NHL Playoffs: and there were four

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NHL Playoffs: and there were four

Post by fractalsteel » Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:19 pm

Two 4 seeds, one 3 seed and a 2 seed. So much for killing yourself to get home ice.

Thought it might be cool to have a discussion about the coming games.

I'm happy if any team not from Florida wins the cup. Can't have another back to back so soon.

The Islanders again showing that they have the coaching, some timely tending and enough contributions from secondary guys to succeed. Barzal finally came alive and lets hope he stays hot against the champs.
Montreal is a fun story and is the Price magic good enough for 8 more wins? If the Habs manage to shock the world and win the cup and Price is the catalyst he becomes an instant National legend.
Vegas can play nearly any style and if the Flower can keep them even they might be rolling out a banner next year.

You have to figure Tampa is the favorite. Been there done it but maybe that pressure of repeating gets to them but I haven't seen it yet. They are getting a lot of contributions from all over.



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Post by BethlehemSteel » Sat Jun 12, 2021 2:09 pm

Islanders always in my mind the most dangerous team. All lines forecheck. They just shut down Boston when it mattered. Their issue is scoring depth, but if they all dig down.....they showed how to get job done. Against Tampa, theyll need to limit TB's opportunities and capitalize on theirs.

They have to get Vasileski moving and such. Going to be tough, but Isles, D is tough. They just busted Boston hard the last 2 games and took it all away. Carolina got some goals on Vasil and pressure on TB will be key.
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Post by fractalsteel » Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:46 pm

The Islanders certainly took away the Bruins top line those last two games. Bergevin looked like he was out of gas the last two games. Before that the top line did some early damage. I think the Islanders took away the Hall line and if you can do that then they lose balance.
The Islanders tenders scare me, great to average from game to game.

I don't know what the fuck happened to Colorado but by the fourth or fifth game they didn't look like they wanted to be on the same ice as Vegas.
GK's can play you any way you want.

Winnipeg did a really nice job on Edmonton's big two and sent that team home with another disappointment only to get throttled by the Habs.

It has been a wild but a lot of fun.

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Post by Ice » Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:58 pm

I'll be rooting VGK.
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Post by fractalsteel » Sun Jun 13, 2021 11:06 pm

Like I said before, anyone but Tampa
The Islanders steal game one.
Stamkos not making the simple play, twice, cost his team on the first goal.

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Post by bradshaw2ben » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:39 am

It's crazy, yo-- the Islanders have just taken it to Boston and TB... and probably would have lost to the Pens if not for below the line goaltending.

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Post by Ice » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:32 am

The Isles sure as hell don't play pretty hockey, but it's been extremely effective against every style of team you could run up against. Still rolling with Flower and the VGK, though your point is well-taken, and my granddad would say to root for the team that put you out. Just can't bring myself to do it with this Isles team, though.
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Post by bradshaw2ben » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:03 pm

The NHL is a weird league. Imagine the NFL having its pretty, fantasy-football-friendly, pass with impunity and rack up points offenses in the regular season... and then in the postseason, they just let the defenders grab, hold, take head shots–– basically play with 1975 rules. You'd have to be the Greatest Show on Turf to make the playoffs, then flip the switch and become 3-yards-and-a cloud-of-dust in the postseason.

It reminds me of one idea I had for the Colorado Rockies, notorious for being a Jekyl & Hyde team home/away because of the adjustment with altitude's effect: have a set of road players and home players and avoid using them for the other locale. NHL teams should have a Tampa Bay/Edmonton Oilers version of their lineup and then switch to a NY Islanders/late 90s New Jersey Devils lineup for the postseason.

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Post by Ice » Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:13 pm

Along the same lines, it's always seemed crazy to me that the NHL would wait until the playoffs, when the casual or lapsed fan might actually decide to tune in to what has really become a niche sport in the US, only to get essentially the worst product they put out all year in terms of flow, scoring, athleticism and, well, just general watchability. I would assume someone in the higher-up of the league has wondered why the sport isn't growing the way other North American professional sports are, and I can't believe that this, along with the worst officiating this side of professional wrestling, isn't at the top of the answer list. Sure, the Don Cherries of the world like "old time hockey," but is that what's really going to grow your sport? Is that even "old time hockey," really, or was old time hockey the Isles, Oliers, Pens teams of the more recent past where there were beautiful goals being potted all the time? I'll tell you which one will get asses in seats and eyeballs on TV screens.

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Post by Pabst » Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:58 pm

It's wild to me that almost every single one of the NHL's big stars (Crosby, Ovie, McDavid, Mathews) got bounced in Round 1. Then MacKinnon was out in Round 2. Yeah, Stamkos and Kucherov are elite, but they're not marketable stars.

That's not good for getting eyeballs on your product. Echoing Ice's point, you have to wonder if the NHL will re-evaluate playoff officiating like they did in the early 2000s. Those Devils' teams damn near killed the league.

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Post by fractalsteel » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:26 pm

The third round is the twilight zone round. Teams don't know each other except for tape/scouting reports. It will be interesting to see how the coaches like Cooper adjust. He did a great job last year with their run.


Want to open up the game all around, all the time? Open up the ice. Make the rinks bigger but we all know there isn't an NHL owner/Arena management that would go for that.

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Post by Orangesteel » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:48 am

90th playoff win for MAF.

Meanwhile, Matt Murray was probably the worst goalie in the league last year.

Ahem.
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Post by Ice » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:34 am

Luckily for Matt Murray's reputation, Tristan Jarry also played in the NHL last year.

Double ahem.
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Post by Pabst » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:59 pm

*AHEM*

Flower was making $5.75m at the time he was taken by Vegas, and he currently has a $7m cap hit.

The question isn't Flower or Murray/Jarry, the question is Flower or Jarry/Murray + Rust/Dumo/Kapanen. Had the Pens kept Flower, they would have had to part ways with some other major contributor.

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Post by Ice » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:22 pm

Oh, I know we had to do what we did, and I had no problem with it at the time (except for the fact that JR STILL managed to lose a pick to Vegas in the deal), but man, in hindsight... not sure I wouldn't give up Murray/Jarry plus one of the players mentioned to have had good goaltending the last couple of playoff attempts.
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Post by Pabst » Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:55 pm

Ice wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:22 pm
not sure I wouldn't give up Murray/Jarry plus one of the players mentioned to have had good goaltending the last couple of playoff attempts.
Reminder that Fleury was fucking terrible in the 2018 Cup Finals vs. Washington, totally collapsed in Game 7 vs SJ in the 2019 Cup playoffs, and he was benched for most of the 2020 playoffs.

My comment wasn't specifically directed at you, Ice. It's more of a general comment on the selective memory of Pens fans who are saying we should have kept Flower over Murray. Just like he was in Pittsburgh, Flower has been very inconsistent in the post season during his tenure in Vegas, and fans are also ignoring the cap implications of keeping him.

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Post by Orangesteel » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:16 pm

Everyone calm down. I’m just saying the career trajectories for Murray and MAF are startling. Murray makes a lot of money. If he doesn’t play better it’s going to be on with the life’s work and he’s only 27.
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Post by Pabst » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:16 pm

Pabst wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:55 pm
Ice wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 3:22 pm
not sure I wouldn't give up Murray/Jarry plus one of the players mentioned to have had good goaltending the last couple of playoff attempts.
Reminder that Fleury was fucking terrible in the 2018 Cup Finals vs. Washington, totally collapsed in Game 7 vs SJ in the 2019 Cup playoffs, and he was benched for most of the 2020 playoffs.

My comment wasn't specifically directed at you, Ice. It's more of a general comment on the selective memory of Pens fans who are saying we should have kept Flower over Murray. Just like he was in Pittsburgh, Flower has been very inconsistent in the post season during his tenure in Vegas, and fans are also ignoring the cap implications of keeping him.
I'll also add - Goaltending was not the Pens biggest issue in their prior 2 playoff exits. A total lack of goal scoring was the main culprit.

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Post by Pabst » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:17 pm

Orangesteel wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:16 pm
Everyone calm down.


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In all seriousness, Orange, sorry if I misread your comment. I'm just hearing a bunch of people clamoring that we should have kept Fleury.

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Post by Orangesteel » Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:42 pm

Pabst wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:17 pm
Orangesteel wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:16 pm
Everyone calm down.


Image


In all seriousness, Orange, sorry if I misread your comment. I'm just hearing a bunch of people clamoring that we should have kept Fleury.
I’m 100 percent in agreement with you Pabst. The Pens didn’t really have much of a choice, and they made the right one maybe even in hind sight.

If anything it shows how great MAF is. But even with all that said, it was Murray who we rode for back to back cups, not MAF. MAF still hasn’t won a cup away from the Pens, and the cup is the goal.

I’m pulling hard for Vegas right now. They seem to be riding “it”, kind of like the Blues two years ago. Only issue is the Isles seem to be riding something as well. Perhaps a Cup send off to Nassau.
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Post by Ice » Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:01 pm

It's always odd when you can be both a prisoner of the moment and nostalgic about a player at exactly the same time.
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Post by fractalsteel » Tue Jun 15, 2021 9:15 pm

bradshaw2ben wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 5:03 pm
It reminds me of one idea I had for the Colorado Rockies, notorious for being a Jekyl & Hyde team home/away because of the adjustment with altitude's effect: have a set of road players and home players and avoid using them for the other locale. NHL teams should have a Tampa Bay/Edmonton Oilers version of their lineup and then switch to a NY Islanders/late 90s New Jersey Devils lineup for the postseason.
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Post by Pabst » Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:00 pm

Well, did the dam break on the Islanders?

Didn't watch the game, but sounds like the Isles went full goon after getting buried early.

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Post by fractalsteel » Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:09 pm

I watched until it was 4-0.
Tampa smothered the Islanders in all the zones and dominated that first period unlike a period of hockey I have seen in a long time.
NY struggled to get it out of their zone the whole period and when they managed to get it across the blue line Tampa jumped on them.
It was a very lopsided affair.
Sure the second and third goals were fluky but Count V kept his team in it in the first period even though it was obvious that Tampa would eventually wear them down.

Even Barzal couldn't make space for himself.

It will be interesting to see how tomorrow night plays out. Remember that Tampa was fairly dominant in game 3 as well and the Islanders answered back in game 4.

If Tampa strings together a bunch of games like last night then they repeat.

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Post by fractalsteel » Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:27 pm

Can't blame Fleury for the three goals he gave up last night. Maybe the second to a degree but it was a very good pass to Staal with no one around to challenge him.
Speaking of challenging the opposition-I have seen much of from Vegas this series. They have been so sloppy and Montreal has made them pay for their mistakes big time, last night being a great example.

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Post by Orangesteel » Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:07 am

Habs going to the finals.

I know jack shit about hockey.
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Post by Orangesteel » Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:09 am

And MAF still hasn’t won shit outside of Pittsburgh.
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Post by Ice » Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:52 am

Orangesteel wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:09 am
And MAF still hasn’t won shit outside of Pittsburgh.
True, but I'll still root for the guy, and our post-MAF playoff record hasn't exactly been spotless. That nostalgic wishful thinking aside, VGK probably should have stuck with Lehner after he came in and stole that game. Gotta go with the hot hand. And hey, Canada gets a team in the finals? Good for America's Hat.
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Post by Pabst » Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:19 pm

Orangesteel wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:07 am
Habs going to the finals.

I know jack shit about hockey.
Safe to say that no one predicted this. Habs had the worst record of any playoff team. That said, they've been incredibly streaky all season.


Also, Go Lightning.

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Post by fractalsteel » Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:33 pm

Orangesteel wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 3:09 am
And MAF still hasn’t won shit outside of Pittsburgh.
9-17
That is the record for Crosgod and his band of merry underachievers since the last cup.

I don't see the need to gloat about Fleury's playoff troubles once he left the Pens. How have other former Pens done since then? Why no comments about them?

Fleury was a great teammate who never embarrassed the franchise. He was the catalyst to the beginning of a great run that lasted almost 15 years.

Blame Fleury for Vegas falling short this year and you ignore guys like Stone and Marchessault, two guys who were invisible almost the whole playoffs. Guys counted on to be top players during the run. Stone didn't have a single point in his last 7 playoff games.

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