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Old 05-22-2019, 11:11 AM   #1
CaptainCrunch
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Default What have we learned in the playoffs so far

To me, we learned that the regular season besides meaningless, features a whole different style of play. Probably based around injury prevention. Smaller faster less physical teams carried the way. "Its a new NHL" was shouted from the rooftops "Its all about speed and skill and passing.


But in the playoffs its a whole different ballgame. The faster teams had the crap kicked out of them by bigger nastier heavy forecheck teams that can plug up the ice and close the distance on passing lanes.


While there is space for those smaller slicker players on those type of teams, the bruiser weight class carries the day.


Both the Bruins and Blues are bigger and tougher and fairly fast teams that play their assignments really well. You con't see a ton of offensive creativity from either of them as its come down to crashing the next and forcing your way into the slot and avoiding the box out.


It makes me think that GM's are going to shift gears again, especially around their later round drafting and go after bigger players that are defensive and hitting first and offense second.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:20 AM   #2
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Regular season isn't meaningless. Had Arizona snuck past Colorado the Flames might still be playing. Or at least played into the 2nd round.

I think one of the bigger takeaways from this year's playoffs will be how to handle so much rest when presented.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:49 AM   #3
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Regular season has meaning as it's so tough to make the playoffs. Good teams still don't get in. Need to get in first as per Carolina and Columbus, even the Blues.

I think what we are seeing is that you need to be one of the better teams after the all-star break and going into the playoffs hot. Clinching early and having not many meaningful games to close the season hurt the Flames (and Tampa).

Points prior to the all-star break get you into the playoffs but don't mean playoff success. It's all what you do after the all-star break.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:51 AM   #4
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I dont know if I like giving the guy all of the credit, but before taking on the Flames job Burke used to repeat one line that still rings true today...

In order to win the Stanley cup, you need to beat one big team, one fast team and one skilled team

Hard to argue with that...
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkflames View Post
I dont know if I like giving the guy all of the credit, but before taking on the Flames job Burke used to repeat one line that still rings true today...

In order to win the Stanley cup, you need to beat one big team, one fast team and one skilled team

Hard to argue with that...
For all his abrasiveness and bluster, Brian Burke is a very smart hockey man.

People hate on him cause he is old and has opinions they don't like...but he also has a wealth of knowledge and understands the game inside and out.

As you point out...that formula is pretty bang on and what it means is pretty simple. You need to be able to play the game in different ways....so you need your roster construction to be such that you can do just that.

This team simply is not that...yet.
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:57 AM   #6
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Top 2 centres from each conference finalist, regular season points in brackets:

Carolina: Aho, J Staal (111 pts ((staal missed 30 games))
Boston: Bergeron, Krejci (152 pts)
San Jose: Couture, Hertl (151 pts)
St. Louis: O'Reilly, Schenn (131 pts)


Calgary: Monahan, Backlund (129)

The best player on each team that made the conference final was their first line centre.

The two teams meeting in the final have the two best 3-zone centres in the league.
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How does the number of playoff games the Bruins won *this last season* have anything to do with their number of draft picks in the last three calendar years?
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:01 PM   #7
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And Boston was good all season long. St Louis one of the very best teams in the second half. Tampa losing was obviously a huge surprise but a whole lot of other closely grouped teams out there.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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We've learned that Ryan Reeves got knocked out in the first round.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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Every time a new team wins the Cup, the "formula" changes. Regular season doesn't matter? Yes it does, this season is the anomaly. St. Louis showing it's good to go in hot? Historically cold teams have done just fine. A single playoffs is not an adequate sample size to discard the weight of history.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:13 PM   #10
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I think we've learned that officiating in this league is a problem. Nearly every series had some really weird calls.
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Old 05-22-2019, 12:18 PM   #11
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Nobody should be surprised the Bruins made the finals as they would have been my 2nd pick after the Lighting to come out of the east. The Blues are a surprise but they were really good in the 2nd half of the season and were full marks for beating the Jets, Stars, and Sharks. Probably a much better team than their regular season shows as I believe like Gulutzan in Calgary, Yeo was holding that roster back. That said I feel you could start the playoffs all over again with the same match-ups and have two completely different teams in the final as there is some randomness and luck involved. In relation to the 2019/2020 season I feel I have learned little from these playoffs outside of the fact that teams playing the best hockey in the 2nd half of the season probably have a better chance than teams that cooled off down the stretch. I expect some of the teams that surprised in the first round to struggle and possibly miss the playoffs next season as I wouldn't be shocked if the Islanders, Jackets and Hurricanes all miss the playoffs in 2020.

Mike Gillis was on 960 yesterday and IMO it was a pretty solid interview and he noted that top teams may have to change how they look at the end of the season as rather than resting players and winding things down teams may have to look at methods of maintaining the intensity and ramping things up. I feel that's easier said than done but it's definitely something that teams need to investigate.

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Old 05-22-2019, 12:38 PM   #12
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its where the points don't matter just like who wins this year.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:08 PM   #13
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Not so much was I've learned from the playoffs this year, but what I've been observing for many years. Some of the calls from this year's playoffs really ticked me off big time. It almost seems as if the NHL playoffs is like a WWE Smackdown!

Before the lockout in 2004-2005 season: East-West-East-West...
After lockout: LA, Chicago, LA, Chicago
After another lockout 2012/2013: All Eastern Teams

So, my latest prediction: Boston



It's almost like last year's Stanley Cup run - the Cinderella fairy tale ends in the Finals.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:15 PM   #14
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It sounds sort of redundant when I am typing it, but the teams that have made the most of the opportunities have done the best. At a micro level, teams that bury their chances, convert their power plays, and take advantage of weird bounces have done well. Similarly, the best teams have risen to the occasion when they have faced adversity. The Blues are an excellent example of this, likewise, the Avalanche also did let poor stretches of hockey determine their season.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:43 PM   #15
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The number 1 team and the number 3 team for the last 4 months of the regular season, since Jan 1, are playing for the Stanley Cup.


Seems all is right.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash Walken View Post
Top 2 centres from each conference finalist, regular season points in brackets:

Carolina: Aho, J Staal (111 pts ((staal missed 30 games))
Boston: Bergeron, Krejci (152 pts)
San Jose: Couture, Hertl (151 pts)
St. Louis: O'Reilly, Schenn (131 pts)


Calgary: Monahan, Backlund (129)

The best player on each team that made the conference final was their first line centre.

The two teams meeting in the final have the two best 3-zone centres in the league.
So, center quality is important?

This is the talk of radicals.
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Old 05-22-2019, 01:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash Walken View Post
Top 2 centres from each conference finalist, regular season points in brackets:

Carolina: Aho, J Staal (111 pts ((staal missed 30 games))
Boston: Bergeron, Krejci (152 pts)
San Jose: Couture, Hertl (151 pts)
St. Louis: O'Reilly, Schenn (131 pts)


Calgary: Monahan, Backlund (129)

The best player on each team that made the conference final was their first line centre.

The two teams meeting in the final have the two best 3-zone centres in the league.
Rask and Binnington might disagree.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:11 PM   #18
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What have we learned? Win the first round and good things can happen?
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:12 PM   #19
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Every time a new team wins the Cup, the "formula" changes. Regular season doesn't matter? Yes it does, this season is the anomaly. St. Louis showing it's good to go in hot? Historically cold teams have done just fine. A single playoffs is not an adequate sample size to discard the weight of history.
This is it.

To win the Stanley Cup, you need to make the playoffs and hope randomness is with you. It helps if you have players who up their game during the playoffs. Or perhaps they just appear to up their game because randomness is with them.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:23 PM   #20
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I don't think one year is enough to change your mindset in regards to physicality or skill.

There are a couple of takeaways, that are generally true, but even more true this year.
To get to the finals, you basically need a good or hot goaltender. Rask is absolutely on fire. Binnington has basically brought the team from last to the finals.

And like others have said, the top line centers generally need to play well.

The Bruins and Blues both have pretty good depth. But good depth didn't seem to help the Flames against Colorado.
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