Can They Repeat?

We don’t get alot of articles on the Tampa Bay lightning, but this is going to be a big discussion when hockey comes back. Here’s what I think.The Lightning made some bad off season moves over the summer. Giving up the tenth highest scorer in the league last year, so they could trade for Vaclav Prospal, a guy who thought he was was too good for the lightning, left, and then flopped. That’s like trading CuJo back to the Leafs, or Carter back to the Raptors. Of course, Prospal won’t get the same reaction, because the Lightning “fans” don’t care as much, and Prospal isn’t s good or popular as Carter and Joseph were.

But the Lightning still have alot of big guns. Regular season MVP Martin St Louis, Playoff MVP Brad Richards, and World Cup MVP Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier has improved alot over the years he’s been playing. The first overall pick in 1998 is finally starting to pan out. And with seven points in six games in the latest best on best tournament, this is something for whatever lightning fans there are to get excited about.

Now to Fredrik Modin, one of those guys the Leafs idiot management gave up. Modin was the only player in the world cup who scored more goals then Lecavalier, and he did it in two less games. 8 points in four games, for an average of two points a game. I doubt he could play that well in the NHL, but.. you never know. (If he were to though, he’d likely get every forward trophy, 164 points…)

Now to Martin St Louis. The player who has a*****ulated a higher points total then ever before every year. Except in 2002, playing fifty six games scored five points less then in 2001 playing 78 games. With that kind of improvement, it’s likely that Martin St Louis could bring hundred point seasons back to the NHL, in the last five years, the most hundred point seasons there’s been in a year is 2003, Forseberg, Naslund, and Thornton, of course Lemieux would have had one if he played the other fifteen games.

These guys are really proving that even at their young ages, they can be playoff performers. And with one of the five goalies in the league with a cup ring (Belfour, Brodeur, Osgood, Hasek, and Khabibulen.) don’t be at all surprised to see this team clime the latter, at least one more time.*

*Should be noted that St Louis is having difficulty with his contract, and with the UFA age lowering and, he could leave the lightning. But would he have the same success? With a speed team like Montreal, very likely, with a rough and tough veteran team like Toronto, I highly doubt it.


45 Responses to Can They Repeat?

  1. ranger_fan says:

    If the standings has said anything the last 5 years, anyone can make the playoffs, no matter what the players on the team. Prospal is a good pickup. He really responded to John Tortorella in round 1.

  2. simplyhabby says:

    Interesting that you did not put Theo in your top 5 goalies. I really don’t know about Osgood and Hasek being in the top 5 anymore. I may be wrong with stats with Osgood but certianly not of Hasek (injury prone, downswing).

    The Bolts can repeat but it is an extremely competitve Eastern conference. An improved Montreal, the always competitve leafs, the defensive juggernaut in Jearsey, the best defense in the league with Ottawa and not to mention the team that has screwed me over for the last 5 years to win the cup….the Flyers.

    All these teams have one more year of playoff experience making them that much closer to be on top.

  3. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Those are the goalies with a cup.

  4. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    “If the standings has said anything the last 5 years, anyone can make the playoffs, no matter what the players on the team.”

    Except the Rangers….

  5. Eddie_The_Eagle says:

    NO they can’t. The Bruins will win it. The fact is they are in the best position of any team with such a small payroll. they can go out and bring in a few of those top notch free agents and still have a low payroll and be competitive. they have a strong nucleus with Thornton, Samsonov, Bergeron, Boynton and Raycroft. They will integrate some youngsters but also bring in some veterans….more proven playoff performers and leaders than guys like Murray, Guerin, Nylander, Gonchar who didnt do too much for them when it counted most. They will have the kind of balance of young and old to make a good run for it.

  6. hockeyhead says:

    i love you man. ( in a hetero way!!!! LOL>)

    i am very excited about the tandom of raycroft and toivonen (who is projected to be better than raycroft-calder trophy winner). just look at hannu’s numbers in providence.

    there goaltending will void any choking that the skaters might want to apply.

  7. ranger_fan says:

    very good. they will return in a couple of years, and hell, might even get another cup before Toronto does. 1994 or 1967???

  8. ranger_fan says:

    Raycroft will most likely not be not as good.

    Is O’Connell still behind the bench? Its been so long.

    No matter who the B’s get, they wont be a favorite unlike the early 70s!

    In 1971, and 1974, the Bruins had 4 guys at the top of total points. In ’71, Orr Espo Bucyk and Hodge were the leading point getters, and in ’74 replace Bucyk with Cashman. Unbelievable.

  9. Eddie_The_Eagle says:

    well think about it, with a payroll under 5 million right now, they can work wonders. sure they have to resign thornton, samsonov and raycroft but still they will be well under 30 million by the time that gets done. the possibilities are endless.

    But I also like the fact they can integrate some youngsters into the lineup. The Bruins have plenty of good prospects plus their top players are still young.

    Toivonen – will give some good competition for Raycroft. perhaps still a bit young to be the man right now but perhaps in a couple of years. having too many goalies is a good thing.

    Stuart – a big tough stay at home dman who could be captain material at some point.

    Jurcina – like the fact that he is a big man and a space eater. got some skills too.

    Alberts – another huge blueliner with a mean streak

    Jonsson – perhaps he could come over and help their PP as he is strong on offence, but poor on defence.

    Boyes – a solid two way player who just needs to skate better. perhaps a craig conroy type of player in the future.

    Hilbert – is the farm team’s leading scorer. he has the speed and skill….just needs consistency.

    Samuelsson – if he played in NHL he could be the fastest player in teh League. he unfortunately doesnt do anything else all that well. perhaps he could develop into a PK specialist and be the next Axelsson.

    Krejci – I read that he has lots of skill but being small and not that fast will hurt him in the end.

    Karsums – same as Krejci, skilled but small and a bit slow.

    Walter, Statsny, Mondou (Ben, Yan, Benoit) – hey if they are a fraction of the player their fathers were (Ryan, Peter, Pierre) then they have a shot at the big show thanks to good bloodlines.

  10. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Detroit, The Rangers, forty is the magic number.

  11. ranger_fan says:

    Goalies with a cup doesn’t matter. Before last year it was just 4, as the ‘Bulin Wall wasn’t there. Just because they have a ring doesn’t mean a thing. If Mike Richter came out of retirement, would the Rangers be a part of the dominate teams in the East? Of course not.

  12. ranger_fan says:

    Is Ivan Huml still in the system, looking to come up? I haven’t really paid much attention to the b’s system.

  13. ranger_fan says:

    Yes. 2 more years. When they should be rebuilding. Belfour will be gone, roberts, sundin will be older. who cares about owen nolan. leetch will be retired, or back to broadway.

    1940 are you talking or 40 years between? cause it was the magical 54 for NY

  14. hockeyhead says:

    mike sullivan is coach…did very well in his first year.

    why won’t raycroft be as good? i don’t see any chinks in his armor…the style he plays is pretty air tight and hannu is much the same but more athletic.

    i don’t worry too much about the past. and neither should the players.

  15. hockeyhead says:

    and hopfully other teams are not paying attention.

    huml is still in the system but he elected to play in his home country.

  16. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    No, but the Rangers aren’t a playoff team to begin with. If the Rangers made the playoffs, Richter could carry them to win any number of rounds.

  17. ranger_fan says:

    Is he still showing good promise?

  18. ranger_fan says:

    That’s right. Forgot about Mike.

    Hannu I like, and don’t take this the wrong way, but I do think he won’t put up the same #s.

    Look at Theodore a couple of years back, JS Gigure. I see a trend, and while I hope he doesn’t follow, I think he might.

  19. ranger_fan says:

    You are telling me with solid netminding, the Rangers would have missed the last three seasons?

    They were stuck with Mike Dunham, who had ONE good year, and a rookie, then sophmore Dan F’N Blackburn.

    They were close, especially the year they got Bure.

    To say the Rangers didn’t have the skill to get into the playoffs is obsurd. What they didn’t have was the right coach. Ron Low? And the god damn Islander Trottier. Slats was on crack. He should have tried for Hitch*****.

  20. hockeyhead says:

    well, he didnt play a lot in czech but he went over because he thought that he did all he could do in the ahl which i think was a mistake…..learn the system.

    i think he will be a good third liner.

  21. hockeyhead says:

    what i think is different about andy is that he is always square to the shooter…always.

    we can debate happily but only time will tell. i can’t wait to watch big league hockey again.

    baby bruins vs. manchester….i hope it is on tv.!!!!

  22. simplyhabby says:

    I think this leads into the ever popular Ranger’s argument.

    I have to agree that a solid number 1 in New York will give them a much better chance of making the playoffs but not giving them an automatic berth into the playoffs.

    I have always maintained the Ranger’s woes are attributed to poor team chemisty and that can be directly related to poor coaching as you mentioned.

    I think Slats did the right thing selling off the team for draft picks and prospects. it is just best to start out from scratch and rebuild with a retooled minor system that will develop into a solid core of youth. Balej and a 2nd rounder was a great move for Kovalev.

  23. simplyhabby says:

    Theo had a poor year after his Hart and Vezina year because he partied all summer (his own words). Hard work and lots of practice paid off last year as he returned to be in the top 5 goalies in the league. As long as he maintains this work ethic, he can return to Vezina and Hart form.

    Giggy just had oversized pads. Raycrof may suffer from a softmore jinx but there is no reason for a great positional goalie to sour like Jim Carey.

  24. simplyhabby says:

    The bruins can be a great team but for some reason, they just don’t have what it takes to put them over the top. Personally, I don’t think Thorton can lead the team to the cup. I think they lack real leadership and they need a guy in there for at least a year and a playoff to lead this young core to greatness.

    Don’t get me wrong, they had the talent last year and they can retool to have it again but coming from a hab fan, if you could not finish off a team that was filled with strife and all you needed was one win while the Habs needed 3, that is a leadership problem. Your first line was non existent and that was the line that needed to lead the team by example.

  25. hockeyhead says:

    they need a fearless player(s) to go up against a team that has so much aura about themselves vs the bruins…ie bourque and neely.

    thornton lead davos this year…they were in the finals the last i knew. i think thornton will be like modano….when he reaches 30 he will be a dominant leader IMO.

  26. hockeyhead says:

    if razor did pull a carey (which i think is impossible) i would love to see hannu take over. i really like that kid.

    garon did really well for manchester nh this year…the kings should be happy……maybe bonk will do well for you to forget.

  27. 19Yzerman says:

    The Bolts simply can’t go back to back. If the do win the next Cup it will be Back to Blank to Back and they would make history in being the only team to win the cup before and after a year in which there was No Cup Winner. Then Leafy can write an article about this team could have won three in a row.

    I see this team as one of a few bonified contenders who have choosen to retain the team chemistry which is something that is more effective then simply trying to assemble as much skill as you can and simply expecting them to beat teams who have been performing at a high level through team self awareness.

  28. simplyhabby says:

    I liked the Bonk Garon trade. Montreal already has another solid prospect in the minors with Yann Denis.

    We turned a promising young goalie in Garon and a draft pick for a depth down the middle (Bonk, Riberio, Koivu) and a solid back up in Huet. I trust Gainey’s move and definately see the logic.

    My only concern is Bonk in the playoffs where he is infamous for ****ing the dog!

    Razor did very well last year and as i stated, he is very sound positionally. Those type of goalies providing they keep with their work eithic will remain consistent. It is amaxing how Carey can’t even get a job in the minors….unbelievable. probaly one of the quickest falls from stardom in pro sports.

  29. simplyhabby says:

    What i find amazing about the bruins is that they have players on the team that I really liked yet they are arch rivals.

    I really hope Jumbo joe does get the leadership skills because he can be better then Neely. he is bigger, stronger, faster but he lacks ledership and arguably will.

    He will be a great asset for the Canada at the Worlds. I can’t wait. We play the US tonight in exhibition. Should be chippy!

  30. hockeyhead says:

    bonk is a wild card that is for sure….maybe putting on the blanc will help his game.

    blane lacher was another guy that disappeared and way back in the 80’s was another bruin goalie that couldn’t hack it that i liked….mike moffat.

  31. ranger_fan says:

    I still didnt see why Lacher retired. I think he ended his career on the B’s defenseman going up the middle, randy mckay swatting it into the net off his stick.

    The Bruins goalies after Moog have been aweful. The Jon Casey trade YUCK Bill Ranford Meh. Jim Carey, John Blue, terrible.

  32. hockeyhead says:

    i think that joe really blossomed in the world cup last fall….he was a force on one of the best third lines ever assembled.

  33. hockeyhead says:

    casey for moog???what are they thinking.

    moog mouthed off being a union man and casey just had a cup run…..this makes it right?????

    bill ranford not allowed to develop, traded to edmonton to win a cup and then comes back to boston washed up???????????????

  34. ranger_fan says:

    I’m not saying a solid #1 would have guaranteed them. Just much better chance. Dunham is a backup.

    I also agree that selling the team was for the best. Balej trade will help both sides if Alex resigns.

  35. Phenom3150 says:

    lol @ “bonified” contenders…..was that intentional?

    otherwise, it’s “bona fide”

  36. ranger_fan says:

    Casey was just so unorthodox. He never impressed me. To me Moog was by far the better, and much more of a safe bet.

    The whole Ranford thing, well conrats to Bill on the success… and good job as a Jim Craig, (another B’s goalie) backup.

  37. hockeyhead says:

    al montoya is rated higher than hannu….that should be good news for ranger fans but i think they might be jumping the gun a little bit…..i think they should wait and see what he does at a pro level.

    i know he played at the world cup but hannu’s numbers are impressive in relation to who is skating in front of them.

  38. tmeyers says:

    I dont think they can. They got on a good roll last year and it was a magical playoff but I dont think they can.

    I think St. Louis will become moderate again, Lecavelier will underachieve. I think Khabibulen will go back to being over rated.

  39. nordiques100 says:

    Tampa has a shot at it but Andreychuk will retire, Cullimore is gone, St Louis and Khabibulin could be eligible for UFA and as defending champs they will be a target. losing that kind of leadership may be too tough to overcome despite Richards and Lecavalier.

    And really, it helps having home advantage. playing 4 last place teams 6 times a year within their division gave the Bolts a free ride. Their division is terrible and they took advantage of that beating the flyers and flames at home. I think if they played in Philly for game 7 they would have lost same if they played game 7 in Calgary. Luck was on their side that year, but lightning doesnt strike twice all the time (no pun intended)

  40. ranger_fan says:

    Hannu is better right now. Did you look at hockeys future? I dont agree with them a lot.

  41. nordiques100 says:

    ok maybe the Bruins would have beaten Tampa if they didnt choke against the Habs but they certainly wont win now with a team void of players.

    They have some talent yes, but you forgot that they are owned by jeremy Jacobs, the man that will bring us replacement hockey because a fair deal with the players is totally unfair in his mind.

    i swear it will be just the wings, leafs and rangers supporting the crap teams like nashville while jacobs wont have to give a cent in revenue sharing because Bettman’s lips are glued to his a$$. Hell i bet jacobs will get his way and even get revenue sharing from other clubs despite swimming in cash.

    I dont mind the Bruins. they have a great history with espo, orr, bourque, neely, shore but it is all getting flushed down the toilet thanks to scrooge jacobs.

    it’s people like Jacobs who strip away any progress made in CBA talks when he starts crying poor and out to “get” the players.

  42. hockeyhead says:

    i think many of bruins nation would agree with you nords.

    we all hope that his son (who was given more power) will put the ship in the right direction.

    it is about time that this hockey region of new england gets what it deserves and that is a cup contending organization. not just a good team but a team that will compete with the leafs and flyers and wings and for goodness sakes…the avs. tradition should be the issue here…not $$$$$$$

  43. nordiques100 says:

    well the fact that the patriots are regular super bowl contenders, teh sox won the world series finally, the celtics are an up and coming team in the NBA and just finishing up a good year, sports in that area is booming…..except NHL hockey. that is a shame because a guy like orr is as popular if not more popular than bird or ted williams.

    ever since your B’s lost the whalers as rivals, moved out of the gah-den and changed their uniforms to winnie the pooh sundays, it hasnt been the same

  44. 19Yzerman says:

    Telling you that was intentional would a “bona fide” lie or is it lye?LOL

    I can be caught from time to time on a misspell.Its kind of like not knowing a phone number anymore since we keep them stored in our cell phones. I only use spell checking programs when submitting news or posting an article on here otherwise, it’s what ever I type or is it tipe?

    Ta Hell with spell check hand me the pipe.

    You seen the movie “Oh brother where art thou”?

    Mama says he’s “bona fide”

  45. rojoke says:

    And of those five goalies, only Brodeur and Khabibulin are still with the teams that got them their rings. Remember, goaltenders can’t score that many goals. Belfour has been great in Hogtown, but the other 16 guys that he plays with on a nightly basis still haven’t gotten him to a final. Osgood has been remotely as successful since leaving the Wings. And Hasek hasn’t played a full season since he won his Cup with the Wings.

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