Stoney Point - August 13, 2014 - In this week's installment of 30 Second Timeout we asked the following question: How many 100 point scorers will there be in the 2014-15 NHL season and who are they?
Beer League Hero - I I'm not one for making accurate player projections as illustrated with my 2013 preseason prediction that Yakupov would overtake Eberle as the team's no.1 RW... But I'm game here. I say five guys will get 100 points or more. Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Claude Giroux, Tyler Seguin and Taylor Hall.
Phillip Blancher -
This Buffalo Sabres fan hasn't seen a 100-point scorer on that team
since Alexander Mogilny and Pat Lafontaine scored over 100
points-a-piece in the 1992-93 season. Since the Sabres don't have a
hope of that for the next few seasons, who cares?
Shaun Maddex -
Two: Sidney Crosby: because if he plays at least 70-75 games it's basically a given.
Tyler Seguin: that's right, with 84 points last season and an even better team around him this year, Seguin is going to light the league on fire this season and it's going to be fun to watch.
Chris Savard - My prediction is that there will be three players over 100 points this year. I believe that the three best scorers in the league are Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares. All three are the leaders and captains of their respective teams. All three former first overall picks are just entering into the prime of their career and if they stay healthy, this trio could be in the century club for years to come.
Rob Soria -
If Sidney Crosby stays healthy there will be one but if he is forced to sit out for any length time, there won't be any. The National Hockey League is regressing back into the league it was in the past with little to no offence and it is a big problem. There are a ton of talented players in this league but the fact so many teams play such a god awful style and few rosters have any real depth when it comes to having skilled offensive players, makes it highly unlikely. Steven Stamkos could get close but I will stick with Crosby or bust.
Ryan Womeldorf -
Just two: Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos. There isn't anyone in the league that can score like them.
Dean Belanger - There is exactly one player who has the chance to post a 100 point season this coming year, and that player is Sidney Crosby so health is always going to be a concern. Teammate Evgeny Malkin is the only other player I feel has the chance to crack that barrier but I'm not predicting that.
There are several reasons for the lack of scoring in the NHL, size being the biggest problem in my opinion. The goalies are huge, very athletic, better trained and coached, and wear very large equipment. Did I mention they were huge? I'm am more certain than ever that we will see larger nets in my lifetime. The players are also bigger, faster, stronger. Of course as the players skills have improved, the NHL coaches society uses that strictly for defensive purposes. (The NHL is the only league in North America where is offense seems to not be a priority). The overall size and speed increase mean that there is less ice to work with. It's too bad the size of the rink couldn't be increased by 10% to accommodate for the changes we have seen. And no, I'm not suggesting Olympic sized ice where offense goes to die a slow, painful death. We all know adding size to the surface means losing seats, so its a non-starter.
The other factor to keep scoring down is the entire Western Conference. Those teams will start a marathon grudge match that beings in October and does't end until April. Every game among the good teams counts and every game is tightly contested. Because of that no one player in the West will post 90 points, let alone 100. The East traditionally is more open and if a team like Washington rebounds, they can potentially have Alex Ovechkin flirt with a mid 90's point total.
Lastly, the only way we will see multiple 100 point players is if there is a dramatic increase in power plays. When the first lockout ended and the new obstruction tolerance level was instituted, there was a massive increase in power play time and production. In the decade that followed, the play tightened up and the amount of calls have reduced. Factor in the shot blocking and systems we are now seeing and the power play totals just are not what they used to be.
All of those factors add up to one....maybe.
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