The title of today’s headline post was on purpose. In case you missed my season preview (here you go) you’ll see that my heart says an 8th place finish is doable, but my brain says a 10th place finish might be more likely. I talked often last year that if you don’t expect too much you won’t be disappointed. The same goes for this season as well. Yes, we have high hopes, yes we have numerous positive changes, and some bright young stars to be excited about. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Last season the Florida Panthers finished 15th in the Eastern Conference, and with the roster they ended up with by the time the year was over, it was no surprise.
This year however despite all the positive changes, the usual “media” outlets are predicting more of the same. We’ve been hearing all summer long about how we aren’t going to be any better, and that all the new faces will take forever to mesh. Yada, yada, yada. I’m here to tell you my four readers that we can’t possibly be as bad as last year despite all the new faces and potential chemistry issues. I was never much for science, and once again, I balk at the chatter that the boys will have trouble mixing. Many of them played together as teammates elsewhere, and there’s a pretty decent combination of youth and veteran leadership for a change to put that theory to shame. Plus there’s a few Stanley Cup winners now on board and that has to count for something.
So here’s the “mantra” kids. Control your expectations. If you expect a Stanley Cup finish for this year’s club, I’ll be the first to say you are delusional. Now, beyond that you can expect the Panthers to play better than last season. Much better. You can anticipate that they will finish higher in the conference than last year’s 15th place finish. We’ll be better than everyone thinks and we’ll finish higher than most predict. With all the negativity that’s being written, the boys can use that as fuel to “prove everyone wrong”.
If you haven’t already read enough negativity, here’s some more:
Puck Daddy says that each time we get a new coach we improve. But once again the “chemistry” issue comes up.
Center Ice Report says 14th! Thanks for the improvement!
And The D.A.R.T. Board also comes in at 14th!
The Hockey Writers has us at 12th.
NHL.com and Dave Lozo at least expects the Panthers to surprise some people.
Hockey World Blog is wishing for “rubber rats”.
I’ve read enough. As I always say: “Talk is cheap, prove it on the ice”.
Thanks as always for reading. We welcome your comments and opinions.
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