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Which of the top teams will miss the playoffs?

  • Vancouver

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Washington

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Philadelphia

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Pittsburgh

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • San Jose

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Detroit

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Boston

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tampa Bay

    Votes: 2 18.2%
  • Anaheim

    Votes: 1 9.1%
  • Nashville

    Votes: 2 18.2%

Which top team will surprise and miss the playoffs?

2597 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MadDevil
The top 10 teams in the league last year were (by points):

1 Vancouver
2 Washington
3 Philadelphia
4 Pittsburgh
5 San Jose
6 Detroit
7 Boston
8 Tampa Bay
9 Anaheim
10 Nashville

Which one can you see missing the playoffs this year?

I will make a case for why each team may miss:

1. Vancouver - Hamhuis has battled injuries, Ehrhoff left, there will be more pressure than ever on Luongo
2. Washington - Hard to fault the Caps. Got a goalie, Ovechkin should bounce back, Carlson and Alzner should be better.
3. Philadelphia - Can they gel? There has been a massive change, with 2 core players leaving in Richards and Carter, a new goalie, and an aging defense. They also lost Leino and Versteeg, but picked up an aging Jagr and a feisty Max Talbot.
4. Pittsburg - The health of Crosby and Malkin is the biggest question of all. Crosby, Malkin and Staal played in the same game less than 10 times last year.
5. San Jose - More massive change, with the departure of Heatley and Setoguchi, and the addition of Burns and Havlat.
6. Detroit - With Rafalski gone and Lidstrom a year older is this the year that they falter?
7. Boston - Lost Ryder and Recchi, and swapped Kaberle for Corvo. You have to think with the core in place and Seguin getting better that they will remain strong.
8. Tampa Bay - The team is largely unchanged. The biggest question is whether they vintage Roloson can continue his strong play.
9. Will Hiller's health be an issue? Can Perry repeat his incredible season?
10. Nashville - The core of the team is still on defense and all are returning.
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I also think either Philadelphia or Tampa Bay. I don't see how you can trade two proven top six centers and consider yourself as good as you were before. Plus Pronger's health is a question mark. And Tampa, I'm just not sold on their goaltending. Roloson was good last year, but he turns 42 in October, and Garon isn't the most reliable backup plan.
Doesn't really matter if they were as good as before, they were one of the top teams in the league and only fell out of the top spot in the East at the end of the year. For a large chunk of the season, they were the best team in the NHL. They need to continue to improve/develop the younger players to maintain that status, but a bit a drop off in production in return for consistent goaltending should make them very close to, if not a better overall record as last year.

The aging defense argument...Pronger and Timonen have been aging for quite some time, but it's not like the rest of the d-men are falling apart like they have leprosy.

Lilja, Timonen, and Pronger are all 36, the other three (Mezsaros, Coburn, and Carle) are 25 and 26. The other 4 that remain average 22 years old.

We'll see how they do, I would be shocked if they don't make the playoffs though.
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