Who do you guys think will be our greatest challenge next season as we go for another shot at the Cup. With all the talk about what we need to do to gear up the roster, that is only half of what needs to be done to win the Cup. Getting past the competition is the next part, and much tougher.
I would have to say that most teams at the bottom of the standings this season (Edmonton, Colorado, St Louis, etc) may be poised to make the playoffs again, after each of them went through a semi process of rebuilding, but not quite fit to be a contender just yet.
Over the past two seasons, we pretty much knew who our toughest opponents would be. Obviously Detroit, since they are full of playoff warriors, and give trouble to every team they face in the playoffs. Chicago and Vancouver were both teams that gave us trouble during the regular season. I looked at their records before those two seasons, and they seemed to have built up a little bit over the course of maybe 2-4 seasons before they won the conference championship. They both emerged from being close to the bottom of the playoff seeds, to going higher until they showed the energy to go further into the playoffs.
Which teams do you think will be our toughest adversaries next year?