Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/31/13 at 09:44 AM ET
from John Kreiser of NHL.com,
Here are 10 players who, for a variety of reasons, didn't have their best seasons in 2012-13 but are good candidates to bounce back in 2013-14:
Pekka Rinne: The first season of Rinne's seven-year deal with the Nashville Predators didn't go the way either side had envisioned. Rinne went from a finalist for the Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 to a sub-.500 record (15-16-8) last season while watching his save percentage slip from .923 to .910. Part of Rinne's struggles may have been related to a hip injury that required surgery in May. He says he'll be ready for the start of the season -- and with no established backup, he'll have to return to form for the Predators to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Milan Lucic: Lucic had an excellent run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the Boston Bruins, scoring seven goals and tying for the team lead with 19 points in 22 games as the Bruins came within two victories of winning the Stanley Cup. His playoff performance helped overshadow a disappointing regular season in which one of the NHL's best power forwards managed seven goals and 27 points in 46 games, a big drop from consecutive seasons of 30 and 26 goals and 62 and 61 points. The departure of Nathan Horton and Jaromir Jagr means the Bruins need Lucic's best game on a nightly basis.
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