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Old 08-04-2017, 07:41 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by mrdonkey View Post
A lot really rides on Bennett. Currently he's being wasted on the third line dragging around the lumbering corpse of Troy Brouwer, so I hope he gets some play time as a top 6 winger. This would then open up the door of maybe playing Tkachuk on his off-wing on the Gaudreau-Monahan line which would give us a very good top 6.

Of course, it's really up to Bennett to show that potential, and I have my fears that the longer he spends as the 3C the more he will trend toward Yakupov town.
I think your focus on top 6 and non-top 6 is misplaced. Top teams now employ a top 9 where 3 scoring lines are deployed and counted on. Bennett's line can easily be another scoring line if he's given Tkachuk or Gaudreau to work with.

Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland
Tkachuk-Bennett-Brouwer/Foo/Versteeg
Frolik-Backlund-Brouwer/Foo/Versteeg

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Old 08-04-2017, 07:47 AM   #42
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I do think this team is a contender going into the year. They easily have one of the top 5 D corps in the league. They also have several young forwards who have potential to break out. Personally I think Gaudreau returns to being a top 10 scorer this year.

Mike Smith is the wildcard. If the Flames get .910 sv% they should be a low divisional or wildcard team like last year. If they can get close to .920 I could see them being top 5 in the NHL.
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:30 AM   #43
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Mike Smith isn't part of the core but you don't need a goalie as part of your core, it would be good to have though. You don't need a great goalie to win the cup, you just need a goalie to play great at the right time. The flames just need the opposite of Elliot.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:26 AM   #44
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It does have potential... Because Monahan, Bennett and Brodie always bring on their A game in the playoffs. And if you give a few more like Tkachuk, Gio, Hamilton and Gaudreau lighting it up too then we should have no problem making noise.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:48 AM   #45
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Of course it does.

You need strength down the middle, solid D, good goaltending, and depth.

And you need it all to come together in the playoffs.

Even for the top teams, that doesn't happen every year. But for any good team, that CAN happen.

And the Flames have more than enough of the above for them to be in a position where it CAN happen.

If Parsons or Gillies can become elite, the Flames will move up into the top contender status (like Pitt and Chi) where there is a good chance that it all comes together EVERY year.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:51 AM   #46
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To be honest, if Bennett reaches his potential, and we somehow produce a goaltender of Kiprusoff caliber then I def think we have a shot at the cup.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:53 AM   #47
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To be honest, if Bennett reaches his potential, and we somehow produce a goaltender of Kiprusoff caliber then I def think we have a shot at the cup.
Shot a the cup? If Bennett reaches his potential and one of the goalies becomes Kiprusoff, we'll have the best team in the NHL.

And it won't be close.
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Old 08-04-2017, 10:56 AM   #48
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I think we have a two-stage window. The next two years, and then the next 3-4 years after that.

As others have said, a lot rides on what Bennett is and whether we will get better than capable goaltending out of the Smith/Lack pairing. These are the determining factors for the next two years.

It's a very different question in three years, when Smith's contract ends. Who will be our #1G? We will be in a very different cap situation with Tkachuk needing a new contract, and Bennett's likely 2-year deal expiring. IIRC Brodie will be up then too, and Frolik and Brouwer are off the books. With the raises likely needed for our core, we will not be able to afford $4.5M complimentary wingers (or $3.5M third pairing defencemen) and will need to inject youth from within. So how long our window stays open after the two year period will depend on how our top 5-10 prospects fare at becoming NHLers.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:03 AM   #49
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Need top 3rd in league goaltending, if not better.

Need some young forwards to make strong pushes into both top 6 and bottom 6 roles.

Need young d prospects help offset Gio aging.

Need the core (Gio, Hamilton, Brodie, hamonic, Monahan, gaudreau, Tkachuk, Backlund?) to have the ability to lead this team, to bring another level come spring and carry team on their back.

They are positioned well, but a good portion of the teams in the league probably feel the same right about now.


I don't think so. If Smith can give us consistent and dependable slightly better than average goaltending we'll be fine. Had Elliott even been average in the playoffs the Ducks were beatable. I just don't want the peaks and valleys of elite/garbage goaltending. If Smith can give us somewhere around 2.5 GAA and .915 Sv% that will get the teams to the playoffs. Anything better than that increases the chances of a deep run.

Edit: sorry, read top 3rd as top 3 goaltending.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:22 AM   #50
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If Bennett has shown anything in his first two playoffs, it's that he ups his game when it matters. Against Vancouver and Anaheim he looked like a bonafide top 6 forward with a chip on his shoulder. That's a trend that you hope continues as he progresses as a center. Even if he tops out as a 40-50 point player (worst case IMO), if he still plays at another level perennially in the spring, then that's a valuable player that any competitive team needs and covets.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:32 AM   #51
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This team has:

An elite scoring winger
A top-of-the-league possession 2nd line (assuming last year wasn't an anomaly)
A top-of-the-league top 4 D

This team lacks:
An elite center
Forward depth
League-average goaltending (we'll see if Smith can provide this but it's unlikely it'll be much above that)

Does the core have cup potential? I think it depends on one of the goalie prospects turning out to be a really high-end starter. If that happens, I think the answer is yes, that plus a few "going for it" style additions up front would make the team into a contender.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:34 AM   #52
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While it's foolish to compare this team to Pittsburgh, it can certainly be compared to Nashville.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:41 AM   #53
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While it's foolish to compare this team to Pittsburgh, it can certainly be compared to Nashville.
Or maybe, like Nashville, it will carve out it's own identity of a successful team in the modern NHL.

Teams aren't striving to be built like the LA Kings anymore, yet they won championships a mere few season ago. The NHL 'formula' is evolving quickly.

Even Pittsburgh looked hard pressed to make another finals appearance after 2009, because they didn't have the defense to shut teams down. But now that the gritty, big teams are no longer rulers of the land and are in decline, it has provided an opening for the faster, skilled teams to take over the landscape.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:48 AM   #54
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Absolutely. The question is whether or not the supporting cast of home grown prospects, free agents and existing veterans is good enough to make it happen. Core players can only take you so far in 4 playoff series that always come down to a matter of who has better depth.
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:52 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Enoch Root View Post
Shot a the cup? If Bennett reaches his potential and one of the goalies becomes Kiprusoff, we'll have the best team in the NHL.

And it won't be close.
I don't think you'll ever see a team that is head and shoulders above every one else.

The cap ensures that.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:06 PM   #56
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If Ferland does well on the first line and bennett breaks in this season I think we're gold. If not I still think we have an outside chance.

After watching chucks highlight videos and seeing how many in between the legs shots and passes and no look passes and such he completed I have no doubt he's going to be as good if not better this season.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:09 PM   #57
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This team lacks:
An elite center
Forward depth
League-average goaltending (we'll see if Smith can provide this but it's unlikely it'll be much above that)
Depends what you call elite I guess. I think Bennett could develop into an elite centre. Backlund is an elite two-way centre IMO. Monahan is an upper tier centre. Jankowski is our top prospect. Our centre depth will be extremely, extremely strong within a year IMO.

As for forward depth I'd say that's a strength of ours not a weakness. Of course that is assuming progression from Tkachuk, Ferland and Bennett and then in .5 years Janko. But all that is pretty reasonable to assume IMO.

Smith IMO can provide above average goaltending. It's not a given but he certainly has done it in the past and IMO can do it again.

I'd say your outlook is a bit pessimistic overall and doesn't look ahead enough to likely progression from our high skill young forwards.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:20 PM   #58
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Depends what you call elite I guess. I think Bennett could develop into an elite centre. Backlund is an elite two-way centre IMO. Monahan is an upper tier centre. Jankowski is our top prospect. Our centre depth will be extremely, extremely strong within a year IMO.

As for forward depth I'd say that's a strength of ours not a weakness. Of course that is assuming progression from Tkachuk, Ferland and Bennett and then in .5 years Janko. But all that is pretty reasonable to assume IMO.

Smith IMO can provide above average goaltending. It's not a given but he certainly has done it in the past and IMO can do it again.

I'd say your outlook is a bit pessimistic overall and doesn't look ahead enough to likely progression from our high skill young forwards.
I agree, but I'd like to hear your opinion on it.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #59
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I agree, but I'd like to hear your opinion on it.
LOL. Well I try and present my opinion as such instead of trying to present it as fact. I guess it looks a little redundant if you bold it :P
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:39 PM   #60
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Yes, the Flames are one of 20 or so NHL teams whose cores have Stanley Cup potential.
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