That is a lot of things they need to break the right way for this club just to hold their own and my guess is with this defence and goaltending this club is not going to be able to do that. When Hall and Paajarvi and Eberle make the inevitable mistakes in their own end their opponents are probably going to capitalize. A lot.
Tambellini had a reasonable summer considering this is a teardown. He got rid of a lot of deadweight and didn’t take on any stupid contracts. Its easier to break it down than to build it back up though and honestly I don’t think Tambellini has what it takes. He’s been in management for years and he still makes mistakes that are headscratchers, the latest being the three goaltender situation. Its unacceptable and really what would be best for this club is if Tambellini and Lowe were dumped sooner rather than later. Of course being in a rebuild they really do have plenty of rope and it may not be until this cluster goes nowhere that Katz may see the light. I hope I am wrong but what is about to be five years out of the playoffs, four of those basically as a cap team, has made me a little bit jaded. If I were in a car and the driver put it into the ditch for no reason other than he is an incompetent you better bet that when we get back in the car he isn’t driving.
But that is what’s happening here.
Anyhow some predictions for this season.
1/ Khabibulin will play about twenty five games, tops.
2/ Whitney and Gilbert will play top pairing minutes and they will do well. Gilbert has been playing the toughs for years for this shitshow and generally survives. They will be okay. Gilbert will still get booed because a lot of fans are stupid.
3/ Smid and Foster will struggle in their role and Smid will get hurt. (I know, I know, going out on a limb)
4/ One of Gagner, Brule and Cogliano will have a big year, probably the one who plays with Penner most. ;)
5/ Cogliano will bounce back and have a good year offensively at least.
6/ If Horcoff stays healthy he will have his best year since 2008. He will still get booed because a lot of fans are stupid.
7/ Hemsky will tear it up. A lot of fans will still think it’s a great idea to trade him.
8/ Omark will get his shot soon and he will give a lot back but will do well offensively.
9/ Vande Velde will supplant Fraser by the end of the season.
10/ Eberle will be the best allround rookie but Paajarvi will get most of the glory this year.
Bonus – they will be a lottery team. Guaranteed. The back end and the goaltending is just that bad.