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Will Panthers make the playoffs next season?

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Old
05-13-2012, 10:28 AM
  #26
PanthersHockey1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick Cat View Post
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
This is realistic but i would argue we already have a 2nd line center in stephen weiss. We need a first line one.

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05-14-2012, 04:05 PM
  #27
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Originally Posted by PanthersHockey1 View Post
This is realistic but i would argue we already have a 2nd line center in stephen weiss. We need a first line one.
We're not getting a 1st line center this offseason. 1st line centers are either developed or overpaid in free agency/via trade; they're rare.

As for the thread title, I think we can but the offseason hasn't even begun yet so it's a bit early to ask, imo..

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05-15-2012, 03:17 PM
  #28
Dineen Youngblood
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Flash, Weiss, and Steeger were one of the best lines in all the NHL for a good while last year. They will remain our top line unless Huber plays well enough to jack Flash or Steeger. I doubt we even sign or trade for a 35-40 goal scorer. But I do think it's very possible to aquire a legitimate 2nd line C and RW. Both of which we need imo. We made the playoffs this year and, yes our division wasn't all that great, but if we keep our core and D together while bolstering our 2nd line, I have no doubt we will be there next year. We have a good team with a bright future. Hopefully our prospects will perform well.

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05-15-2012, 03:58 PM
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dineen Youngblood View Post
Flash, Weiss, and Steeger were one of the best lines in all the NHL for a good while last year. They will remain our top line unless Huber plays well enough to jack Flash or Steeger. I doubt we even sign or trade for a 35-40 goal scorer. But I do think it's very possible to aquire a legitimate 2nd line C and RW. Both of which we need imo. We made the playoffs this year and, yes our division wasn't all that great, but if we keep our core and D together while bolstering our 2nd line, I have no doubt we will be there next year. We have a good team with a bright future. Hopefully our prospects will perform well.
I think saying our first line was one of the best lines throughout some of last season is a bit of an exaggeration.

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05-15-2012, 04:24 PM
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlfan9191 View Post
I think saying our first line was one of the best lines throughout some of last season is a bit of an exaggeration.
i would even call them Below Average for a majority of the season. They wont be able to take us to the promised land. A great 2nd line. Nothing More.

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05-15-2012, 04:28 PM
  #31
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There was definitely a period (maybe a month or two) where that was one of the top lines in hockey. I remember, specifically the Dallas 6-0 drubbing, that they were just unstoppable.

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05-15-2012, 04:44 PM
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlfan9191 View Post
I think saying our first line was one of the best lines throughout some of last season is a bit of an exaggeration.
I will search for the article,if it's still around, but our top line was, at very least a month, the BEST top line in the entire league. I remember hearing Goldie and Lindsay bragging about it for some time during the beginning of the season, and I am pretty sure I read it as well.

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05-15-2012, 06:02 PM
  #33
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Lets be honest, this year we were a borderline playoff team. The 3rd seed was a fluke that we cannot expect again unless TB and Wash choke for the majority of the season again. So the real question is can we earn an 8th seed next year.

I dont see our goaltending being any worse except that our callup goaltender will be much worse than this year. I expect our defense to be better in Guds and Kulikov, the same in Soupy, Garrison, and Weaver, and worse in Jovo, so about the same overall. I expect the offense to be about the same with no significant offensive output increases other than Huberdeau on our PP and shootout. I think we will play good defense like last year and we will struggle offensively like last year. So that leaves us about where we were last year points wise.

So it wouldnt shock me if we made the playoffs and it wouldnt shock me if we were 9th. Really Im just looking for our rookies to start stepping up and filling out the team so I am hoping Huberdeau, Howden, and Markstrom take some big strides by year end just like Gudbranson did this year.

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05-16-2012, 12:11 AM
  #34
JP Mick
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Originally Posted by King Panther View Post
Lets be honest, this year we were a borderline playoff team. The 3rd seed was a fluke that we cannot expect again unless TB and Wash choke for the majority of the season again. So the real question is can we earn an 8th seed next year.

I dont see our goaltending being any worse except that our callup goaltender will be much worse than this year. I expect our defense to be better in Guds and Kulikov, the same in Soupy, Garrison, and Weaver, and worse in Jovo, so about the same overall. I expect the offense to be about the same with no significant offensive output increases other than Huberdeau on our PP and shootout. I think we will play good defense like last year and we will struggle offensively like last year. So that leaves us about where we were last year points wise.

So it wouldnt shock me if we made the playoffs and it wouldnt shock me if we were 9th. Really Im just looking for our rookies to start stepping up and filling out the team so I am hoping Huberdeau, Howden, and Markstrom take some big strides by year end just like Gudbranson did this year.
I wouldn't count on Howden to make the team next year, he will earn his stripes with the Rampage IMO.

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05-16-2012, 01:50 PM
  #35
Dineen Youngblood
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Yeah, Huber and Marky. That's it for the young guys. The rest can wait. But I wouldnt mind seeing seeing Howden or maybe even Shore in a call-up situation. Just to get a peek at em' in the NHL.

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05-16-2012, 05:06 PM
  #36
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Originally Posted by JP Mick View Post
I wouldn't count on Howden to make the team next year, he will earn his stripes with the Rampage IMO.
Youre probably right. But Im sure he will get some call ups. Id expect him to be the first call up as he is clearly a good 3rd/4th line and even has the offensive upside to be inserted into the top 6 if needed. I really think he is going to help take our forecheck to a whole new level.

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05-17-2012, 06:55 PM
  #37
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i dont see why we couldnt make the playoffs. our lineup will probably be better w/ huberdeau coming up and hopefully some more additions, if our goaltending can play anywhere near as well as they did this past season, we should be in decent shape. 8th in the conference or 7th at best. the rangers, bruins, penguins, flyers, and probably washington will most likely make the cut. leaving 3 spots available, buffalo could very well grab one of those spots. tampa could if they improve in net. the devils played great this year. ottawa could. plus some other teams, there will be competition, and we could also challenge for a spot.
our goaltending is the main reason we made it this year, if they play anywhere near that next season, w/ huberdeau and hopefully some other offensive additions, i say theres a legitimate chance we make it next season. far from a guarantee, but it isnt that far-fetched.


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05-18-2012, 01:38 AM
  #38
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Yeah, the only locks I see for next season are 6 teams. Rangers, Pens, Bruins, Flyers, Caps, Devils. Maybe not even the Devils if Brodeur really falls off. Our main competition for the other two spots as I see it are Tampa, Ottawa, Buffalo, Winnipeg, and Montreal(they sucked so bad this season because Markov was injured the whole year). Carolina is not a great threat, the Isles will be bottom feeders again because they won't spend money until they get a new arena, and Toronto needs to get at least two of a 1st line center, 1st line d-man, and #1 goalie if they want to make the playoffs and that's unlikely.

Tampa's fate will be determined by how much they improve their D and goaltending. It's not a guarantee that they make it. Ottawa has a good chance of making it but their defensive play is still their achilles heel and they could not make it next season if Buffalo improves. Winnipeg didn't quite have what it took last season over 82 games, if they don't make any significant additions then I don't see why they couldn't fall short again. Montreal could make it if Markov stays healthy all season, although that's a big if. I don't see why it's unlikely that we make it again, if we add some more offense this summer. It doesn't have to be a superstar.

Everyone keeps saying that the East was weak this season, yet a lot of people have been saying that for the past 4 seasons. The East just sucks, period. A couple teams may improve but another couple teams will probably take a step back again at the same time. It always seems to work that way. The Garrison contract is the biggest uncertainty among our free agents, other than that we'll probably have mostly the same team coming back next season. I think we could make it even without Garrison, as long as we get a good replacement.

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05-18-2012, 04:50 AM
  #39
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Oh God let's not get into this again... remember last year when everyone was predicting how many teams would be better than the Panthers? How did that turn out again?

At the moment, there is nothing, I REPEAT NOTHING definite in regards to next year. We still have the entire off-season to go through, and then even after that, ITS A NEW SEASON.

WE DONT KNOW ANYTHING AT THE MOMENT.

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05-18-2012, 06:55 PM
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakethesnake23 View Post
Oh God let's not get into this again... remember last year when everyone was predicting how many teams would be better than the Panthers? How did that turn out again?

At the moment, there is nothing, I REPEAT NOTHING definite in regards to next year. We still have the entire off-season to go through, and then even after that, ITS A NEW SEASON.

WE DONT KNOW ANYTHING AT THE MOMENT.
Speculation and conjecture is the lifeblood of HF boards. This is non-negotiable!

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05-18-2012, 08:27 PM
  #41
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Originally Posted by CatscratchFever View Post
Speculation and conjecture is the lifeblood of HF boards. This is non-negotiable!
I totally understand this, however this particular thread of "X amount of teams are certain" or "X teams are better than us" really irked me last year. Buffalo Sabres anyone?!?! How about some Tampa Bay?!

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05-19-2012, 08:02 AM
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakethesnake23 View Post
I totally understand this, however this particular thread of "X amount of teams are certain" or "X teams are better than us" really irked me last year. Buffalo Sabres anyone?!?! How about some Tampa Bay?!
I'm totally with you, bro. I tried to inject some levity because it's beyond comical at this point. I look forward to the main board prediction thread every season. These teams are locks, these teams will finish last(usually us). Everyone is an expert and has no desire of letting a season play out. Then, when it ends a different way(always does) it was because of a weak division, or this or that. Always irked me, now I enjoy it. The reigning Southern Division champs will be relegated back to doormat status, count on it!

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05-29-2012, 12:58 AM
  #43
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Just wanted to bump this since I was snooping around over here anyway. Yes I think the Panthers will make the playoffs again next year. I think so definitely. Aside from the Panthers being good I can't see Tampa Bay making it, Carolina definitely not but maybe a little bit closer than this year, and I think Winnipeg will just miss out. I think Buffalo will choke again, but I see them before any of the others.

Whether it's as the division champion or a lower seed I believe this team will make it back.

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05-29-2012, 04:25 AM
  #44
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Originally Posted by KittysGotClaws View Post
There was definitely a period (maybe a month or two) where that was one of the top lines in hockey. I remember, specifically the Dallas 6-0 drubbing, that they were just unstoppable.
This. And they were all in the top 30 in scoring for a good while, even in the top 20 for a little while. I remember us being the only team to have 3 players there for a good period of time.

So you can't argue that for the first few months they were definetely one of the, if not the hottest line in the NHL. And basically that means that they were one of the best out there. Phil Kessel for example was BETTER than Ovechkin for most of the season. Yet on the paper I'd still choose Ovy before him as I would choose many 1st lines now before our 1st line. Yet in those few months there would have been no other line I would rather have at the moment, at least realistical lines. Our 1st line production did drop a whole lot towards the end of the season. I don't know how much the injury to Kris Versteeg hurt his or the whole lines game at the time, but in the end even while having a horrible second half of the season, our whole 1st line basically finished with ~60 pt pace and that's pretty good 1st line for a team like us.

Can they be as good again as in the first half? Maybe not.
Can they be a lot better than in the second half? Absolutely.

That line is a clear 1st line for us. It's not one of the best in the NHL but for a team like us that still is pretty defensive/special teams relying, it's still a pretty good line.

-L-

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05-29-2012, 04:30 AM
  #45
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Also I'd like to know that Dineen likes to roll 4 lines pretty balanced, so we don't necessarily need to have PPG scorers in our 1st line to be succesful. The Blues for example had two 54 point scorers as their top scorers and they were one of the most dominant teams in the regular season. And I know we don't have as good of a defense or goalies as they do, but we have pretty good ourselves still while slightly better players as our 1st liners.

We just need to focus on maintaining our good defensive core and try to build up our offense a little and wait for guys like Huber, Howden and Bjugstad to step into the NHL.

-L-

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