Edited Nov 10, 2019 at 6:09
98.4 point pace right now, with testing things, like other teams do it in preseason. I think we can safely say we won't miss the playoffs, if we come close to miss the playoffs: Cooper is fired, and he knows that. Not gonna happen...
EASY playoff for us. I repeat: EASY
The other teams, which could pass us for a playoffs spot, are simply worse teams in every position. Including coaching/talent. Maybe Florida has better coach, but thats it.
We might not finish as top3 on east but we don't even need to, so we will be just fine. What matters is: what will happen in playoffs.
Trust me, Montreal/Florida/Buffalo will never beat us in the playoffs race this year... we are locked for top3 on atlantic. My current prediction is: 1st: Boston - 2nd:Tampa - 3rd:Toronto - All 3 locked for playoffs.
If you think we will lose our playoff spot with current system/playstyle vs other teams, then you just don't watch those teams play at all. They all have huge problems... Buff was like 9-1 no? Big deal, look where they are now...
It doesn't even matter where we will stand at january 1st. We will still make the playoffs from last place in the whole NHL. We are that much better, than the other teams in regular season. St. Louis did it with a mediocre team. It's not rocket science. You just need to win games, where matters, and it's not October. I would be only worried, if our january/february = complete garbage, until then we don't need to trade anybody really. We are stacked, as no other team in the league right now. Boston doesn't win because they are stacked, it's the system + hot(unusually for no reason) top line, NYI only wins because they allow 2 goals/game. Not hard to score 3 in today's nhl including overtime... Other teams will also have injuries later, like Point + Paq + Hedman etc... this year for us. I'm actually sad only when i watch the game, then after that i realize it's part of the plan. Changing our identity from only skill/speed to --> have some defense/NO penalties/grinding a lot more and not just carried by a hot goaltender by allowing every team to have maximum number of high danger scoring chances against us. If we can limit the opponents scoring chances, we should be much better in playoffs.
It all starts with Hedman:
When Hedman is healthy = we are probably winning in playoffs a lot of games/series. = good chance for a cup this year.
If Hedman will be injured even by 10%(like a small upper body injury), we will almost certanly never win the cup this season, even by trading for another defenseman and with Toffoli/Kreider.
Hedman is our most important player on the roster. If Hedman is healthy full 22-26 games in the playoffs. We win the cup most likely (best chance in the NHL). If he is not, we almost 99% hopeless.
Currently i see Tampa loosing in the playoffs only vs 1 team:
, we should be okay vs all other east teams.
will be a though matchup, but we will manage with a good preparation.
Rest = we were overwhelming favorites and we will not lose every series like we did last year. That was a 60-40% matchup even based on one of the most optimistic CBJ overrating analytics site on the internet. That site said before Duchene trade, that they will win the President's Trophy. Columubs = presidents trophy without the allin moves. That site still gave us 60-40% to win that series. Losing a series like that can happen to any team... If that site predicted Columbus that good before 2018/2019 season started, they had a stacked team( and they went allin after that before Trade Deadline, so maybe that loss wasn't even that bad right?) Losing to a stacked team with a coach like Tortorella is not even that big of a surprise. It happens. It doesn't matter if we lostgame 7. A loss is a loss. Boston lost finals 4-3. Doesn't matter, they just lost in the playoffs, like us... 1 team only. It's sad thing, but that's why you need to have max chance every year. Once that chance will convert into 1 Cup. Or 2 for some teams(Chi,Pitts)
All other experts sites said: around 65 or 75% chance for tampa to beat columbus. Next time if we have a 70% we just win that series... The problem is when we play washington and they will be the favourite because of the grinding style, which they copied from St. Louis for this year = very bad matchup for us... So until you see Tampa vs Washington Conference finals or similar to that, please just understand the basics of math. Favorite teams on long run = always good. Bad teams on long run = always bad. The last time we were bad was a couple of years ago when we missed the playoffs. We are not even close to that level right now, even if the results not the best. You just don't go from a 60 win season to miss the playoffs, just because of luck. It's not a reality, when the team stays same... You guys overreacted like usual, and we beat 2 times Buffalo without any problems, like they were Ottawa... same happend last year... hot starts = means nothing.
Anyways, i expect we win the next match vs Rangers, but even if we lose the next 2 games, once it will turn around and we will start winning a lot of games, and everything will look like normal reg season for a good team...
Just understand that players on the team asked to play differently = hard to do when it's imprinted in your brain to only care about offense. And they have no experience playing defensive minded hockey. It takes time. It might not even happen this year, it's alright, only 1 team can win the cup each year. But if we keep going on the route by caring about defense, we will have success. Defense wins championships, like in NFL(not in the NBA though).