I think that Phi will have a very good season this year if they can sorte out their goalie issues.
What do you guys think your starting line up will be this year?
Who has been impressive so far and who hasn't?
The lineups are a work in progress. Laviolette has been juggling lines and using the preseason to determine a variety of things.
Perhaps the biggest positive of the preseason camps has been the development and production of goaltender Bobrovsky. With the injuries to Leighton and backlund, we could see a Boucher/Bobrovsky combo to open the season. Boucher has also played well.
Another asset has been the depth of the blueline. Gustafsson has performed admirably while Bourdon has also shined and each has enhanced their positioning with the club. With the absence of Pronger, there really aren't set pairings as yet nor is there a guarantee he will be in the opening night's lineup. Gustafsson with Timonen has been a good combo.
Among the forwards, many eyes were on Zherdev and his offense has been a major plus. Carter has looked good, too. Betts was terrific last night. Most of the roster spots are determined but there is a battle for selected spots especially on the fourth line now that Laperriere is hurt for an unidentified period of time. Whether Guerin makes the club is unknown especially now that he has an elbow injury. Carcillo has been hampered by off-season surgery. Leino excelled in his return the other night. JVR is growing in many ways and continues to impress.
The team is 5-1-1, too, and though records mean little in preseason, overall the team has played well but there is the need to work on certain issue like limiting turnovers especially in the neutral zone.
Good compact summary, MSE. For me, the key point you make is limiting turnovers. We know the individual talent is there, but it has just seemed to be a constant problem the past few years of stretches in games where the Flyers suddenly cannot get the puck, and when they do they treat it like a soiled diaper. The poor efforts at clearing their zone invariably lead to extra chances for the opposition and not a few pucks in the back of the net.
Despite the megabytes of argument about Leighton, Shelley, etc., I think the key to success this year is Laviolette enforcing a full year of his system and having the players working as a unit, knowing their assignments, etc.
I like, too, your note about Bourdon. I just found out this week that an ex-colleague at my company is Bourdon's aunt. Wish I knew then!
My preseason? Lot's of alcohol and bad decisions thus far...but that's neither here nor there.
I'm very impressed with Zherdev thus far, along with Bobs. I'm thinking the we'll have the number 1 defense in the league and a top 3 offense, but that's just me.
I'm pretty sure that the difference between the goals for the Caps last year and the goals against Boston (or whoever the best defensive team was) was a good bit greater than 1. Has any team ever had a bigger difference between goals against and goals for?
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I doubt that it works out like that, at least statistically.