Now that our year is over I just want to point out a few things to keep in mind for next year.
1.At the beginning of this year we had major questions about mason, coots, schenn, and our defense. It is clear as day that we have had questions answered about coots and mason going forward which is huge. I had my doubts about those two but they look to be very important going forward. The jury is still out on schenn and this defense.
2. 2012-2013 was a shortened season marred by injury. This season however we had no significant injury to any of our key players, which is something unheard of. I can't recall a season in which we had this much luck with injuries. I certainly don't expect this to be the case next year so let's all be prepared.
3. Last year we were a team that thrived on the pp and got dominated at even strength. Coot's development really helped with our even strength play but as we saw in the rangers series we go as far as our pp takes us. Until we get better at even strength scoring we are going to continue to live and die by the pp a recipe for disaster in the playoffs.
4. One thing I noticed all year about this team was how poor of a passing team we are. We have few forwards that are capable of making smart tape to tape passes in open ice, and even fewer dmen who are able to. The rangers were a great passing team and it made their transitions faster and more effective. When akeson came in the first thing i realized was how great of a passer he was almost to the point where he made all of our other more established forwards look god awful at this basic skill.
5. Team speed. 2011-2012 was a fast team, what happened? Team speed is pretty brutal all around with only voracek being a threat. Being able to add laughton and Ghost will be a big boost all around but we can certainly stand other upgrades.
6. As our current team stands we will only take that next step if brayden schenn and coots develop into a even strength scoring threat , and ghost morin and hagg give us the much needed mobility and scoring our d needs. I see the 2nd part happening and not so much the first part. I do see Brayden schenn and possibly his brother has being trade bait this offseason. IF we are able to shed vinny's contract that will be huge, and I think Kimmo is going to retire this offseason. Don't see too many more personnel changes other than that.