Offense - and what I keep saying
Every year since the lockout I've been saying this, but with less enthusiasm year after year...
But there's a boiling point here. There's a line where coaching can't stifle offense anymore. Perhaps it's just hope. But I still think that line exists.
We've been foiled the last two+ years. But injuries and circumstance from NHL's goals per game from surging.
Injuries - Malkin, Crosby, Goligoski, Green, Letang
I know Goligoski's name doesn't belong there, but I had a lot of faith in defensemen leading the offensive charge. After seeing what Green did with Washington, and then what Yandle did with Phoenix...Goligoski was key. If he was healthy - never hurt - and had 52 points right now, how would that impact league attitude? Each year it's one defenseman. This year it's Erik Karlsson!
Circumstance - Radulov in KHL, Washington changes system
Odds are this will never happen, but here is fantasy hockey's version of "the stars aligning":
1. Healthy Malkin, Crosby, Ovechkin, Giroux, Stamkos, Tavares, Sedins, Backstrom
2. Healthy Green, Karlsson, Goligoski, Yandle, Ekman-Larsson, Doughty
3. Radulov re-signs with Nashville.
What this would do:
1. Give us 7-10 players with 100+ points
2. Give us two players with 130 points
3. Two defensemen with 75+ points, another four with 60+
The best coaching in the world isn't stopping the Penguins right now. Imagine that over a full season?
With defensemen racking up the points, the copycat coaches will want their own puck-movers to match.
This would be enough to turn the game on its ear.
Problem is...the stars probably won't align like this. But one can dream.
14 Team Keeper, points only, best 12 skaters 2 dman 2 G count. Playoffs count.
F - Crosby, C.Smith, Wheeler, Parenteau, Hudler, Clowe, Grabovski, Atkinson, Frolik, S. Kostitsyn, Marchand, Peverley, Tavares, Read, Brouwer, Bickell, Gionta, Setoguchi
G - Anderson, Hiller, Markstrom, Brodeur
D - Letang, Del Zotto, I. White, Kronwall, Brodin, Nikitin