OT: Stanley Cup Playoffs

Submitted by uncle leo on April 21st, 2017 at 8:46 AM

Haven't seen too much discussion about the NHL playoffs to this point.

Main reason bringing this up is because Chicago got SWEPT last night by Nashville, don't think anyone saw that coming.

Other than that, most of these games have been awesome. Tons of OT, close matchups. 

Sadly, Pittsburgh won their series. But if Boston and Chicago (already lost) both go out together, I'll take that all day.

Comments

xtramelanin

April 21st, 2017 at 8:52 AM ^

i don't know.  just old time hockey.  they are the chicago cubs of the NHL.  remember seeing themi n the finals at the forum, playing the kings during desert storm in the early /90's.   i still remember the goose bumps i got when they played the national anthem.  

Image result for toronto maple leafs logo

stephenrjking

April 21st, 2017 at 9:38 AM ^

I pull for the Leafs, too. Helps people on this board that Zach Hyman and Matt Hunwick are both on the team, but for me there are two personal, closely-related factors: 1. My Dad is from Toronto and his family is still there; 2. The city embraces Leafs hockey to a delightful degree, and it's awesome when they're doing well. 

So when the Wings were in the opposite conference, rooting for Toronto was easy and natural, and I cheered them in the playoffs with enthusiasm (back when they, you know, made the playoffs). 

There's not much sting on it for Wings fans, because our dislikes tend to be molded around teams that we are rivals with, and we haven't been a direct rival of the Leafs in over 20 years. A lot of people here don't remember the 1993 Norris semis that went seven games (I *do* remember that series, quite well--we happened to be in Toronto for game seven, the whole extended family watched it together rooting for opposite sides, it was intense), so there aren't the hard feelings that are expressed here toward, for example, Pittsburgh.

If the Wings rebuild and face the Leafs in a playoff series or two, most of the good feelings will evaporate. As it should be.

rob f

April 21st, 2017 at 9:44 AM ^

but I've found myself rooting for the Leafs, too, this playoff season. I have never cared for the Caps, so maybe that's part of it, but the Leafs are arguably the Red Wings biggest historical rival and I should be hating them.

But I'm thrilled the Blackhawks got swept---living here in SW Michigan most of the last 35 years has intensified my hatred of ALL Chicago's pro teams. And the Blackhawks were already the other 'Original Six' team, besides Toronto, that seems to stir up the most long-term hatred for Red Wings fans.

I Love Lamp

April 21st, 2017 at 8:54 AM ^

Rip through the regular season and then struggle in the playoffs

Damn Pittsburgh is going to win again. And I wouldn't usually care, but man I just can't get behind any team with Crosby on it. I don't care if he ever leaves and goes to Winnipeg, I'll hate them too. I just don't care for him.

sas5128

April 21st, 2017 at 9:07 AM ^

I don't get the Crosby hate. Sure he was young and complained a lot but he's turned into an incredible player. The Cindy Crysby jokes were relevant 8 years ago but he's a legit pro now. I'd take him over Ovie a million times over due to being more about The Team. Isn't that what this blog loves? Years ago? Sure hate him. But now, why? He's a quiet guy who dominates when it clicks. Hate away but I love when he gets going.

uncle leo

April 21st, 2017 at 9:09 AM ^

That people try too hard to find faults in superstars.

But there are plenty of faults with Crosby. He's a notorious whiner, snubs people on the handshake line and generally seems to be very unclassy.

No one's arguing he's a generational talent. But compared him to other guys of his ilk and you'll see why people don't like his demeanor. 

sas5128

April 21st, 2017 at 9:20 AM ^

Well that's what I was trying to say. Sure. There were some thing early on that made me think he had the LeBron complex but over the past couple years he's shut up and did his job. If the handshake snubs are a thing and still going on, sure, I'll give you that. But everything else he just shut up played at a different level. Those two kids on his first line with him are so much fun to watch. They just go and he facilitates it all.

bamf16

April 21st, 2017 at 5:19 PM ^

"snubs people on the handshake line"

 

I guess you're referring to the 2009 Finals?  He was 21 years old, had just won a Cup, and was celebrating with a bunch of guys (including the Black Aces) when the handshake line began, saying repeatedly that he didn't realize that the handshake line started.  Hell, when it began, there were 6 Penguins in line.

 

I take him at his word for that.  It's a whole lot more believable than snubbing guys in the handshake line after you won in their building.  

 

People outside his fan base don't like him, just like people outside Washington hate Ovechkin, Chicago hate Toews and Kane, etc.  The guy is clean in his personal life, he's one of the hardest working in addition to being one of the most talented players in the league, and there will always be sour grapes and outdated narratives to which whiny fans will attempt to deflect to players they call whiny.  

1VaBlue1

April 21st, 2017 at 8:55 AM ^

Despite living in the DC area, I find it easy to pull for the Maple Leafs because of thier crappy recent history, but mostly because of Mike Babcock.  Dude is just a top notch coach.  Even the current collection of Red Wings would have been a playoff team if he was still plying his trade at the Joe.

uncle leo

April 21st, 2017 at 9:02 AM ^

Even Babcock couldn't have taken that collection of players and made them into a playoff team.

They were steadily declining during the last few years of his tenure, essentially making the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed almost every season. The vets were starting to tire of him and there was no tangible evidence that things would get better.

 

lilpenny1316

April 21st, 2017 at 9:48 AM ^

Scotty Bowman was also tough on his players.  Winning is what matters and those guys put up with Babcock because they were one win away from back-to-back Cups with him.  The problem is that Holland traded away prospects and draft picks for low impact guys just to sneak into the playoffs.

For the price of one 1st round pick, two 2nd round picks, and multiple prospects now in the NHL, we landed Erik Cole, David Legwand and Kyle Quincey.  Not one playoff series win resulted from the rentals and Quincey was around for one playoff series win.  Not making those trades didn't even impact our playoff run.  Cole played a handful of games and Legwand was never a difference maker.  Our future would've been much brighter if we would've held onto those picks/prospects.  The reason we had THAT collection of players is Holland's fault.

lilpenny1316

April 21st, 2017 at 11:40 AM ^

Their incredible luck in shootouts masked how bad they were.  I will say this though: I don't think Blashill is the answer.  I don't believe the players respect him.  I don't think the vets listen to him and I don't think the youngsters (Mantha and AA) like getting yo-yo'd in the lineup while inferior players (Glendening, Miller, etc) are getting too much ice time.  

goblueram

April 21st, 2017 at 9:18 AM ^

I'm pulling for the Oilers.  This series is turning into a fun one, has game 7 written all over it.  

Also, apparently Nashville is for real. 

Yabadabablue

April 21st, 2017 at 9:22 AM ^

I do think Nashville will make it to the conference finals. They are playing really well. As for the Oillers I do think that they will win this series but wont make it past Anaheim. If they can contiune to improve they will be serious contenders in the west next year. same with toronto in the east. Not there yet this year but a bright future. Also McDavid is legit. gonna win the Hart this year.

Rabbit21

April 21st, 2017 at 9:35 AM ^

As long as Rinne stays hot they can go a long way.  Their defense in this series was really impressive and they completely shut down the Blackhwaks, which is something I thought would be impossible.  It looks like the Subban-Weber trade is one of those rare ones that helped both teams now that the Preds have finally figured out how to play together.  Should be a fun playoff run.

Billy Seamonster

April 21st, 2017 at 9:20 AM ^

The NHL playoff format is a joke.  In the East, youve got 3 of the best 4 NHL teams playing each other in the 1st 2 rounds. Capitals, Pens, and Jackets, 2 of those 3 teams will be out before the conference final.  It makes no sense.  Its not fair to the Jackets, who were the 4th best team in all of hockey, having to play the 2nd best right out of the gate. Also, not fair to the  Pens for having to play them, and then possibly the best hockey team in the regular season next round.

Yabadabablue

April 21st, 2017 at 10:01 AM ^

conference finals. a 4-7 seed in the east is garunteed to make the ECF. meanwhile the top three teams are not being rewarded for strong regular seasons and are playing in matchups that should not be until the ECF. If I am a columbus fan I'd be pissed. Team had best season in franchise history and the had the 4th best record in the league. they draw the second best team in the league and defending champs in the first round. 

stephenrjking

April 21st, 2017 at 9:42 AM ^

Funny how the Wings were in the west when it was the best conference by some distance, then the center of gravity moves east, and the Wings follow.

I agree about the format. They want division rivlaries like they used to have, but not too much? They have to pick one: Fair, or divisional rivalries. Not both. 

But they should've seen this coming. It's not like they don't have a history of really good teams not getting a chance to advance far because of great teams in their division. It was a problem for Calgary for years in the 80s, among others.

uncle leo

April 21st, 2017 at 9:49 AM ^

Are a completely different animal than other sports. For the most part, you could drop any team into the playoffs and they could potentially win a series. There's so much randomness and volitality involved. With the NBA, higher seeds will generally win their series. Upset stuff has been happening a long, long time in the NHL. 

How often do you see the president's cup winner actually winning the cup? Rarely. 

uncle leo

April 21st, 2017 at 10:02 AM ^

But to my point a little more, how often in the old format did you get the 1 v 2 or 1 v 3, or 2 v 3 out of the East/West?

Top seeds never seemed to meet, you'd always have a 7 or 8 seed making a run to the cup just because the NHL is such a flukey-type sport that hinges on weird bounces and deflections. 

The format really doesn't bother me because I don't think anything's really changing with who gets through in the end.

Hotel Putingrad

April 21st, 2017 at 9:21 AM ^

The Preds have long been my second team. Attended their very first game, as their first year was my senior year at Vandy. I thought they might beat Chicago but certainly would not have expected a sweep. Just a good mix of speed, skill, and grit. And Laviolette is one of the more underrated coaches in hockey. I'm also super excited about the Oilers, and the Leafs are predictably giving the Caps fits. Should be some great games this weekend.

lhglrkwg

April 21st, 2017 at 12:19 PM ^

I feel that the improved lighting, making everything newer & shinier, and taking a lot of people off the glass have had a large psychological effect and have sanitized Yost considerably. When it was dim, and old, and everyone felt like they were right on the ice, I think the crowd felt more into it. Like getting rowdy at a dimly lit bar vs. in broad daylight. The changes have made a difference in the atmosphere

Kevin13

April 21st, 2017 at 9:39 AM ^

are the most exciting sports event during the year. This season has been no different some great games. The Toronto-Washington series has been some great hockey. I don't have a single dog in the fight this year, but love watching the games.  I too am thrilled Chicago was swept!

SAMgO

April 21st, 2017 at 9:42 AM ^

Rangers Habs has been an awesome series to watch. Tight contests every time, game 6 at MSG should be no different. Leafs Caps has been very fun as well.