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National Hockey League 2013-2014

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by jarude, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Farewell, Habs!:angry:

    A few thoughts on the series and the future (a bit long, I apologize):

    1) The city with melt down for a few days, demands will be made to trade half the roster, etc, etc. When the dust settles, I think this season will be seen as a resounding success. At the beginning of the year I remember telling my brother that I saw the Habs as 2-3 years out from serious contention and that a successful season would include making the playoffs and winning one series. They made it to Game 6 of the ECF and gave their young core tons of valuable playoff experience. I think the fans will be satisfied with their team's achievement when they have had time to blow some steam.

    2) This offseason is a critical one for Bergevin. He has some veteran deadweight coming off the books (Gionta, Bouillon) and he needs to decide how much he needs to change. Will it be a tweak here and there, or will he make big moves? I don't think this team is a tweak away from SCF contention, but he needs to make sure he doesn't try to make a splash to reach the promised land starting next year. This is a long process and hopefully Bergevin understands that.

    3) If these playoffs have shown me anything, it is that in this day and age of the NHL the key to success is the following:

    Build a stable, hard working, and talented core that will make the playoffs consistently and take as many kicks at the can as possible.


    Winning the Cup is tough. You can run into a hot team (Sharks), you can end up facing your kryptonite (Bruins) or you can lose a key player to injury (Canadiens). Nothing is guaranteed, and plenty can go wrong. I recently considered the Bruins' last several years of play:

    2013-2014 117 points Lost in 2nd Round
    2012-2013 106 points (on pace for) Lost in SCF
    2011-2012 102 points Lost 1st Round
    2010-2011 103 points Won SCF
    2009-2010 91 points Lost 2nd Round
    2008-2009 116 points Lost 2nd Round

    The year Boston won the SCF was barely their fourth highest point total of the last six seasons. The two years they had the most points (and had, in my opinion, better teams than the 2011 edition), they couldn't make it out of the second round. But one common thread is that they are consistently in the playoffs. Sometimes they flame out, sometimes they get hot, but they are there. You have to be in it to win it.

    That's what I hope the Habs brass understands an implements. Get your team to the playoffs often and hope that things fall in place. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't. But that's the way to win. Not by boosting your team for a one off stab at glory. The NHL just doesn't work that way.
     
  2. jarude

    jarude Well-Known Member

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    Fair analysis. Pretty much taking it a step past "just make it in and anything can happen" 8th seed business; if you can perform well enough in the regular season to get seeded decently well, you're in good shape. With that being said, take a look at a team like SJ who has done exactly that for a long time now; they have consistently been one of the best teams for the longest time with absolutely nothing to show for it. It's impressive to see, especially in light of a lot of flash-in-the-pan playoff teams (2010 Caps), but they just can't finish. Sure, a lot of the reason why they didn't make it through is that the West is really damn strong, but they are missing those clutch playoff guys. Every Cup winner in recent memory has either looked like a team of destiny (Hawks both years they won) or have obscene goaltending performances (Quick, Thomas). I think Price definitely has the potential to get hot and carry a deep team to the SCF, and Montreal has a lot of great roleplayers and depth in guys like Gallagher, but they need a lot of work. Rene friggin Bourque provided a good bunch of offense in the playoffs, and he is the epitome of a guy who looks great when he's hot and absolutely abysmal when he's not. They had a lot of guys go MIA like Vanek (LOL at whoever throws 8mil/yr at him this offseason) but even with the inspiring performance this year, a lot went right for that team when it could have gone horribly wrong. Can't take away from their success though; they had a great year well above many people's expectations. If anything, they took out Boston in a Game 7 so at least they can console themselves with that point.

    In other news, dat Lundqvist blocker save. I about shit my pants when I saw that.
     
  3. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Well-Known Member

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    The point about the Sharks is well taken. I think the Sharks did build their team the correct way to win a Cup but their inablity to really step up their play in the playoffs has always kept them from the prize. There is certainly something "intangible" about most Cup winners that you can't draft, or plan, or strategize for.

    The Habs have a good young core but I agree with your analysis; they need some additions that can take them to the next level, both defensively and on offense. Their short term plan should be to start preparing Galchenyuk ready to play Center as soon as possible and hope he becomes what many think he can become.

    It will be an interesting offseason, to be sure!
     
  4. Tried and True

    Tried and True Well-Known Member

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    Yep, like 'hot' goalies and players like Patrick Kane.
     
  5. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Well-Known Member

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    That's the toughest part. Having these "playoff performers" is imperative but identifying them is difficult. I thought the Bruins really missed a guy like Nathan Horton this year. He is by no means a star in this league, and even had the reputation as a bit of a coaster prior to 2011, but he came up huge in their 2011 run.
     
  6. Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Well-Known Member

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    @Lord-Barrington

    Like your analysis and generally agree. The Habs should be pretty happy to make this run. They still have some work to do.

    Identifying those magical playoff performers is not only difficult, I truly believe it can be just plain luck in many cases.

    Now this may be bias, but the Western Conference is significantly better than the Eastern Just like the Canucks were probably overrated to a degree because they feasted on NW Division teams - the Bruins and Pens would probably be 5 & 7 seeds in the West with the likes of NYR and MTL very easily not making the playoffs.

    Congrats to the Rangers nonetheless, still a tough feat to get to the Final.
     
  7. gomestar

    gomestar Well-Known Member

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    the west has two formidable and proven teams shooting for that final spot. Rangers have a tough road ahead if they want to lift the cup.


    having said that, there's a few things that the Rangers can rely on that could make for a good series. First, goaltending and solid yet mobile defensive units. Second, rolling all 4 lines and getting production from all 4 lines. Third, a little bit of time off to regroup, heal some sore muscles, and develop some strategy for the next team. The Rangers play well with adversity, much like LA does, and they have shown the ability to bounce back and to limit chances (never mind that one MTL game, that was an exhibition style mess).



    MTL had some good games, but last night they looked tired. I'd agree with L-B's assessment.
     
  8. jarude

    jarude Well-Known Member

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    I think LA spanks the rangers, sadly. I'm definitely rooting for the rags regardless of whether its Chicago or LA (it'll be LA) but save hank getting a shutout every night I think the cup is LAs to lose.

    I really want hank to win a cup.
     
  9. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Well-Known Member

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    I think Hank will have to get JS Giguère level hot for the Rangers to steal this one. You never know though.... the Rangers are going to be given so little chance in this one by the general public that it might motivate them to come out and prove the doubters wrong.

    The Kings and Hawks are better almost everywhere on the ice (save between the pipes) so Vigneault and his staff will have to instill a real underdog mentality in the Rangers. If they go in there thinking that they can just skate through the defense like they did against MTL they are probably toast.
     
  10. gort

    gort Well-Known Member

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    And another year with no canadian cup winner.
     
  11. jungleroller

    jungleroller Well-Known Member

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    Game 7! Holy 3rd period!
     
  12. Tried and True

    Tried and True Well-Known Member

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    Patrick Kane flourishes under the bright lights.
     
  13. juven

    juven Well-Known Member

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    Another wild one.



    Check out Hank doing his pre-game photo shoot
     
  14. jarude

    jarude Well-Known Member

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    Kane is unreal. Glad to see him show up in a big game when he took a lot of crap after the Olympics for going MIA. So happy to see Crawford and Quick jawing eachother, too - its been awhile since a good playoff goalie dustup.


    I'm OK with this. It'll be Calgary in five years. :nodding:
     
    2 people like this.
  15. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Well-Known Member

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    I hate to say it, but the drought might last a little while longer. The six Canadian teams have rarely been weaker as a whole.
     
  16. gomestar

    gomestar Well-Known Member

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    here's to hoping that NHL.com honors its price misprint on the NYR replica white customized jerseys.
     
  17. jarude

    jarude Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. Best bet was Vancouver a few years ago... I don't see any Canadian teams seriously contending especially with the west being so strong.
     
  18. jarude

    jarude Well-Known Member

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    Knife in the heart for Chicago... only fitting that it would be a crappy bounce in that game.
     
  19. jungleroller

    jungleroller Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that hurt but it was a great series and LA deserved it. Coastal Cup series it is.
     
  20. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Well-Known Member

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    Unless the Kings go into this series massively overconfident (which they might), I think they should win it in 5 or 6.

    The Rangers are a lot better than most fans gave them credit for, but they match up poorly against the Kings, especially since LA seems to have no issues scoring goals and coming back from multi-goal deficits. NYR's game has often been timely goals and a reliance on Lundquist and the defensive system to close games out. I am not sure how many 1-0 or 2-1 games they will get with LA....

    Also, Lundquist needs to be ready for more traffic than he has ever seen in his life. The amount of bodies the Kings stuck in front of Crawford was impressive.
     

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