shabbs wrote:Niemi remains unsigned... what a tragedy.
stempniaksen wrote:wprager wrote:stempniaksen wrote:wprager wrote:stempniaksen wrote:When you say that a significant injury in the top-six will leave a team fighting you are completely right, but the same can be said for any team. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a team with 6 'legitimate' top-six players.
If Spezza or Alfredsson get hurt the Sens will be in a world of hurt as well, so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the BHawks. I think because they used to be so deep that people are underestimating the players they have in those spots now.
You didn't get the first part I wrote -- they have *four* top-six players, which means that 2 rookies or 3rd/4th liners are being asked to play top-two-line minutes. They are already starting out in bad shape.
And as far as I am concerned the Sens had *two* top-six players out of the lineup and, if not for a bit of US-biased reffing and pretty close to rookies in the two most important positions (goal and behind the bench) we could have taken out the defending Cup champs.
I fully undertand what you mean, but my point is that you'd be hard pressed to find an NHL team with *six* top-six players, because with the cap some spots will always be filled by youngsters on cheap contracts.
If you argue that the Hawks only have *four* top-six players then the same can be said for Ottawa, and with a worse defence and somewhat comparable goaltending, where does that leave us?
I'm not trying to bring down the Sens because I think we have a talented team and I'm excited about next year, just trying to keep things in perspective and make people realize that Chicago is still a force to be reconned with and to not underestimate the young guys. I'm high on Brouwer, Stalberg and Skille though, so I could be the one overvaluing.
Fair enough, although Alfredsson, Spezza, Kovalev, Michalek and Fisher makes 5, not 4. So we have Foligno and Regin fighting it out for a top-six role -- neither of them is a rookie.
We'll see what happens to the 'Hawks. I'm not a betting man, but if I was, I certainly would not bet on them finishing top-four in the West.
I left Fisher out because you left Bolland out who has a career high darn close to Fisher's. But that's a completely different debate about the value of those guys, and Fisher has done it more consistently so give him that much credit.
And I think that it'll come down to Brouwer and Stalberg in the top-six, neither of which is a rookie either. That's just pure speculation on my part though so no proof to back that one up, haha.
Looking over the West I have a hard time finding teams that will be better than the Hawks next year simply because I don't think anyone (other than the Nucks) have improved a whole lot. San Jose got worse on defence and in nets with the loss of Blake and Nabby while Phoenix lost Lombardi. Detroit will be a threat but Lindstrom isn't getting any younger, and Los Angeles didn't really do anything to improve.
should be interesting to see what happens in the West, because IMO none of the top teams improved (kinda why I still have Chicago in the top-three).
cash wrote:And Chicago still has Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp, Keith, Seabrook, Campbell as a 3rd D-man; Brouwer, Bolland, Kopecky, Hjarlmarsson, Boynton, and of course Huet plus they've now got Turco, as well Beach and Leddy in the system.
I think underestimating them would be an error.
Big Ev wrote:They lost a TON of their depth, cash, and a lot of their players will be rookies. They may end still competing in a few years, but I think the cap has killed them, just like Anaheim. I think they will still make the playoffs and win a round, but after that their is just way too much that says they won't repeat this season (it's hard enough for teams to repeat anyway).
Big Ev wrote:Right now I have Vancouver, Detroit, and San Jose as better teams.
Vancouver got MUCH better this off-season getting Hamhuis and Ballard. I tiwll mean a lot for them to have two great d-men, which they lacked in the playoffs last year.
Detroit got better simply because all their guys lwill be healthy to start the year, and they got Hudler back, which immediately improves their offense. Plus a full season of Jimmy Howard won't hurt.
San Jose...they didn't get better but they didn't get worse. I think their deeper than Chicago at the moment.
Big Ev wrote:Niittymaki is underrated...him and Greiss will do just fine in nets. It's not like Nabby was a Vezina winner.
Also, I'm not sure why you mention Lidstrom's drop in play...what do you expect from a 40 year old d-man? He has nowhere to go but down.
Dash wrote:See, the thing is he can absolutely say what he wants about the team. Right or wrong, it's his opinion and based on the large change in that teams makeup, it has merit. I think people are underestimating the value of the players the Blackhawks lost, and putting too much stock in their "core". They also are still tight to the cap so they may see more changes year after year.
cash wrote:Dash wrote:See, the thing is he can absolutely say what he wants about the team. Right or wrong, it's his opinion and based on the large change in that teams makeup, it has merit. I think people are underestimating the value of the players the Blackhawks lost, and putting too much stock in their "core". They also are still tight to the cap so they may see more changes year after year.
Yes, the basis for that statement is reasonable, but the statement itself is nonsense.
Anyways, when your 5 best players are Hossa, Kane, Toews, Keith, and Seabrook, and you can back that up with secondary depth including Sharp, Bolland, Kopecky, Brouwer, Campbell, Hjar, Boynton, etc., then you remain a force to be reckoned with. It's pretty simple.
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