Playoff thoughts

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Mr. T

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May 4, 2022, 3:23:56 PM5/4/22
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Oilers - not a complete team, for starters I can't believe a team with Mike Smith in net can win the Cup

Flames - tough, defensively sound, good goaltending, will come out of the West and then win the Cup

Wild - a good team that has improved, too bad they start out against St Louis who will beat them

Blues - 2nd best team in the West, did you see game 1?

Avalanche - just still don't believe they have the physicality or will. They are the new Sharks, look great on paper

The other three teams, Kings, Preds, and Stars just nope

----

The Pens and Caps are still good just not great

The Bolts won't threepeat

Panthers not ready to take the next step, it's Canes and Leafs for me as best teams

tack

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May 5, 2022, 5:37:05 PM5/5/22
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Good summary. My take:

Nobody in the the West will win the Cup, period. Much weaker conference versus present East. Tow of three teams in playoffs from west that would be playing golf right now, if in East.

West:

Calgary - Maybe, but let's see if they can even get by Dallas, who always plays them tough.
Edmonton - Should be West's best team, but never learn how to play defense
Colorado - As you said, on paper, the best, but get pushed around when the going gets tough
Minnesota - better than other pretender years, but still not there. Despite big win last game, think St Louis wins series
St. Louis - As good a chance as Calgary, maybe better because bigger and meaner
Los Angeles - Best of the also-rans
Dallas - Might beat Calgary, but that's all
Nashville - They're in the playoffs?

East;

Florida - Should be the conference champion, but they carry the President's Cup curse They'll probably get by caps after Wilson injury, a huge loss.
Toronto - They and Tampa may be playing the East finals, right now. They look awfully good, when they look good, but have that Toronto way of f'ing up.
Tampa - Think they may be being underestimated Next two games at home will tell the story. if they win both, they're might finalist pick
Carolina - Probably the second-best East team, overall, and with a great coach. They'll play for the final spot
New York - Really great regular season, but something just isn't quite right, aside from their obnoxious fans. Not getting there.
Boston - Are you kidding? Carolina has outscored them this year regular and playoffs) 26-4. Have those tee times booked.
Washington - Too old, too tired, and key injury, not to mention iffy goal tending. Will meet Boston on course soon.
Pittsburgh - think they have real chance to upset NY, but that's all

Any of Tampa, Carolina or Florida will beat any West applicant.


tack

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May 16, 2022, 2:59:16 PM5/16/22
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Well, pretty much worked out, as I expected in Round One. I thought the closest series would be NY-PIT, LA-EDM, and CGY-DAL, and it pretty much worked out that way.

In Round Two, FWIW, I'm leaning Tampa, Carolina, St. Louis and Calgary (the toughest to pick for me). We'll see.

Mr. T

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May 16, 2022, 6:38:47 PM5/16/22
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I still think Calgary and Blues are legit. I hate the Blues but they look like a complete team. I thought Avs would win but maybe not that easily. Now time to see if they are for real.

I was wrong about Leafs. Just can never get over the hump. You were right about Bolts, still the champs until proven otherwise.

I would absolutely pick same winners as 3 of the 4 were my predicted semi-finalists, and now I have to go with Bolts

tack

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May 18, 2022, 1:07:13 AM5/18/22
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After the first two games:

1) Tampa looks very tough, even without Point.

2) St. Louis completely squandered their one big advantage by not hitting anybody for 60 minutes. They'll be gone in four or five, if they keep playing that way.

Mr. T

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May 18, 2022, 3:33:51 PM5/18/22
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Yes on the Blues. Game two will say a lot, whether game 1 was an altitude-induced fatigue anomaly, or if the Avs will blow them out for a second straight year. I really thought they would pound the Avs. Maybe the Avs were moving too fast for them to get good hits in. They were scrambling to survive for 80+% of the game.

tack

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May 19, 2022, 2:21:18 PM5/19/22
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EDM and CGY is simply a question of whose defense and goal tending is worse for remaining games. They're both simply pathetic on defense. It may be fun to watch (no doubt, Bettman was wetting his pants at the score), but neither of these teams has a chance against a close-checking defensive team. That's why I think the East has a huge advantage over alnmost anybody out west.

Mr. T

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May 19, 2022, 5:38:08 PM5/19/22
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I took Flames to win it all in part because they are only West team other than Blues, with great defense and goaltending. Obviously they will need to do quite a bit better. I though Markstrom was ready for the bright lights but maybe he isn't.

tack

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May 24, 2022, 1:23:07 PM5/24/22
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Well, as of today, with Florida and St. Louis flopping, it's looking more and more like Colorado and Tampa in the finals.

poldy

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May 24, 2022, 2:38:14 PM5/24/22
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How did the Sharks fare against these remaining playoffs teams?

Lose most of the games against them but were they even competitive?




--
Serenity Now!

tack

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May 24, 2022, 2:55:22 PM5/24/22
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Against:

Colorado 1-2, outscored 14-10
St. Louis 0-3, outscored 12-5
Edmonton 0-4, outscored 15.7
Calgary 3-1, outscored opponent 15-11
Tampa 0-2, outscored 10-3
Carolina 1-1, Even 3-3
New York 0-2, outscored 4-0

Mr. T

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May 24, 2022, 3:11:46 PM5/24/22
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Colorado proving to be legit. Kadri not getting banned like last year might put them over the top, along with a year of seasoning. They didn't lose much, although Zadoraov was a nice physical D on a team with so many small mobile guys.

Binnington was a huge loss, one of the best players on the ice, but still the Avs are outplaying them by any measure. So happy, I hate the Blues.

Carolina will be tough. The Edmonton show is hard to process. Is it an illusion or really a historically powerful line that can't be stopped?

tack

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May 24, 2022, 10:07:11 PM5/24/22
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1) Carolina suddenly looking very beatable after two rather unimpressive efforts in NY. But, Tampa will beat either.

2) Edmonton was always a sleeping giant, but couldn't play defense. Now, suddenly, they're not allowing 5-6 a game. I was always suspicious of Calgary, and they don't have much of a goalie, either. Think Colorado can beat either one, but Edmonton would be the tougher opponent IMO.

Avs and Bolts.

If Vasy keeps playing, as he has been, it won't matter who the Bolts play.

tack

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May 24, 2022, 10:32:07 PM5/24/22
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P.S. I guess Evander Kane is having the last laugh.

Mr. T

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May 25, 2022, 10:26:16 AM5/25/22
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He played some good hockey for the Sharks. In the long run, to Edmonton, all I can say is, "Good luck with that."

poldy

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May 25, 2022, 2:33:51 PM5/25/22
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Thanks, and Kane is helping Edmonton ...

--
Serenity Now!

tack

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May 27, 2022, 1:40:42 PM5/27/22
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Well, I said at the beginning that Edmonton should be the West's best team. They're looking formidible, but Smith is a very unpredictable weak link. They'll still be a tough match for either Colorado (probably) or St. Louis.

tack

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May 31, 2022, 7:32:22 PM5/31/22
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East: Titanic defensive struggle

West: Titanic offensive struggle

Mr. T

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Jun 1, 2022, 12:25:09 PM6/1/22
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Blown away that Rangers could execute their plan to perfection like that. From the score you'd think the Rangers were skating circles around Canes, but nothing could be further from the truth. Canes had big stretches of coming through neutral zone and possessing puck for long periods in offensive zone. But could not get great chances. Rangers literally collapsed into a defensive shell all night (there is a reason lowest GAA in league), and counter punched to perfection.

I would think Bolts would just pick that apart, and embarrass Rangers, but what do I know, my predictions have been mixed at best

tack

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Jun 1, 2022, 2:09:53 PM6/1/22
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Guess I saw a different series. NY had Carolina constantly befuddled and ineffective, with or without the puck. The Canes were effective all season with a smothering forecheck and lots of hitting. In this series all of that disappeared, either because of failed strategy or execution. They let NY skate, which is the only way they'll win a game. The Canes never got down low and pressed the attack from in close. Their point passing and shots were laughably useless, but they kept doing the same thing.

Tampa needs to play the same smothering up-ice defense they did against Florida. This is particularly important for them because they're inclined to allow opponents too much space in their own end, and NY is very effective in moving the puck. And, they don't want to be playing a man down, either. Of course, Vasy has to remain on top of his game, too.

We'll find out tonight whether the long time off has Tampa rusty and sleepy. If so, they'll quickly be in a one-game hole. Better to win the opener, if possible.

Regarding last night's laugher out west, two things: 1) I have to be wondering whether the NHL has the fix in already. Bettman, et al, hate Canadian teams, and that Colorado thrid goal was a complete joke and so obviously offsides, as to be indefensible. That really decided the game. 2) Neither of these team will stand a prayer against the defenses and goalies of either Tampa or NY. It's like they're playing a kids' pond game with no attention to defense, not to mention crap goalies. Think either of them will be shut down cold against east.

Mr. T

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Jun 1, 2022, 5:03:29 PM6/1/22
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Definitely agree on final two sentences. Despite winning 70% faceoffs, much more puck possession time, more shots on goal, more shot attempts, etc, they never got in close. The Rangers clearly dropped into a shell and would not cede any ground between the dots or in front of net.

That's what lost it for Canes, that and the fact they couldn't kill a penalty to save their lives.

> Regarding last night's laugher out west, two things: 1) I have to be wondering whether the NHL has the fix in already. Bettman, et al, hate Canadian teams, and that Colorado thrid goal was a complete joke and so obviously offsides, as to be indefensible. That really decided the game. 2) Neither of these team will stand a prayer against the defenses and goalies of either Tampa or NY. It's like they're playing a kids' pond game with no attention to defense, not to mention crap goalies. Think either of them will be shut down cold against east.

They explained the offsides. The offsides rules are as byzantine as some of the ridiculous NFL rules now. For example, anyone and everyone who ever even played nerf football knows initiatively what a catch is and isn't. None of that applies now in the bloated NFL rulebook. Similarly, everyone who ever played, including commentators and Koharsky guest ref rules guy, all believed it looked offsides from basic understanding of the rule, but somehow the rule has all these weird edge cases now. Just go back to the old simple rules please.

Mr. T

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Jun 2, 2022, 11:04:55 AM6/2/22
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Well there we go, NY just completely dominates Tampa

tack

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Jun 2, 2022, 9:36:57 PM6/2/22
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I've played and watched hockey for almost 60 years, and every time some commentator, or someone else, states what an advatnage it was/is to have had an easy series and lots of rest, I just laugh. Invariably, those teams come out flat as a pancake and lose games before most people are in their seats. It's now as if Tampa forfeited Game 1 and has to win 4 of 6. Either they get back in gear and excape with game 2, or this series goes no more than 5 games. NY looks very hungry and committed, and it will take an exceptional effort by Tampa to deny them. And, Vasy will have to go back to standing on his head, not the wave-at-the-puck effort we saw last night.

In either case, the west is dead meat.
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