I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that this season may be over in terms of our playoff hopes. I don’t know who or what is to blame, and after all we, the fans, went through leading up to this 48 game season, I must admit my heart was never 100% in it.
The team got out of the gate like world beaters (much to the chagrin of “experts” like Barry Melrose), which helped ignite my flame, but even with their great play early on, I never got up to full ignition.
Couple that with the injuries the team sustained to key members and they got in to a hole that they couldn’t dig themselves out of. We are all left to wonder, if this had been an 82 game season, could they have gotten above water and put another great playoff run together?
Those queries will just have to be something that gets debated over the summer as I think this team will start to take a new shape. Unlike from last season to this season, I think this summer will bring with it a face lift for this team. I think the team will be a lot younger when they break camp next season and I think that it might be time for that to happen.
Sure, Brodeur, Zajac, and Kovalchuk aren’t going anywhere but I think it might end there. Elias, Zubrus, Clarkson, Sullivan Ponikarovsky, Kostopoulos, Zidlicky, and Harrold are all unrestricted free agents after this season. Add to that a buyout or two and that could be as many as 10 new players on the roster.
The game seems to be changing and if you look around the league, most successful teams are on the younger side (with the exception of Boston).
So, it is with an eye towards the future that I present today’s wallpapers:
I am not sure if either or both will make the big club out of camp next season but they are two of the names we have been hearing a lot about.
Boucher had a breakout season, breaking records along the way, and Merril has been a player we have been itching to see for at least a season or two.
We else might we expect? Names like Urbom, Pesonen, Tedenby, Gelinas, and Hoeffel stand out to me. Those seem like players that need to show they can play at the next level.