley cup i would have laughed in your face.

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05-13-2012, 09:41 AM
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anything less than a playoff berth would be a huge dissapointment, in the scope of this blueprint for success. I believe we will have at least two and possibly four rookies making the team this year, definitely Markstrom and Huber, and possibly Howden and less likely Petrovic. We need to pick up a legitimate second line center, which may mean we lose either Garrison or Kuli, but I hope Tallon can do this without letting one of them go. Kuli might be the trade bait to get that center, but he must be legit, and in mid 20's, not a 30 plus on the decline. Upshall had an injury plagued season but he is a solid second liner and should be healthy this year. They need to sign Versteeg long term, extend Weiss, sign Barch and if reasonable Sammuelson. They need a veteran goalie to play for san antonio, and be ready in case of an injury, but this is the year that Markstrom takes over, with Theo as the perfect complement to share the games 50 50, and in a playoff series, Markstrom can really shine.

Flash Weiss Versteeg
Huber new center Upshall
Bergy Goc Sammy
Barch Kopy Mattias Smithson Bradley

Campbell Garrison
Kuli Weaver
Guds Jovo
Ellerby Strachan

no reason to move backwards

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05-13-2012, 10:02 AM
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adam graves
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anything less than a playoff berth would be a huge dissapointment, in the scope of this blueprint for success. I believe we will have at least two and possibly four rookies making the team this year, definitely Markstrom and Huber, and possibly Howden and less likely Petrovic. We need to pick up a legitimate second line center, which may mean we lose either Garrison or Kuli, but I hope Tallon can do this without letting one of them go. Kuli might be the trade bait to get that center, but he must be legit, and in mid 20's, not a 30 plus on the decline. Upshall had an injury plagued season but he is a solid second liner and should be healthy this year. They need to sign Versteeg long term, extend Weiss, sign Barch and if reasonable Sammuelson. They need a veteran goalie to play for san antonio, and be ready in case of an injury, but this is the year that Markstrom takes over, with Theo as the perfect complement to share the games 50 50, and in a playoff series, Markstrom can really shine.

Flash Weiss Versteeg
Huber new center Upshall
Bergy Goc Sammy
Barch Kopy Mattias Smithson Bradley



Campbell Garrison
Kuli Weaver
Guds Jovo
Ellerby Strachan

no reason to move backwards
Love the lines.. Fill in parise

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