Wow a total of one overwhelming single game in national TV next season for the Panthers! Its party time for us Panthers fans! We are speaking of an increase of 100%!
Talking about going unnoticed most of the time, while i was checking the previews about the Panthers on different reports on how the lineup will look next season, Im confused how professional writers from serious hockey magazines be that far off from reality or flat out uninformed.
Seeing Jack (No)Skill(e) ranked as the first RW in one preseason guide, Shawn Matthias listed as the second line center in the next and Evgeni Dadonov not even listed in another one made me throw up a little.
But oh well, while i cant hand you the set in stone new lineup yet (i don´t even think Dineen has solved that puzzle yet), i think i can at least help you to avoid common mistakes about the prediction on the brand new Panthers and analyze the rest of the team step by step.
You guys asked about what to expect from two of the old faces that are now need to get used to play with a complete set of new teammates in David Booth and Stephen Weiss.
The designated new team captain was pretty excited about all the new arrivals, you could imagine. Last season was a down year for him with 49 points and only 3 of them on the powerplay, but you need to take a look at the circumstances, when analyzing the Weiss season.
His linemates were shuffled the whole season and no one besides Sergei Samsonov clicked with him at all.
Michael Frolik was his lazy whiney self and got rightfully booted from Tallon. David Booth still was suffering from the post-concussion symptoms and found chemistry with Santorelli faster. Jack Skille is a grinder and not a goal scorer, Chris Higgins refused to score at all....
Now is a totally different side of the coin, he now has two legitimate Top 6 players by his side in Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg ,that can put the puck in the net and could benefit a lot from Weiss great playmaking skills.
He can now stop focusing on the goal scoring part and excel to his strengths and what he can do best, simply dish the puck.
I fully expect Stephen Weiss to have a career year next season. Leaning out of the window Im forecasting 65-70 points for him and at least 15 of those points will be on the powerplay, which should see a boost in general from being the worst in the whole NHL with Campbell as a QB. His shot totals might go down a bit to around 160 but on the other his +/- should rise again from the depressing minus -nine from last season. He now feeds pure goalscorers instead of third line players, so it should be a given that he will succeed, he always had the talent to do and he finally has the opportunity.
Grab him grab him while his price is still down!
The other guy that now is the old horse in the stable is David Booth. He still didnt look like his former self the last season after the horrible concussion he had a season ago.
He found some nice chemistry with Santorelli, like mentioned above but had nearly the same problems with multiple linemates shuffled all the time. The Booth-Santorelli-Dadonov line seemed to have it, when lil Geno suffered an injury that put him out of the lineup for several months. The main thing with Booth that makes me anxious is that he still looking scared out there occasionally, he seems to be afraid of taking hits and plays a lot softer than he did before the concussion.
Booooooth should be able to offset that issue with more games played and the concussion further away, but overall there is no sign that he will return to 60 points territory. A slight rise to around 45 should be in the ballpark, but he is still drafted too early in most leagues, cause of his pre-concussion play. The positive factor is you should expect a better +/- stat next season than his brutal minus 31 the last season, it really cant go down any further.
Dont get fooled he might be a 50 points winger again but dont be shocked if he never reaches 60 again.
Get him cheap but don´t overpay for him! If he falls take a chance but not too early on.
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Last edited by keytolife; 08-27-2011 at 09:43 AM.