No Matter what happens the rest of this season...is there not tons of reasons to be optimistic about next season?
Eric Duhatschek- "When I look at the Kings I think they're on the cusp of greatness."
We will actually have some stable goaltending to start the season. Quick has been shaky as of late IMO but all in all do we have more faith in him and Ersberg then any goalie tandem since Hrudey/Berthiume?
Looking at the D-barring any catastrophic freak occurrences is there anyone else who thinks a Doughty, Quincey, JJ, Greene, OD, and whoever wins the last spot wont be a pretty nice top 6? Especially considering we have 3 or 4 very qualified candidates to be the #6 instead of Preissing, Gauthier, or Harrold.
Moving to Forwards-Lets Say that the big guns simply match this years stats; Is there anyone who doesn't think Moller & Simmonds wont improve on this years numbers? Not that they're burning up the league but a years worth of experience under the belt and some time to beef up a bit-these two will only get better. Moller has 7 goals in 33 games-if he can play the full 82 game schedule is 20 for him a tangible proposition?
Which leads me to Kid #3.
Purcell-if he stays in the top 6 is there any doubt this kid will put up some serious numbers? Even before he went on his scoring tear I said he manages to make one amazing pass for a scoring chance every game but wasn't playing with anyone who could finish them. Getting Top 6 and PP time-is a 20 goal/30 Assist season not a very real possibility for him? If Purcell can stay in the top 6-is there anyone who thinks he wont match what Sully did last season?
Now we have Justin Williams-there are questions on whether or not he can stay healthy and they are very legitimate. But what kind of numbers can he put up given the amount of chances Kyle Calder had this year? Calder currently has 8 goals and 15 assists on the season-If he can play 60+ games is there anyway Williams shouldnt be able to double those totals?
I tend to be an optimist sure but I just don't see us taking a step back and see nothing but players who will get better and improve with experience.
Quick didn't have a good game at all-yet the team still managed to rally and win. With earlier kings teams we pretty much depended on the goalie to keep us in the game and if he didn't have his A game that was it.
Lets look at some PK and PP numbers-if Im not mistaken we're in the upper half in both categories. Keeping the same core group is there any way we wont improve in these areas next season?
This season might be too little too late and too many missed opportunities but next season I really like our chances of taking the next step. All things being equal and working on a very conservative growth curve I think this time next season the scoring issues wont be nearly as pronounced as this years woes. I see a D core that will only improve. I see a goalie tandem that while not earth shatteringly spectacular is as solid of tandem we've seen in a long time.
Thoughts? Feel free to piss on my Wheaties...I'm taking the kids to Chuck E Cheese tonight and need something to think about other then "why do they only carry Budweiser" and "how many kids booger hands touched this same table Im currently touching."