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Pretender or Contender? How do these teams rate?

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Old
09-24-2003, 07:40 AM
  #76
Other Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyvern
I think Lalime had an outstanding season. I don't think he will have the same again.
He was tied for seventeenth in regular season save % among starting goaltenders, and you think he's going to slip from that lofty perch to cause the Senators' downfall?

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09-24-2003, 07:55 AM
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Other Dave
He was tied for seventeenth in regular season save % among starting goaltenders, and you think he's going to slip from that lofty perch to cause the Senators' downfall?

Other Dave
Guess I should clarify this one too. He has an outstanding season for himself. And yes he will fall from that 'lofty perch'.

2.16 .911
2.48 .903
2.35 .914

I'd expect his GAA to be closer to 2.4 than 2.1.

While he did not have an individually great season, he did give the Sens much better goaltending than usual.

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Old
09-24-2003, 08:05 AM
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyvern
I think Lalime had an outstanding season. I don't think he will have the same again.
Same could be said about Eddie and the leafs who you have listed as contenders

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09-24-2003, 08:07 AM
  #79
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GAA may be a 'goaltending stat', but is more a reflection of team defensive play than individual goaltending effort.

I also think the Sens' GAA will go up this year, but because I think the team will be moving to a more mobile, offensive style.

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09-24-2003, 08:09 AM
  #80
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I wouldn't call the Flyers a contender. They look more like a paper lion than a real threat.

Take on honest assessment:

Coaching is Cup caliber. No problem there.

Forward, have a lot of 'names' because of past accomplishments. However, key word people overlook is PAST. JR, Primeau, Recchi, LeClair and Amonte all are past their prime (or never had a prime at all). Counting on them to deliver an impact performance is questionable at best. Handzus is in his prime, but is no better than a 2nd liner. The only 'rising' players are Gagne and Williams. Not even their development can off-set the aging over virtually everyone else around them.

Put it this way, for all their 'name' power last year, the Flyers offense struggled horrible. That isn't going to get better with age.

Defense is more of the same. Pitkanen and Woywitka offer a future, but realistically are 2+ years away from making a notable impact. How many 1st-year pro defensemen can you name that made an impact? That means the burden is going to be carried by Rico, Weinrich, Johnsson, Therien, Ragnarsson. With the exception of Johnsson, all of those players are past their prime. It mirrors the forwards where the declining vets significantly outweigh the rising or prime players.

And those are the 'strengths' of the team.

Goaltending is a mess. Hackett is a declining never-was and certainly a downgrade from last year. Esche wasn't a notable player in either juniors nor the minors, so why would he become one now?

In all, I expect the Flyers to be a competitive team that makes the post-season. However, they are not a contender and truth be told have not been one for several years now (too many glarring and unaddressed flaws). They are early-round fodder and will need to get lucky just to make the ECF.

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09-24-2003, 08:26 AM
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degroat
But, the fact of the matter is that it takes defense and consistancy to be a successful regular season team. The Ducks, IMO, don't have the defense to contend for the top spot in the conference.
One might accept that explanation (though I think the Ducks' team defense is pretty darned good, and they may have the best defensive 1-2 punch down the middle in the NHL), but then how can you put LA in the contenders list when they've probably played worse team defense than Anaheim for two straight years now? One could even argue that Colorado and Vancouver's team defenses aren't as good.

But in any case, are we talking regular season? Because by contenders, I took it to mean a threat come playoff time ... any playoff team with great goaltending is going to be at least a sleeper team, and has a shot at winning the conference. I would agree that the Ducks are unlikely to be a major player during the regular season, but if they make the playoffs Giguere makes them one of the least pleasant teams to have to face.

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09-24-2003, 08:30 AM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmbt
But in any case, are we talking regular season? Because by contenders, I took it to mean a threat come playoff time
This thread is about the playoffs, but the discussion about Anaheim's defense was started when I made a comment about a lot of teams contending for the top spot in the WC and excluded Anaheim.

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Old
09-24-2003, 08:48 AM
  #83
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Let's see...

Anaheim - Fringe at best. I just don't see lightning striking twice, but screwier things have happened.

Atlanta - On the outside looking in, but potential is not far away.

Boston - Not much chance here.

Calgary - Again, not much chance.

Carolina - Not even.

Colorado - They could have a shot, depending on what their goalie situation sorts out to be. At this moment, I would be wavering between contender and fringe.

Columbus - Like Atlanta, they are on the outside looking in, but they could be on the verge of making a strong run in a year or two.

Dallas - Strong contender. And I hate saying that.

Detroit - Strong contender. Despite all the naysayers, I say they are in. I'd much rather have Hasek even at 95% than a lot of the other goalies in the league. And Manny Legace for backup is almost like money in the bank. Yes, we may have lost a little up front, but I think the others will step up their games and make up for it. And the D is scary good.

Edmonton - Fringe, but could be a spoiler.

Florida - Again, could play a spoiler role, but I doubt it.

Los Angeles - A spoiler team...verging on contender, but on the fringe right now.

Minnesota - They are another team that could go either way.

Montreal - Somehow, I don't see these guys making a serious run at it. I don't know why but I just don't see it.

Nashville - Fringe, but again, like Atlanta, they are not far away. Could be the surprise spoiler.

New Jersey - Perennial contenders, like Dallas and Detroit.

New Youk Islanders - A spoiler team.

New York Rangers- Still haven't figured out that all the money in the world won't buy you a team or a title. Pretenders. At best.

Ottawa - Another strong contender. Can't count them out.

Philadelphia - I'm wavering between fringe and contender on this one. I don't know why...something about the chemistry that doesn't sit right in my mind.

Phoenix - On the outside looking in.

Pittsburgh - Pretender. Most definitely.

San Jose - Fringe at best.

St. Louis - Unfortunately they are contenders...it pains the hell out of me to say that.

Tampa Bay - Spoilers...on the edge of being a serious contender.

Toronto - A contender, unless something really major happens.

Vancouver - Another contender, but stranger things have happened.

Washington - Fringe. A spoiler possibly, but something tells me they are a fringe at best this year.


Now you all realize that this is mere speculation, and anything that can go wrong will probably do so.

Let's see what happens at the end of the season. I'm still putting my faith in the Wings, though.

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Old
09-24-2003, 09:21 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by kira
I'd much rather have Hasek even at 95% than a lot of the other goalies in the league.
Yeah, but what if he's at 40%? Hasek has a lot to prove.

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Old
09-24-2003, 12:19 PM
  #85
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Originally Posted by kira
Montreal - Somehow, I don't see these guys making a serious run at it. I don't know why but I just don't see it.
I know why because their an absolutely horrible team.

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Old
09-24-2003, 12:29 PM
  #86
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally Posted by MOOSE55
You wouldn't be a leaf fan would you? how are they rated higher than Ottawa, Philly, and even LA?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Modano = God
My bet is their playoff succes.. always seem to rise their level in the postseason...

I really hope you're not refering to the Leafs here. You do know that they haven't made it to the finals since 1967, don't you?
If anything, the modern era Leafs sink like a brick in the post-season.

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Old
09-24-2003, 03:35 PM
  #87
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Flyers...

Pretenders - until Clarke trades for Theo, Khabi or Nabokov this season. Flyers will be solid club playing solid defense again this year during the regular season. However, I have very little faith in Hackett enduring or Esche's ability to be legit top flight goaltender that could carry them to the Cup.

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Old
09-24-2003, 04:09 PM
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCD
I wouldn't call the Flyers a contender. They look more like a paper lion than a real threat.

Take on honest assessment:

Coaching is Cup caliber. No problem there.

Forward, have a lot of 'names' because of past accomplishments. However, key word people overlook is PAST. JR, Primeau, Recchi, LeClair and Amonte all are past their prime (or never had a prime at all). Counting on them to deliver an impact performance is questionable at best. Handzus is in his prime, but is no better than a 2nd liner. The only 'rising' players are Gagne and Williams. Not even their development can off-set the aging over virtually everyone else around them.

Put it this way, for all their 'name' power last year, the Flyers offense struggled horrible. That isn't going to get better with age.

Defense is more of the same. Pitkanen and Woywitka offer a future, but realistically are 2+ years away from making a notable impact. How many 1st-year pro defensemen can you name that made an impact? That means the burden is going to be carried by Rico, Weinrich, Johnsson, Therien, Ragnarsson. With the exception of Johnsson, all of those players are past their prime. It mirrors the forwards where the declining vets significantly outweigh the rising or prime players.

And those are the 'strengths' of the team.

Goaltending is a mess. Hackett is a declining never-was and certainly a downgrade from last year. Esche wasn't a notable player in either juniors nor the minors, so why would he become one now?

In all, I expect the Flyers to be a competitive team that makes the post-season. However, they are not a contender and truth be told have not been one for several years now (too many glarring and unaddressed flaws). They are early-round fodder and will need to get lucky just to make the ECF.
This is a really good analysis of the Flyers. I guess an analogy could be made to the Dallas Stars when they had Moog as goalie, before Belfour came along, and before they acquired Hull. They will be a playoff team, and a probable top 4 seed in the East. But until they get more goal scoring and a better goalie they won't go far in the playoffs.

I've learned that a coach/system success in one place doesn't necessarily transfer to another club. An example from the NFL is Jimmy Johnson (Dallas vs. Miami) and Mike Holmgren (GB vs. Seattle). But making analogies between two situations can sometimes work.

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Old
09-24-2003, 05:37 PM
  #89
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Anaheim Mighty Ducks... Pretender. One hit wonder potential.

Colorado Avalanche... Serious Contender.

Los Angeles Kings... If they stay healthy, Contender. If they don't get both Allison and Deadmarsh back, Pretender.

Toronto Maple Leafs... Pretender. No defense and they're a billion years old.

Dallas Stars... Contender. Defense is weaker than it has been, but they are still a very formidible team.

Vancouver Canucks... Quasi-Contender. Have a great first unit, but slip after that.

Ottawa Senators... Serious Contender. Can't see many weaknesses.

St Louis Blues... Quasi-Contender. Will need some major help.

Detroit Red Wings... Contender, but borderline. I think the Wings may struggle to find the net.

Philadelphia Flyers... Pretender. No goaltending, seriously lack character guys that can score when it matters.

New York Rangers... Pretender. Could make the playoffs, but that;s not saying much in the east.

Tampa Bay Lightning... Pretender. Not enough depth.

Edmonton Oilers... Serious Pretender. If Comrie is not signed and does not return a top six player that can chip in immediately the Oilers will be in serious serious doo.

Minnesota Wild... Pretender. They will go as far as the system can take them, and that won't be far. You need talent to win and the Wild is short on talent.

Nashville Predators... Contender... for Ovechkin. No defense and even less offense.

Montreal Canadiens... Pretender. Interesting team in about five years, but right now they don't have a hope.

Boston Bruins... Pretender. Lots of holes everywhere.

Washington Capitals... Pretender. Lots of holes everywhere.

New Jersey... Contender. They are defending champs.

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Old
09-24-2003, 06:31 PM
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by degroat
IMO, any one of STL, DAL, DET, COL, VAN, and LA could win the West (Some would include ANA in there. I wouldn't). It's definately going to be an interesting year.
If LA is in there the Ducks should be in there. In case you havent heard Deadmarsh and Allison arent exactly 100%. Allison cant even skate without having blurry vision and Deadmarsh is still around 70% as he said on the Kings/Ducks intermission last week. I just dont see how you can include a team who may be without two of their first line players while having a grinder (Klatt) on their top line and not a team who, yes rode a hot goalie, but are the defending western champs who got better over the offseason. LA improved their goaltending and added some depth but if Allison and Deadmarsh arent 100% theyre going to have a tough time making the playoffs much less winning the conference.

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Old
09-24-2003, 06:46 PM
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemskyfan
Contenders:
1-Ottawa Senators
2- Colorado Avalanche
3- Detroit Red Wings
4-New Jersey Devils
5-Dallas Stars
6-Philadelphia Flyers
7-St. Louis Blues
8-Anaheim Mighty Ducks

(the above would also make great playoff matchups lol)

Pretenders:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Los Angeles Kings
Vancouver Canucks
Tampa Bay Lightning
Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild
Boston Bruins
NY Islanders
Ducks contending over the Nucks

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Old
09-24-2003, 06:48 PM
  #92
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Did the Nucks take New Jersey to Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals?

I think the Ducks are the real deal. Don't like it, tough s**t!

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09-24-2003, 07:34 PM
  #93
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Contenders I'd include:

Detroit...Solid in EVERY position....just give them the Cup.

St.Louis...Another solid team in every position...Pronger gave up captaincy so I'm expecting a HUGE year from him.

Dallas...Now that Turco is signed they too are rock solid in every position.

New Jersey...Defending Cup Champs.

Everybody else pretenders.........including Toronto who need big time help on the blueline.......Colorado needs better Netminding......Ottawa hasn't proven anything to me yet......Philadelphia has a Bad mix of players.

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09-24-2003, 07:44 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by hemskyfan
Did the Nucks take New Jersey to Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Finals?

I think the Ducks are the real deal. Don't like it, tough s**t!

Ducks the real deal after having 1 good playoff run due to a hot goaltender? Really?? You must be pretty smart...what bout the Panthers, Caps, Canes....I guess they're contenders too making it to the finals.

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09-24-2003, 07:55 PM
  #95
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Originally Posted by lux_interior
In terms of winning the 2004 Stanley Cup, how would you rate these teams, "Pretender or Contender"?

Anaheim Mighty Ducks - this team is a real wildcard for me. I wonder what Federov's effect in the lockerroom will be, and who is going to step up in a leadership role. With that in mind, I think they lost something in the lockerroom, and the team lacks an identity. I say pretender for now.

Colorado Avalanche - Contender, but I just don't see them getting past the WCF with their situation in net.

Los Angeles Kings - Pretender... too many injuries, questions on defense, no real leadership

Toronto Maple Leafs - Pretender. The Leafs seemed to be stuck at a playoff plateau for the last 3 years. It's hard to gain momentum after that kind of inertia.

Dallas Stars - Contender. They have a strong core of players, and will get much luckier in the playoffs this year.

Vancouver Canucks - Contender. Once again, good core of players, all the roles you want in a championship team (top tier power forward, legitimate #1 and #2 d-man, playmaker, sniper, great 3rd line). That said, they'll live and die with their 2nd line.

Ottawa Senators - Contender. My pick for the cup. They've been steadily getting better, and the Finals are the next step. They are just too deep, too disciplined, and their players are all close to their primes. Most of all, the desire is still there.

St Louis Blues - Contender. Their PP is just too good. Pronger will help a ton. Their D is good enough to get them past their problems in net.

Detroit Red Wings - Contender. I'm obligated to say it so I won't look like an idiot, but I don't see them coming out of the West this year. Hasek is out of his game, and I can't help but to think some of their careers are winding down. Even with the additions of Hatcher and Whitney, and Zetterberg and Datsyuk further along in their development, they're lacking intangibles.

Philadelphia Flyers - Pretender. I think they're in the same situation as the Leafs. They top-end d-men and proven netminders.

New York Rangers - Pretender. Too much dead-weight, too much undisciplined play by undisciplinable players. Is Sather coaching again this year? Good God.

Tampa Bay Lightning - Pretender. They're a pretty thin team all around. I can see them getting to the second round again, but they're not going to end up in the Finals.

Edmonton Oilers - Pretender. They don't have the resources to compete with the big boys. Added to the demoralizing loss of Carter and Niminaa, and they players probably just want to tread water.

Minnesota Wild - Pretender. They caught some teams off-guard last year, and IMO can still knock off soom lower-tier teams like the Oilers, and possibly higher-tier teams like the Wings. However, if they play a more talented team willing to play a disciplined, defensive game against them, they're toast.

Nashville Predators - Pretender. I can see them slipping in the playoffs though; they're on the up.

Montreal Canadiens - Pretender. They don't have enough grinders or top-end d-men.

Boston Bruins - Pretender. I like this Bruins team a lot. I see them in a similar situation to Colorado. A lot will depend on how they buckle down on defense and play in front of questionable netminding (Potvin? Come on!) In my opinion, they should grab Burke before the Avs do. Until they grab Burke and their d steps up, they have to be considered pretenders

Washington Capitals - Pretender. They lack momentum, leadership, or a team identity.

Edit: Add New Jersey - Contender, as always, but I think they've gotten used to drinking from the cup, and I expect them to have a hangover from it.

SCF: Stars vs. Ottawa, Ottawa squeaks past them.

I originally left them off because it seemed like such a no-brainer.
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Old
09-24-2003, 08:00 PM
  #96
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Ducks the real deal after having 1 good playoff run due to a hot goaltender? Really?? You must be pretty smart...what bout the Panthers, Caps, Canes....I guess they're contenders too making it to the finals.
You must be pretty smart yourself to think that the same thing that happened to those teams will happen to the Ducks.

Like I said, I stated my opinion, don't like it, too bad. I'm sick of certain fans taking everything way too seriously here and demanding links and an essay for an opinion.

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09-24-2003, 08:20 PM
  #97
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Colorado
Dallas
Detroit
New Jersey
Ottawa

are the only real contenders for the cup. Of course a lot will happen with injuries and trades during a season. Out of those five I have to say Ottawa looks scary. Past years remind me a lot of the 80s Oilers. Regular season success, playoff failure -> Regular season success, good playoff -> Cup.

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Old
09-24-2003, 08:47 PM
  #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMacIsaac
AB, I'm sorry but I think NJ is the 3rd most powerful team in the NHL behind Ottawa and Detroit. I don't see how losing Nieuwendyk and Daneyko while adding Brown, Rasmussen will hurt the team that much. I want to hear you reasoning here.
oh my lord.. i apologize for leaving the devils off.. honestly they should be in my list

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Old
08-05-2004, 09:41 PM
  #99
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Old threads like this are entertaining. Funny how only one person (flamesfan12) called T Bay a contender, and he was laughed at for it. And the person who predicted the Sens would have a mediocre season because of Lalime was tack on with that one.

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08-05-2004, 10:37 PM
  #100
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Originally Posted by fisher
Old threads like this are entertaining. Funny how only one person (flamesfan12) called T Bay a contender, and he was laughed at for it. And the person who predicted the Sens would have a mediocre season because of Lalime was tack on with that one.

as i read this, i wasn't paying attention to the dates...and was mystified at how everyone was including anaheim and LA as serious contenders...and were laughing at teams like nashville and tampa bay even making the playoffs. glad i got that cleared up

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