Hairyducked Idiot wrote:Got to see them live today as they were in town to play the Ducks. Jesus they look bad. Kane was sloppy and has lost a half-step. Keith has lost a step. Seabrook has lost a step. Their D looked particularly awful, no control of the front of the net either by clearing or well-timed sticks. They outshot Anaheim, but Anaheim's shot quality was way, way higher.
Probably just overreacting from what I saw, but I don't think this is a one-year fluke. I know hockey careers have traditionally lasted longer, but Keith is 34, Seabrook is 32, Kane and Toews are 29. They're exiting their athletic primes and have a ton of playoff miles on them. They can still be useful players, but we might have seen the end of them as elite differencemakers (yes, I know, Seabrook was never quite on that level).
Combine that with the very uninspiring rest of the roster, and I think we might be headed toward something similar to what's happened to Vancouver.
I'm not willing to write them off just yet. It's been pretty obvious that Kane, Keith, probably Toews to a certain extent have been checked out for about a month now. They were just 24 hours removed from a third period comeback at LA where they put Kane and Toews together and they did whatever they wanted. I'll admit I have started worrying about Keith...I've accepted Seabrook's decline, but if we lose Keith as a top pairing guy too, that's probably something we can't come back from.
But there are plenty of examples of 'washed up' cores making one or two more late runs. The Ducks won the Cup in 2007, and made the conference finals last year with essentially the same core. Penguins have as many miles as the Hawks do and no one is writing them off yet, even though we were pretty much even on points until Crawford went down. Kopitar looked washed up last year (52 points, -10), and now he's back to over a point per game.
I'm hoping this group goes into their long offseason realizing the end of this run is very near (if not here), and gears up for one, ideally two more runs. We've got all four of them through 2023, and I don't think anyone denies that the last couple years are going to be ugly and largely just nostalgia based. But I think this team can still compete, this year just got away from them really quickly.