May 29, 2018
Toronto Maple Leafs
2nd Favourite Team
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>CD282</b></div><div>Neal doesn't even play with McDavid except on the PP. He has scored 2 goals + 1 assist in 7 games at 5v5 with RNH, that's a 23 goal / 35 point pace. Only 12 players scored more than 23 goals at 5v5 last year, Neal would be tied for 13th with Gaudreau, MacKinnon, Matthews and Tyler Johnson. That's decent company.
So no, Holland shouldn't be throwing him out for nothing right now.</div></div>
Its been what 7 games? Neal is much better than Lucic, but still he's an aging vet that just isn't going to get better. I think over a full season, he'll end up with 25 goals and around 40 points. But he's not really anything more than a 3rd liner at this stage of his career. If you can get out from the rest of his contract, which is still terrible, you'd think that would be a priority considering having 5 million of dead cap space is terrible in this day and age.
But fans like to get excited when teams overachieve and then think things are a lot better than they actually are. Look at last night for example. Over 50 shots against and it was the 7th time in 8 games in which Edmonton has been outshot, was far behind in all advanced stats and again McDavid was the difference. McDavid has an off night, which will happen every now and again and Edmonton will almost for sure be shutout. Over the course of an 82 game series, its very unlikely you can make the playoffs when you give up way more shots and scoring chances than you create. Currently Edmonton's 3rd and 4th lines are getting destroy but lucky. Its not going to last.