Can Ryan Smyth Tap Home This Rebound?
Last season was a bit trying for Ryan Smyth with the left winger only recording 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists). Although he was injured for most of the season Smyth was still well under a point a game. This leads us to wonder how Smyth will rebound this season.
Well, I will go on record right now and say that Smyth will have a much better season in 08-09 for a number of reasons. He was one of the under-used players when Joel Quennville was in power, but now that Tony Granato has taken the reins look for Smyth's ice time to jump. Also, I do not think Smyth will be injured as much this year.
After such a horrible season it wouldn’t be fair to assume that Smyth is going to get 75-90 points. But what would be a fair assumption is that Smyth will get somewhere around 60 points (30 goals, 32 assists) this season.
At this point in time, it's looking like Smyth will be playing on the front line with Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk. This would obviously be a jump from the line he was on towards the end of last year (Smyth, Arnason, and Jones). It also would not be that big of an assumption to say that Smyth will be on the first PP, where he would more than likely perform splendidly.
With that said, don't be surprised to see Smyth on the second line with Joe Sakic and Marek Svatos. This will happen if the Avalanche signs Peter Forsberg, and I'm guessing they will.
This promises to be a trying season for Ryan Smyth. After all, everyone will be watching him to see how he rebounds. But don’t worry, good ol' “Smyttie” will be back this year.
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