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Old Mon, 23rd Apr '12, 4:33pm   #26
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Originally Posted by Beren View Post
/me hands Aldeth a kleenex. There, there ...
I cannot deny that the 1st round exit is disappointing. I had hoped - even somewhat expected - that the Pens would make a bit of a run. Yeah, they were the 4th seed because they didn't win their division, but they were as good as, if not better than two of three top seeds. (Although to be fair, I suppose we could say about the same for the Flyers and Devils.)

But at least the Pens lost to a team of similar skill level. The Flyers winning that series was an upset, but not totally shocking. But the Canucks... I mean come on. Losing the the Kings in itself is not embarrassing, as the Kings aren't half bad. But losing the series in just 5 games, when you finish the regular season with the league's best record... that's pretty embarrassing.
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Old Mon, 23rd Apr '12, 5:16pm   #27
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Giroux opened up with a nice hit on Crosby and then put the puck nithe net. It set the tone for the game. Can you say "Team Captain" anyone...
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Old Tue, 24th Apr '12, 4:28am   #28
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Jonathan Quick and Dustin Brown were easily the MVPs of that series. I wonder if Quick is gonna lead a Richard Brodeur-style run to the Cup final.

Edit: Like we need more proof that Louongo has been overrated for years. I wonder if the Canucks will try to force him to waive his no trade clause now that Schneider appears to be stepping up.
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Old Tue, 24th Apr '12, 6:51am   #29
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Now that my Hawks are out it's time to cheer for my backup-backup team: GO PREDS GO!!

Am I the only one who thinks the West is just more interesting than the East right now? At this point I'm almost assuming Philly is going to make quick work of the rest of the East, I really don't see anyone stopping them now. The West, on the other hand, the four remaining teams are just firing on all cylinders right now. Regardless of which team makes it to the finals I won't be too surprised.
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Old Tue, 24th Apr '12, 5:16pm   #30
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At this point I'm almost assuming Philly is going to make quick work of the rest of the East, I really don't see anyone stopping them now.
One thing that always fascinates me about hockey is that there are more upsets in playoff series than you see in any other sport. The whole concept behind a series is that the better team should win. If it's just one game, a team that plays exceptionally for that one game could win.

To use an example of football from this past year, I doubt that Giants would have beaten the Packers in a 7-game series, not that football is a sport that lends itself to series play.

In basketball again, it's one thing for an underdog to win a game or two in the series, but in general the better team wins out.

In baseball, it's a little different, because in the playoffs, teams cut down on the number of players they use - most notably pitchers. So the team that has the best two or three pitchers, is for playoff purposes, the better team, and that team usually wins. So even if the team with the best couple of pitchers didn't have the best record in the regular season (maybe their 4th and 5th starters weren't very good), there is a logical explanation why you see this in the baseball playoffs.

With hockey, you'd think it would be more like basketball, where talent wins out in the end, but hockey seems to be the sport where there is the least advantage of being among the top seeds. Look at how many times a #1 seed has made a first round exit in just recent years alone. There is no real difference between the number of players used in hockey - it's not like you only play your best two lines in the playoffs, like in baseball where only your best pitchers get starts. I have no explanation for why this occurs.
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Old Thu, 26th Apr '12, 6:02am   #31
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Oh, looks like we'll have a new Stanley Cup Champion this year. So hard for anybody to establish a dynasty this day and age of the salary cap.

Let's look at the dynasties of the 80s and the pieces they had.

The Islanders:

Playoff goalie - Billy Smith
Playmaking Center - Bryan Trottier
Snipers - Mike Bossy, John Tonelli
Offensive / puck moving defenceman - Denis Potvin (although he was the complete package as a defenceman)
Power Forward - Clark Gillies
Defensive Forward - Butch Goring
Shutdown Defencemen - Ken Morrow, Gord Lane, Dave Langevin

The Oilers:

Playoff goalie - Grant Fuhr
Playmaking Center - Wayne Gretzky
Snipers - Jari Kurri, Glenn Anderson, Esa Tikkanen
Offensive / puck moving defenceman - Paul Coffey
Power Forward - Big hard to move Center - Mark Messier
Defensive Forward - Craig MacTavish
Shutdown Defenceman - Kevin Lowe, Randy Gregg, Lee Fogolin

Now let's look at the pieces Pittsburgh had:

Playmaking Center - Sidney Crosby
Big talented hard to move Center - Evgeni Malkin
Offensive / puck moving defenceman - Kris Letang
Two way 3rd line Center - Jordan Staal

and ...

Well, where were consistent shutdown defencemen when Pittsburgh needed them, especially when Philly had the power play?

And Fleury is no playoff goalie, or at least he wasn't this year.

Crosby and Malkin between them took up at least $18 million worth of cap space. Where was the money needed to add the other pieces?

That was my long winded way of making the point. Crosby and Malkin are the perfect one-two center punch to build a dynasty team around. But the cap space issue makes it hard to build around them. Even now, there's questions surrounding whether Staal will want to stick around as a 3rd line center making $4 million a year.

There's a similar debate going on in the Edmonton Oilers message boards. Yeah, we missed the playoffs again, but we were rocked by injuries all year. Yes, I'll use that excuse.

But look at the young talent we're stocking up on. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Teemu Hartikainen. And we just won the "Fail for Nail (Yakupov)" sweepstakes. Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin, and Martin Gernat are on their way as defencemen prospects. Question is: are we gonna be able to keep the core around once they're all past their entry-level contracts? Us Oiler fans are hoping they'll mollify their salary demands so they can assemble a winner. And indeed, all of those Oilers players have publicly indicated they plan to stay Oilers for a long time to come. But there's no guarantee once UFA time rolls around.
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Old Tue, 1st May '12, 10:02pm   #32
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No wonder Nashville is in a two game hole:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...3/?from=sec434

The two guys they added to the roster in the hopes of adding offense for a playoff run, Radulov and Kos****yn, were apparently partying it up until the wee hours of the morning.
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Old Wed, 2nd May '12, 3:35am   #33
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Ugh that does explain a lot. Two of your key forwards playing poorly against the hottest goalie still playing and that is just a recipe for disaster.

The West blows me away right now. The fact that none of the remaining teams have ever won a Cup will make for an interesting finals, I think. At this point I just don't want the Coyotes to win because that might make people think Bettman knows what he's doing.

Then there's the East. If you took the players on Philly and stuck the under almost any other team name, I'd definitely be cheering for them. Sadly, in the decade I've been watching hockey the Leafs have only made the playoffs twice, and both times were eliminated by the Flyers, so out of sheer principle I cannot cheer for them, regardless of how much I like all the players.
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Old Wed, 2nd May '12, 12:03pm   #34
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If the Caps don't win, I'd absolutely love Phoenix to win it. For some little market from the desert who nobody is meant to care about to win the cup would be just magical. And it would give NHL.com another chance to pull out the epic 'That's all she Yote!' pun.
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Old Thu, 3rd May '12, 7:19am   #35
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Well my original plan forthe evening was watch the NYR-WSH game, then watch the end of the PHX-NSH game. Definitely wasn't expecting the former to be the 20th longest NHL game in history...

May not have had the outcome I was hoping for, but it still featured some fantastic goaltending. If Holtby can keep playing this well next season and beyond, then the Caps will finally have the security they need so desperately in net.
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Old Thu, 3rd May '12, 7:35am   #36
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What the Caps need is a huge clear out. Semin, Green, Chimera, Brouwer, Poti can all go and stop sucking up cap space.
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Old Fri, 4th May '12, 8:02am   #37
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Well, Ovechkin was quite a cap hit this season too.

And maybe Vancouver's bowing out in the first round isn't THAT embarrassing either, since LA is now really doing a number on St. Louis as well.
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Old Fri, 4th May '12, 8:50am   #38
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Ovechkin is worth too much to the franchise of the ice to ever trade him. There's just no way.
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Old Fri, 4th May '12, 7:59pm   #39
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An epic match.
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Old Mon, 7th May '12, 5:48pm   #40
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Marty Brodeur's last hurrah? I think some people can make the case that he's been just as good as, if not better than, Patrick Roy.
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Old Tue, 8th May '12, 2:32pm   #41
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Ugh, way to go Ward. Less than a minute to go in a playoff game your team is winning and you take a double minor? Just great.

And don't even get me started on Nashville...
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Old Sun, 13th May '12, 6:40am   #42
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The final four are set, but you could almost call this like a tennis tourney semi-finals using the goalies names in place of their teams.

LA Kings (Quick) vs. Phoenix (Smith)

NJ (Brodeur) vs. NYR (Lundqvist)

Edit: Oops.

Last edited by Beren; Sun, 13th May '12 at 8:19am.
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Old Sun, 13th May '12, 7:14am   #43
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I believe you mean Lundqvist there

Also with the elimination of Washington, my interest in the rest of the playoffs is pretty much dead. I would prefer not to see Phoenix win, but even then I wouldn't mind all that much. The teams that are left just don't interest me all that much.

Ah well, this time next year we'll be celebrating the Leafs eighth straight playoff win after they sweep the first two rounds... Right?!
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Old Tue, 15th May '12, 4:03pm   #44
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Quote:
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Marty Brodeur's last hurrah? I think some people can make the case that he's been just as good as, if not better than, Patrick Roy.
I think I would still take Roy. I think Roy's best years were better than Brodeur's best years.

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I believe you mean Lundqvist there
Nah.... He spells it wrong. Everyone knows that a "q" is always followed by a "u".
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Old Wed, 23rd May '12, 4:16pm   #45
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You've gotta hand it to the LA Kings. After having barely snuck into the playoffs on Quick's shoulders, it took a lot of heart and grit on their part to knock off the #1, #2, and #3 teams of the conference in straight succession while losing only 2 games.

Last edited by Beren; Wed, 23rd May '12 at 6:32pm.
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Old Wed, 23rd May '12, 5:20pm   #46
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Yeah, it's an interesting phenomenon here, especially with both the Lakers and Clippers out of the NBA playoffs in the second round. The bandwagon got very crowded.

While I have been watching the NHL playoffs (they are far more interesting than the NBA playoffs, although the Spurs/Thunder series should be fun) I cannot call myself a Kings fan. I've been to several games, but certainly not with a rooting interest for the Kings.
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Old Wed, 23rd May '12, 6:36pm   #47
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Mind you, Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick are doing a lot to beckon new passengers to the bandwagon.

Brown was struggling during the regular season, and then all of a sudden comes alive during the playoffs. He really has been a monster in the playoffs, combining speed, physicality, scoring, grit, and that elusive ability to get underneath the other team's skin to the point of throwing them well off their game.
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Old Thu, 24th May '12, 6:18pm   #48
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Kings for the Cup! At least I've been on the bandwagon from the start of the playoffs. My hatred for Vancouver led me to cheer for LA right off the bat

I couldn't agree more about Brown, the tenacity he brings to the team keeps showing game after game. Combining that with insane numbers Quick has been putting up and it's hard not to like them.

On a more amusing note, if NY makes it to the finals, they will have played 21 games already compared to the 14 that LA has. Brown has 16 points and is +13 with Kopitar at 15 points and +13 through 14 games where the best NY has is Richards at 14 points and -2 through 19 games. Unreal.
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Old Fri, 25th May '12, 5:20am   #49
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I have to laugh and cheer at the demise of the Phoenix Coyotes. Not to prove Bettman is an idiot for trying to bring hockey into the middle of the desert, which he is.

But the way they've been playing.

Any team that brings Raffi Torres onto their roster is basically telling the other 29 teams, "Hey boys and girls, take care, cause we just hired on the most infamous bounty hunter in the league, and come playoff time, we're gonna have him take out your star players."

And sure enough, Torres deliberately (imho) aims his shoulder high at Hossa's head well after the play, and leaves him sprawled with a major concussion.

Then Mike Smith and Shane Doan were pretty free with their stick work during the playoffs. For them to whine about Brown's play afterwards is, to put it mildly, pot calling the kettle black. Good riddance Coyotes, open season on your species come September.
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Old Mon, 28th May '12, 12:34am   #50
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Those devil's sure are devil's. They did well, good tactics on the ice, and of-course insane saves by Brodeur.

I was rooting for New York, but fair and square.

I will switch to LA. I believe they never had one.

Is it not odd that they play ice hockey in the summer? It was 26 degrees centigrade here. (78 fahrenheit)
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