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Thread: NHL Playoffs

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    NHL Playoffs

    So, yeah, the NHL still exists, even if I haven't been paying much attention to it. There is a 1993 vibe to the playoffs this year. A pair of 4's and 3 seed into the semi-finals, including the Islanders and Canadiens, who played in the Eastern Conference (Wales Conference) finals. Montreal didn't have a great year this year, finishing 24-21-11. That'd be six fewer wins than their 3rd place compatriots Winnipeg Jets, of whom the Habs also just swept. The Habs will play a team with 15 or 16 more wins in the next round. That is a lot of wins considering the 56 game season.

    With the shortened season, it is difficult to get historical, so I was curious, who was the worst team to win the Cup? The sixth one will surprise .... okay, it won't. But the answer is interesting, seeing the team was sixth place in a league with eight teams. Their record, the Chicago Blackhawks, was 14-25-9. They'd go 7-3 in the playoffs, though.

    According to the linked Wikipedia article, this wasn't just the worst team to win the Cup, it was the worst team in North America to win a major sports title!

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    Veteran Member Tharmas's Avatar
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    I know how you're feeling Jimmy. Any thread I open on the NBA gets about this much traction.

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    It goes to show that ice hockey is a fickle game. My brother, who came pretty close to playing professionally, calls it a game of attrition: having healthy, energized, and motivated players at the right time (heading into the playoffs). This mostly accounts for why teams like the Canadiens can peak at the right time and, in theory, make a real run for the cup, while others who win the President's trophy (regular season wins) struggle to maintain their regular season pace and end up bowing out early.

    To me, hockey is so fast-paced that randomness is a major factor in the outcomes of games (the right bounces at the right time). Having good players is a necessity to win a cup, but the energy/drive to win is a necessity too. If you're playing harder than your opponents there are good odds you'll score more goals than them.

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    Montreal is one win away from being in the Stanley Cup Finals. They haven't been in the Finals since 1993, and they haven't won a Stanley Cup since... well... 1993. This would be a much deserved cherry on top of Carey Price's career.

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    Game One of the Finals was a tale of few movements. First period was a back and forth contest. The second period saw the Bolts just take complete control and assume a 2-0 lead, but late in the second period, Montreal came back to 2-1 and managed to level things off from the complete manhandling they were being dealt. The third period, was somewhat back and forth again, but things went more less the Bolts way, bounces and what not, and they pulled out to a controlling 4-1 lead, to win the game solidly. Carey Price gave up 4 goals, almost none of them his fault. He gave up 4 goals, however, he was the main reason they were still alive after the second period. He was steady as a rock, so we'll see how things go in Game Two.

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    Heading back to Tampa, Montreal hasn't been defeated in a game. All they need to do is not lose one more time and they will win the Stanley Cup. Easy peasy!

    It technically hasn't been done since 1942, when Toronto head coach Hap Day made the controversial decision to pull Detroit's goalie for an extra man, which led to an easy tap in to take the lead with 7 minutes remaining in Game 4. Irate, Detroit head coach Jack Adams threw a Honda Fit onto the ice which got him suspended for the rest of the series, and led to a defensemen being the head coach. Detroit lost the next game 9-3. So, there is all sorts of reasons to remain optimistic.

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    Great news! In Game 5 Montreal were able to hold the Lightning to just a single goal. The only problem was they themselves didn't score. So the better team won the Cup last night and Montreal just kind of sat there thinking... man, thought we'd been golfing by now.

    It was a great and unexpected and asterisk marked run to the Cup Finals. The Lightning become the first team to win back-to-back cups in a few years (Pens like 4 years ago or some such).

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