We aren't Cup contenders right now. Signing Niskanen or Boyle wouldn't have changed that at all. They would've helped, but they wouldn't have put us over the top. So yes, I would love to still see us make the playoffs even if we do lose in the 1st round, but give me Pav on two legs...not just one, a healthy Z, and healthy Big E in that series and things might've been a little different. We might not have won but I don't think we would've lost 4-1. Not to mention our kids are getting valuable playoff experience. Sure as hell beats missing the playoffs all together. So what if we get a pick 3-4 picks lower than what we would've had? We aren't tanking. It's not going to happen. Pardon me if I have realistic expectations.
Getting bounced in 5 games isn't playoff experience per se. Also the lack of forward depth, the kids disappearing, Howard being Manny Legace 2.0, there really wasn't much hope even if Z and D were both healthy.
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