NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

Caps have secretly brought David Steckel back… :cool:

I love the Stars, but I still think that we might be too weak defensively to win the conference. However, the guys they have brought up might be enough. If not, we’ve had enough offense to make up for our sometimes breathtakingly incompetent defense, so far. Seriously, needlessly passing a puck in front of an empty net, while still being within a hairs breadth of the stick reach of an approaching attacker appears to be some sort of ghastly pastime with the Stars. The goalies even have a habit of doing it! I really do hope they stop doing that. My eyes honestly might pop out of my head like a cartoon character if they don’t.
I’m pretty sure I’d rather have Dallas face Chicago in the second round, rather than St. Louis. The Blues are exactly the wrong type of team for the Stars to play. They’re adept at stopping up the neutral and their defensive zones. It’s like playing a 90’s defensive team, and it’s the perfect approach to counter a high speed offense. But then again, as I told my friend who’s a Blues fan last night when they were tied 2-2, and he was sure they would lose (he’s a big believer in cross-game momentum, I’m not): There’s a reason they play the games, and you guys are doing fine. There’s plenty of reason to turn that statement around on me.

But, I hope that the puck bounces go Ruff’s way more than they did when he met Hitch in 99. They’re both good coaches, they’re both good teams. I imagine that it’ll be just like the series with Minnesota; it’s going to be a series that hinges on inches, in the end.

WRT the current playoff seeding/format: I like it, to be frank. It gives us exciting match ups in the first round, and the only real advantage goes to the first and second place finishers in each division. Plus, as has been pointed out many times before: the Stanley Cup Playoffs are a whole 'nother season. If the team made it there, they could spoil anyone’s day. In the current year, no teams who have won the cup in the last 5 years are still in the running, and only two winning teams are left out of the last 10 cup runs. Plus, there’s been two upset series so far in the first round, with one left to be settled. That seems like a pretty exciting playoff format, to me.

Do you think that St. Louis got an advantage in playing Chicago in the first round? I can’t stand the format. I’ve hated it since the day they put it out.

Sure, they got home ice. They won it on home ice. LA got the same advantage and fell to the equivalent in 5. The Panthers had the same, and fell to a wildcard. What do you want, eggs in your beer?

I think Dallas would have had an easier time with Chicago, and St. Louis would have had an easier time with Minnesota, but that wouldn’t have happened in the old format, either. Once you figure in the number of times that the President’s Trophy has been Stanley Cup poison (only eight have won both), it seems to me that bitching about the format of the elimination rounds is much ado about nothing, at best. It doesn’t matter how you’re stacked. If you’re not better than the other team over the next seven games, see ya.

With regard to re-seeding (as suggested upthread): In general, seeding systems give the top seed the easiest path to the championship. That is, if all matches go according to seeding, the top seed will be playing the worst seed still alive. I like the idea that if someone can pull an upset, they “win” that easier path to the championship.

The second and third in each division playing disrupts that for the NHL but in general, I’m not in favor of reseeding

I also think the Stars would have had an easier time with the Hawks but we got the Blues so I just hope we don’t have the blues over it. I too wish they would stop passing the puck around pointlessly. And I wish we had better goaltending. However, the Blackhawks had awesome goaltending last night and it did not matter in the end. We’ll see what happens. I sure hope I get to see Jamie Benn lift the cup, if not this year then before he leaves Dallas.

Caps - Pens game one at 8 pm on Thursday. I have to go to work the next day.

Most of the Hawks games started at 830 pm, hated it

One nice thing about being a west coast Caps fan.

Just another low key night in the playoffs. Jay Beagle uses the clever trick of grabbing Letang’s stick with his face. Later he grabs Kessel’s stick with his foot.

WP article with video

Too late to correct: article is USA Today.

Roger that. My only issue is that my hate for the Pens is so stromg, I can’t bear to watch it live in case the Caps blow it. I keep tuned to the channel while watching something I’ve DVR’d, then switch to live (with rewind) if my phone tells me the Caps did domething good :smiley:

A fan after my own heart. And last night, in overtime, the Caps DID something good.

TSN unintentionally sums us this year’s Norris race nicely. In a few years, people are going to look back on this season and say, “Karlsson had a historic season that year. How on earth did he not win the Norris?”

Orpik, WTF? What, do they put something in the Caps’ Gatorade so that everyone who joins the team becomes an asshole? (I’m majorly pissed about this – he was one of my favorite players when he was here in Pittsburgh)

Well, the draft lottery went about as well as could be expected. And the rebuild continues. We’re number 30! We’re number 30!

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Although the current game count is not my first choice, the Pens-Caps series has been exciting.

A few observations: Coaches have a goal. All of their statements in the press will be to support that goal. Some statements will be made to try to influence future decisions by the officials (on ice and in player safety). Some statements will be made to influence team unity (defending a player). Some will be made to manage expectations. Outrage about anything a coach says is usually misplaced.

“Putting away the whistles” - This is the common thought in the NHL during the playoffs, many will say that is what makes the playoffs great. Not wanting the refs to decide the outcome is often cited but I think it is important that the refs make sure it is a hockey game that is played not a street fight.

Inconsistency. Related to that last point, as current Pens player Eric Fehr pointed out, there are things not called at one point and then called at another. That leads to all players trying to find that line and get as close to it as possible.

Disproportionate impact. Also related to not calling things. The net effect is that the things that are not judgement calls (delay of game, too many men on the ice) have more impact on the game.

His team didn’t make the playoffs and he did not play well defensively. It’s not a hard question to answer.

Brent Burns was a better player, and deserves the Norris. No, he didn’t put as many pucks into the net, but he was a vastly superior defensive player. Karlsson had a bad year in his own end, a fact borne out both by the relevant analytics and simple observation.

Letang suspended one game. If the oft quoted “one playoff game equals two regular season games” is true, one game seems right. Using the same metric, Orpik’s suspension for three games seems a little excessive - two would have been appropriate (four game equivalent).

The difference from a player safety perspective is the severity of the injury and only one prior suspension.

I think one game was about right for Letang - it didn’t look to be quite as late or high as Orpik’s hit - but in general, I really don’t like that they take the resulting injury (or lack thereof) into consideration. If they’re serious about eliminating these sorts of plays, one illegal hit should be judged like similar illegal hits, and the severity of the injury shouldn’t come into play.