Chicago in 6 – The Blackhawks swept the season series and are just flat out more talented. Marian Gaborik though… Nothing would please me more than a Kings Stanley Cup and a Marian Gaborik Conn Smythe Trophy.
Montreal in 6 – Rick Nash Rick Nashing his way through the playoffs. Part of me hopes the Rangers keep going so Rick Nash can continue to not put up points and cement his place as the most gutless softie to ever don an NHL uniform.
Since WGR is being slow as hell approving my comment, probably because they’re blown away by its awesomeness, here it is in full. This is a direct response to this piece by Jeremy White.
The Pens have numerous flaws, which aren’t as simple as not having enough picks (or not having picks). No one is disputing the talent of Crosby or Malkin, but they each count 1.4 times as much against the cap ($8.7M) as Jonathan Toews ($6.3M). Are they 1.4 times as good as Toews on the ice? Probably not.
It’s also worth noting that one of those top picks, Marc-Andre Fleury, is one of their problems, and another, Ryan Whitney, did not win a cup with them (although he did bring back Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi). Having a bunch of top picks doesn’t matter if your GM doesn’t place his faith in the right guys. (Hello Drew Stafford, Thomas Vanek, if you want to go there.)
The New York Rangers have, once again, hoodwinked us all into believing they’re a team worth watching. Last night they scored a goal 5:25 into their game seven matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins and decided…eh, probably good enough. It wasn’t, and so they scored again 7:56 into the second period and once again devolved into their unique style that somehow transcends coaching and roster makeup.
Calling last night’s game boring would be a flat out lie. It was definitely not boring watching to see if one of the dumbest hockey strategies would somehow pay off. And the ensuing spate of Corsi-deniers pointing out the worthlessness of a team roundly dominating their opponent wasn’t boring either.
But it wasn’t exciting. Or at least it wasn’t exciting because the Rangers play good hockey. It was exciting like watching your drunk friend try to attempt to jump from your couch to your kitchen table is exciting, worth paying attention to solely because it’s an exercise in stupidity. That’s what Rangers hockey is, an exercise in stupidity that sometimes pays off.
And so the Rangers have fooled the hockey universe again. You know, they’re a decent possession team, and they have some big names, and they’ve made it this far while Rick Nash, who seems to have the mindset of that Little League kid that just wants to quit this sporty shit and go get ice cream, has done practically nothing… They’re a dark horse!
Give me a break. This isn’t 1994. Mark Messier is old, this Rangers team is worse, and every team left in the playoffs is better than the 7th seeded Canucks they lucked into barely beating. The jig, will soon be up.
It’s not so much that we here at Black and Blue and Gold are anti-Tank (we are), it’s that we take massive, massive Umbrage with the notion that tanking for top draft picks is somehow a Go Directly To The Stanley Cup Card. It isn’t. And yes, I know, I know, you can point to top five picks held in consecutive seasons by Pittsburgh (2002-2006), Carolina (2004-2006), Chicago (2006-2008), and Los Angeles (2007-2009), but you can also point to Columbus, Florida, Edmonton, Atlanta, and if you want to go back far enough, San Jose, the Islanders, Ottawa, Quebec, Minnesota, and Washington. Among others.
Here’s the dirty little secret: if you are drafted by a team that picks in the top 5 in back to back years, you are more likely to never see a Stanley Cup Finals (let alone win it) with that team. Significantly more likely. Three to four times more likely.
Boston in 6 – It’s hard to fathom Boston not being better in every single game in almost every single way. The only way they can lose this for themselves is by gooning it up and getting into penalty trouble. Crap…
NY Rangers in 6 – I went back and forth on this, but here’s where I’m at. I trust Lundqvist over Fleury. I trust the Rangers’ forward depth over the Penguins forward depth. I trust the Rangers defense over the Penguins defense. And I trust that the Rangers’ star players are better than the Columbus star players who gave Pittsburgh fits.
Chicago in 4 – Minnesota couldn’t keep pucks out of the net in key moments vs. Colorado where you can make the argument that they should have won six of those games.
Los Angeles in 5 – We need a fast-forward button. Ignore the scores, look at the possession numbers. Holy god.