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bluedevil58

Your overall impression of our team this season pre-training camp?

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So let's just assume this is it. With what we currently have this is our team to start the season. Here is my take.

Offense:

Tlusty-Staal-Semin

Ruutu-Staal-Gerbe

Dwyer-Skinner-Lindholm

Dalpe-Nash/Sutter/Pula\Westgarth\Welsh\Bowman\Boychuck/Bowman/Blanchard

Note: Rask is a factor as well. but I feel it's best that he stays in CLT to develop. He is another call up option though. A good problem to have.

This is it. Our 1st line is dominating. 2nd is big and physical. We have 2 6.3+ centers coming at you. We will wear teams down. This is Jordans year to play with a healthy Ruutu. We're minus Jussi Jokinen but we have better and seasoned guys to call up when the injuries happen. I feel we still lack a 3rd line power forward. Overall, we're better than last year.

Gerbe is the wild card. If he is back to form he could provide the punch to split our 2nd line. Skinner will start at center along with Lindholm and Dwyer. Our team as a whole is way more experienced. 4th line is flexible and we have a lot of call ups.

Defense:

Gleason-Faulk

Pitkanen-Sekera

Komi-Harrison

Our defense is pretty solid this season. Sekera is going to work wonders and Komi will have a bounce back season in order to earn a new contract. This kind of reminds me of our cup season. We have a lot of good guys in our pairings and have reliable calls ups in Bellemore, Murphy.

Goaltending:

We have a solid back up now in K. Granted he played for Boston who has a good defense but I feel this guy might surprise us. Cam Ward will be solid.

Final Predeiction:

Assuming Ward and Staal are healthy and we don't have any major injures. I see us doing reasonably well. We're going to be 4th in the east come playoff time. Bold I know. But this will be a good year for us. This is the most solid team that we have had since 2006. Feel free to share your opinion.

Edited by bluedevil58

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I'm feeling slightly optumistic, I'm less worried about or third and fourth lines now, but our defense is going to be a mystery with the new guys. We could us some luck on the injury front as well this season.

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I'm feeling slightly optumistic, I'm less worried about or third and fourth lines now, but our defense is going to be a mystery with the new guys. We could us some luck on the injury front as well this season.

I'm feeling relatively optimistic about the defense, especially with there being a decent chance that Bellemore and Murphy might provide some depth if needed.  We're definitely due some good luck on the injury front.

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So let's just assume this is it. With what we currently have this is our team to start the season. Here is my take.

Offense:

Tlusty-Staal-Semin

Ruutu-Staal-Gerbe

Dwyer-Skinner-Lindholm

Dalpe-Nash/Sutter/Pula\Westgarth\Welsh\Bowman\Boychuck/Bowman/Blanchard

Note: Rask is a factor as well. but I feel it's best that he stays in CLT to develop. He is another call up option though. A good problem to have.

This is it. Our 1st line is dominating. 2nd is big and physical. We have 2 6.3+ centers coming at you. We will wear teams down. This is Jordans year to play with a healthy Ruutu. We're minus Jussi Jokinen but we have better and seasoned guys to call up when the injuries happen. I feel we still lack a 3rd line power forward. Overall, we're better than last year.

Gerbe is the wild card. If he is back to form he could provide the punch to split our 2nd line. Skinner will start at center along with Lindholm and Dwyer. Our team as a whole is way more experienced. 4th line is flexible and we have a lot of call ups.

Defense:

Gleason-Faulk

Pitkanen-Sekera

Komi-Harrison

Our defense is pretty solid this season. Sekera is going to work wonders and Komi will have a bounce back season in order to earn a new contract. This kind of reminds me of our cup season. We have a lot of good guys in our pairings and have reliable calls ups in Bellemore, Murphy.

Goaltending:

We have a solid back up now in K. Granted he played for Boston who has a good defense but I feel this guy might surprise us. Cam Ward will be solid.

Final Predeiction:

Assuming Ward and Staal are healthy and we don't have any major injures. I see us doing reasonably well. We're going to be 4th in the east come playoff time. Bold I know. But this will be a good year for us. This is the most solid team that we have had since 2006. Feel free to share your opinion.

If Victor Rask has an awesome camp, maybe the 3rd line is Rask/Skinner/Lindhom, and 4th is Dwyer/Nash/(Sutter/Westgarth)

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It all comes down to whether or not our fringe players can take the next step and be able to fill certain roles. I think at least two can do that, and that would be enough for me to say we'll be in the post-season. Assuming Sekera comes in and excels on a better and more offensive team, Murphy can hold his own and force his way to the NHL, Khudobin proves last season's numbers weren't because the defense in front of him, and Komisarek can pull a Semin and prove he can still play good defense in a less stressful environment, of course.

 

Sekera on the new roster and paired with a legitimate partner will see his production rise, while not giving anything away defensively. He can also munch minutes, so I'd say he's a safeguard on Pitkanen potentially getting injured again. If Pitkanen can stay healthy all year and play good, and Sekera plays well with a new team and either Gleason or Faulk next to him, we may have a drastically improved defense next year despite what it may seem right now. Not even including Komisarek. 

 

Komisarek has more to prove than Semin did, but he is in a similar situation. I think in a much more laid back market he will excel. He has an existing relationship with Muller, and that can only spell good things for him and the third pairing. Muller has experience utilizing Komisarek in the right way, when he was regarded as one of the better defensive defensemen in the league with MTL. Of anyone in the league coaching, I think Muller is the best person right now to be coaching Komisarek if he wants to regain his form and stick around the NHL. I have high hopes for Komi.

 

Murphy is more of a wildcard to me in the sense that he is waiver exempt and the fact it's all in his hands what happens to him this year. He has every opportunity to play his way onto the opening night roster, however he'd have to produce from day one without any hiccups defensively. I think our powerplay highly depends on Murphy and what he does. If he comes into camp ready, determined, and in great shape then our powerplay will be improved. I feel it's already improved with Sekera, who I believe will get time in McBain's spot on the point in the PP. With Murphy, he'd be our PP QB, and watching him in those 4 games last season, it's obvious Murphy can control the puck awesomely, around traffic and make pretty crisp passes, which is what we need in a PP QB. But again, it all hinges on Murphy being able to take the spot himself. It's not going to be given to him.

 

Khudobin I think has the least amount of pressure on him from the newcomers. He's replacing both Peters and Ellis, who in my opinion didn't really set the bar that high. I think Khudobin is going to be pretty fun to watch. His playing style slightly reminds me of Tim Thomas with his aggressiveness and agility, the only thing about Khudo's game that makes me nervous is rebound control. Without a crease clearing defensemen on every pairing that he had in Boston, he's going to have a much softer defense in the crease. A few season's ago Barasso worked with Ward about not necessarily not giving up rebounds, but controlling where they go. I think Khudo's style would become more solid if Khudobin can control his rebounds in a way where he's sort of like passing the puck while saving it at the same time. With a improved backup I think Ward will play better, that the energy in net will be shared among our goalies. I don't think Ward's starting status is in jeopardy by any means, but I think Khudobin could play well enough to force Muller to split more time among goalies, which in the long run will reduce the potential for injury with Cam and also fatigue. He'd have more energy come post-season.

 

There are several other factors, but I wanted to touch on the newest ones in Sekera, Murphy, Komisarek, and Khudobin. Like I said earlier, I think it rides on the tweeners, and who of them will step up, claim a role/spot, and play in that role/spot successfully. At least one of the infamous three (Boychuk, Dalpe, Bowman) will step up and surprise this year. I hope anyways. As far as Palushaj and Gerbe go, Gerbe's health will determine his fate, while Palushaj will probably rely on impressing on the PK. If giving Palushaj a roster spot over a tweener means Semin or Eric not having to play PK, then it's worth it.

Edited by SuckaPunchd

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Key notes that i feel we'll need to make the playoffs,

 

 

Skinner must stay healthy AND productive.  At least 70 games with about 60pts.

 

Penalty kill needs to be good not great, although great would be preferred.

 

Someone on defense needs to step up, take pride in preventing scoring chances, and hold himself and the other defensemen responsible.  On paper this is the best defense we've had since wesley retired.

 

Ward needs to average 2.3 goals and 0.92ish %.

 

Khudobin needs to win at least 10 games if not a little more.

 

Do not get off to a bad start to the season.

 

Do well against the bottom teams.

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