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Alfredsson isn’t the same force, but he’s still an elite ageless wonder. Spezza’s game seemed to decline until fairly recently, when he finally realized he could shoot the puck. Michalek is a downgrade in terms of goal scoring from Heatley, but brings better defense, speed and grit. Though less offensively dominant, I like the current incarnation a bit better, especially for playoff hockey (Though hopefully Michalek isn’t doubly cursed come playoff time. After all he is a former Shark. Scary.)
Certainly a HUGE upgrade. Fisher is having his best year, Cullen is so much better in all areas than Schaefer, and Kovalev, when he wants, can do things Mike Comrie can only dream of. Again, 2010 wins it, though much more emphatically.
Ok, I realize I’m comparing 2010’s third line with 2007’s fourth. That’s because 2007’s fourth and 2010’s third are almost identical. Got that?
Anyway, another major upgrade. Regin lacks McAmmond's veteran status, but he often plays with veteran poise. He can do it all, and I believe that at least in terms of offensive and defensive play, he’s the next Alfie. Foligno brings more to the table than Schubert, though he sacrifices some grit. Shannon and Eaves are almost a crap shoot really. Still, once again a major win for 2010.
Less offense and versatility, more grit. More scoring on every other line makes up for the former. The latter is essential come playoff time. And 2010 sweeps the forward ranks.
Phillips just seems to get better with age. His poise in his own end, and his improvements at moving the puck, make him probably the most underrated defensive defenseman in the league. Volchenkov is a beast, and everyone knows it. Obviously a draw, though I might lean towards 2010 as added experience could help out. (Note: I still believe they should be separated, putting Karlsson with Phillips and Kuba with Volchenkov, therefore spreading out the offense and defense and balancing the pairings.)
Kuba isn’t really a downgrade from post 2006 Redden. Just MUCH cheaper. otherwise your getting the same. 30-40-point offensive-minded defenseman who gets overpowered in his own zone. Like-wise Karlsson and Meszaros look very similar, but I’ll give the edge to Karlsson, as despite his size, he doesn’t shy away from contact.
So much different…gritty defense instead of steady offense. The lack of the latter was part of the '07 team's downfall…could this be this years Scuderi-Gill? I certainly hope so. If this pairing requires some mobility or offense, Campoli could step in. I’m going to call this a draw.
Oh how very similar these two are. Both came in as rookies and helped salvage a season, then watched as management brought in a unproven starter who was supposedly better. Then both won the number one job when the new starter faltered. But since Elliott isn’t a headcase, I’ll give him the advantage.
Both can let in agonizing softies. Leclaire has more upside, but is about as fragile as a glass Sami Salo figurine. Draw.
So, if you count a win as 2 points, a draw as 1, and a loss as 0, 2010 wins hands-down. 2010: 12 2007: 3
I think we have a very good chance of coming out of the East this year. Washington has the same problems as the Russian national team: no defense or goaltending. New Jersey is about our equal, but we could beat them in a 7 game series. We always have Buffalo’s number. Pittsburgh should be exhausted after two long playoff runs. Philadelphia has two back-up goaltenders. If we can exploit these flaws, we could make it to our second Finals.
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