At the start of this year, I felt that we would finish on the borderline of the 8, probably just inside. And we’re very close, so I’m not too disappointed with this year. I feel like I have received pretty good value, for all the $$$ and emotions that I have invested.
I also believed that 2017 would be better than 2018. We started this season with lots of experienced players as depth, and I still believe that those experienced players are superior to the kids, especially over a long season…furthermore, as it turns out, we have had an amazing run this year with injuries, which would be unlikely to repeat in 2018…so I still think finals will be harder in 2018. And because of that, I have been happy to strive in 2017 to make it, and just play the best players for current performance.
So…for me…only a remarkable draft/trade period will shift me from this expectation: that finals will be a stretch in 2018. I’m OK with that. It will be more of a development year, getting senior games into the likes of Langford/Lav/Begley/Mutch and perhaps a draft pick if ready. That can be exciting to me, if those players simply show signs of improvement.