Well, they weren't really a #1 seed, they were hot when the season was interrupted, but were still 4th when it was, winning three meaningless games to get the #1 seed doesn't mean they were the best team in the East. Still going into the season, we wanted playoffs and second round, we would have been happy with that. It was a weird season with Lindblom's illness and Patrick gone for the year. I think they squeezed the most our of the talent on the roster. Hart should keep getting better, there are still plenty of young talent on the team and in the system. I just wish they had a legitimate 100 point star on the top line. I love Giroux, but 1 goal in his last 26 playoff games, Danny Briere he is not.
The top four yearly salaries in order are Giroux, Voracek, Hayes and Van Riemsdyk, and all of those guys haven't done much in the playoffs (Voracek actually did have a decent series vs. the Canadians). They are kind of hamstrung by those salaries going forward, and if they don't produce, they won't win anything before the young players become expensive too and the cycle continues.