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Forum: NHLDec. 14, 2021 at 2:44 p.m.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>NoVaSpartan</b></div><div>Not sure I agree with your assessment of Washington. Goaltending is a bit suspect but Samsonov has been very good outside of 1 or 2 starts this year, and was very good in the playoffs (outside of the one mistake which is probably the only thing people remember from that series).

I don't see a depth scoring issue. These lines don't really concern me:

Ovi-Kuzy-Wilson: This line does not fail to score, come postseason or regular season time.

Mantha-Backstrom-Sprong/McMichael: This line has had their injuries, but Mantha has had his moments, and could be quite good when he returns. Sprong or McMichael (whichever Lavy likes more, assumedly) both have great promise, and especially McMichael has been quite good this year. Having Backstrom to center this line should give both stability and experience, and allow both to play their best.

Sheary-Eller-Oshie: This line is the most suspect to me, but Oshie has been a decent contributor (when not hurt). Eller isn't as much of a threat down the middle, as is Sheary, but both have their moments. Oshie on that line brings it up in value from my point of view.

Hagelin-Dowd-Hathaway: One of the best 4th lines in the league, Dowd and Hathaway are both guys that don't score all the time, but are far from invisible and step up when needed (ex. Dowd's tip in from game 1 last year). Hagelin is a bit of a liability but combined with Dowd and Hathaway he could still be alright. I would look at a possible Hags replacement being Protas, which would make this line even better in my opinion. (would likely be Hathaway-Dowd-Protas)</div></div>

You make some good points. But, given the injuries, a lot will need to go right for this team to advance in the postseason. The potential is there.
Forum: NHLDec. 13, 2021 at 2:40 p.m.
Forum: NHLDec. 12, 2021 at 6:21 a.m.
8 Cup Contenders In No Particular Order:

1. Tampa - They don't have the offensive depth that they had the last 2 seasons, but they've got the #1 Goalie in the NHL and they know how to win in the playoffs.
2. Florida - Probably the deepest, most complete team in the league. If Bob step[s it up in the playoffs, they'll be really tough to beat.
3. Carolina - Their offensive capacity is somewhat concerning, but they compete really hard and they know how to shut teams (and superstars) down.
4. Toronto - The Leafs have excellent goaltending and defense. Wait, what? They will need results from Marner and Tavares, but this is not the same Leafs team of the last 5 years.
5. Vegas - They almost always go far in the playoffs. Add Jack Eichel, and watch that offense explode. Crazy, but the biggest question mark may be their goaltending.
6. St. Louis - Big, physical, and really hard to play against. Now, they have added excellent scoring depth with Buchnevich and Saad. Vlad is back and Kyrou and Thomas are breaking out. I really like this team.
7. Calgary - This Flames team is the best chance Canada has to win the Cup this season. Good depth, solid goaltending, and Johnny Hockey has really elevated his game.
8. Minnesota - I saved the best for last. Vegas might end up better if Eichel fits in well, but right now, this is the most complete team in the West. Good, but not exceptional, at every facet of the game.

Every Cup winner has to have good goaltending, good defense, and good depth.

Why not Colorado?

They're one of the most electrifying offensive teams in recent memory. But, their defense and goaltending is a huge red flag. They're currently ranked 26th in the league in GA/GP. Maybe they'll get it straightened out. If they do, they could rocket to the top of the list.

Why not Edmonton?

The last 5 games tell us plenty about why this team is still a ways away from true contention. When McDavid and Draisaitl aren't scoring at prolific rates, this team is mediocre at best. Add poor goaltending, and it'll be another early playoff exit. Holland should seriously consider trading for a Goalie at the TDL, in my opinion. On the plus side, they have awesome special teams and team defense is solid. They're close. Maybe a Fleury away.

Other Potential Contenders That Just Miss The Cut:

1. Washington - Goaltending is a red flag. Depth scoring is another problem.
2. Pittsburgh - They'll need Malkin to come back strong to have any chance.
3. Dallas - The talent is there. They need a coaching change, in my opinion. They need far more from a couple high priced forwards. But, if they get in, they could go on a long run.
Forum: NHLDec. 11, 2021 at 6:36 p.m.
Forum: NHLDec. 1, 2021 at 8:21 a.m.