Rangers, Leafs & Oilers can take advantage of weakened field next season
Colorado and Tampa are going nowhere but some of this year's Stanley Cup contenders will bleed talent in the offseason, creating an opportunity for teams like New York, Toronto and maybe Edmonton to be more successful.
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: I mean, I think the Leafs are the team, but look around. Like what's required? Goaltending. Are they going to address that? Like it really comes down to that. We're not going to make this Leafs corner, but I think they have like the recipe for a team that's still on the come up I guess? Because I don't think there's actually that many teams like it's kind of-- it feels like a lot of teams are going to bleed talent a little bit and I'm so impressed by the Rangers as well. Like if you're building from the back out, you have Shesterkin and an awesome top four like that in itself is going to get you pretty far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
They have a lot of decisions to make, a lot of talent that they're probably going to have to replace, but the Rangers should be back. But like am I confident about Pittsburgh or Washington? No. I think Carolina's going to get worse. I'm not sure what's going to happen with Florida, but they can't get that much better I don't think. The Oilers should be better. Maybe it's the Oilers, but like Calgary's going to lose. Like a lot of teams that were involved in these playoffs are going to lose talent so if you had a good goaltender.
If you're Jake Oettinger or Igor Shesterkin, maybe you can carry your team pretty far next year. But if you're a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Edmonton Oilers who have a lot to build around like you've got to address the key issue. And you can't look at anything else but the Eastern Conference Final to realize what you are missing and that is quality goaltending. So until they address that, Rangers? Lightning? The Avs will still be good despite who is playing in net for them like those are the teams we're going to have circled I think.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Shout out to Dallas by the way. Jake Oettinger, who had an outstanding first round performance that was lost in everything else that happened in this postseason, I'm not sure how much better the Dallas Stars are going to get. And the Rangers are actually going to be my answer here because of how good they look. But I just want to shout out the Dallas Stars and the fact that I mean, they're technically-- their window with what they have right now they kind of have to go for it essentially up until they figure out what they hell they're--
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: They're stuck in between.
SAM CHANG: Jamie Benn?
JUSTIN CUTHBERT: I mean--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yeah, good luck. Good luck doing that like Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, they are shells of themselves. They kind of have to go for it, but you need goaltending. You need hot goaltending to get you through and maybe if they were able to make some tweaks in the off season, maybe the Stars have a better showing in the first round next year. I'm not sure, but you're right. They are kind of stuck so I just want to give them a shout out, but the Rangers would be my pick. They just have everything you need to go far in a postseason and be a really good team in the playoffs. Sam, did you have a pick?
SAM CHANG: Yeah, I actually think-- depends what happens in this off season, but I think Nashville has the potential to get better.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Woah!
SAM CHANG: This is a team that we all thought was on the decline.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I like this.
SAM CHANG: They should be on the decline. They should be in the middle of a closing window, but they've got, you know, Josi is a Perennial Norris Candidate. Connor Ingram was unbelievable against Colorado. Juuse Saros had a hell of a season like they have kind of the framework there to just reload and retool. That's not a team that necessarily needs a massive rebuild.