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Championship Contention: Were All of Last Season's Biggest Weaknesses Addressed?

Shesty Cola

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When thinking championship more often than not a team needs to be elite in many key areas but perhaps more importantly, not excessively weak in too many others.

So when I look at last year I saw this as many of the weakers areas that needed to be addressed (feel free to add more to the list!):

1. Face off wins. This one is huge because we were pretty much dominated here. We havent flipped the script and become dominant ourselves in this area but the look of it right now is it is much improved. This is leading to a whole lot more quick attacking pressure on the goalies in the and more sustained PP time in the offensive zone.

2. Being outshot frequently in games. Another big one as this almost happened on a nightly basis. Partly due to the types of players we had (too many love to pass). This year because GG probably further addressed this and its hitting home combined with players playing a more aggressive game again like Panarin this has greatly, greatly flipped. We are almost always outshooting the opponents now.

3. Some young players in key roles developing a bit slowly. I get guys entering the league sometimes take a few years to really come into their own but when you are the top overall or #2 pick in the entire draft you hope to see more flashes sooner. Of course I am referring to Laffy and Kakko. Well in the playoffs you started to see some signs and between those two and Chytil (if he can ever stay healthy!) they are really showing signs of becoming more well rounded players. The scoring is still not quite there where you would want for a top and 2nd overall pick but they don't look out of place on the top two lines either (and you hope for continued growth in that area throughout the year). Bottomline if Kakko and/or Laffy finally develop into a 30+ goal type scorer this year...that could leap us from a good scoring team to an outright dominant one.

4. Defensive lapses leading to high danger chances. I think this is one area where we have not really improved thus far on the short season but I do so us being very aggressive in having the D join the rush which I absolutely love. Shesty can make up for some of this but we still need to be more responsible in our own end.
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Early season starts especially for teams coming off a deep playoff run can be slightly volatile.


With that said they are 6-3-2 with wins over the top teams in the NHL and an overtime loss to the Stanley Cup champs.


I wouldn't be too worried as the signs are quite positive all things considered.

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