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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs


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We should have some fun with this?

It appears to me anyway, that this years run should be very tight since so many teams have a chance to get to the final. Moreso than any other year I can recall. So tight that there could be any number of combos for the finals. Its the hardest Championship to win with how it has to play out. This year it is wide open.

We could easily see Washington vs Winnipeg or Tampa Bay St Louis , hell....Detroit vsAnaheim and so on.

So, who do you think will advance all the way ?

Personally Id love for Winnipeg to get a decent run at things, but doubt they are built for the long march to late May .

Id also love for Vancouver to make a run, more salt in Torts wound .

So...what ya got !

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As an Oilers fan, I have no idea what this thread title refers to. Do you mean the draft lottery?

But seriously: my heart is with Montreal, but I know they'll only go as far as Carey Price will take them; they're a middling team at best. Winnipeg would be a great story, but the west is a meat grinder and there's no way they get past a first round date with Anaheim. If I had to pick one team to win it all, I'd say Nashville. They just seem like a team that's built for the playoffs.

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As an Oilers fan, I have no idea what this thread title refers to. Do you mean the draft lottery?

And as a Leaf fan i do ? Oh wait I started this thing.

But seriously: my heart is with Montreal, but I know they'll only go as far as Carey Price will take them; they're a middling team at best. Winnipeg would be a great story, but the west is a meat grinder and there's no way they get past a first round date with Anaheim. If I had to pick one team to win it all, I'd say Nashville. They just seem like a team that's built for the playoffs.

Montreal is a team thats played amaazing all year, yes they will win or lose on Carey but a middling team? Ouch, but ok.

I think Nashville is this years Canucks/Sens of President's Trophy, amazing all year, falter somehow in the playoffs. But, they could eaily prove me wrong.

Calgary I think is dead without Giordano, and LA might gt in because of that.

And if they do.....they may make a run for it again. Can they capture lightning twice?

Edited by Guyser2
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And as a Leaf fan i do ? Oh wait I started this thing.

Montreal is a team thats played amaazing all year, yes they will win or lose on Carey but a middling team? Ouch, but ok.

They haven't played amazing, though. Middle of the pack in goals for, possession numbers are downright poor. They're riding a lot of luck/goaltending and we know that isn't a recipe for sustainable success. Price gets hurt or hits a slump, they're done. They don't have the horses up front.

Edited by Black Dog
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St Louis vs. Montreal in the cup finals... you heard it here first!

If thats the Final, Montreal wins.

The only thing I hear against St Louis is goaltending,they dont have it and its still their achilles heel .

But this year.....anyone might be standing come finals time.

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As far as recent Stanley Cup winners they typically have 4 things in common. A top line that can play a good two-way game and enough depth to have some 4th line heroes, an elite defencemen that can play ridiculous minutes and an elite goaltender that can stand on their head.The Kings, Hawks and Red Wings have this in spades in recent years.

As far as the west goes I think;
Nashville: Nashville has an incredibly deep team and possibly one of the best defensive cores in the league, coupled with a goaltender that can steal a game on any given night. They are a force. They aren't an overly physical team though so the playoffs may prove to be to much for them. It's hard to say weather or not their speed and skill can overcome some of the more physical teams they may face on their way to the finals.
St. Louis: St.Louis is fast and physical team. They also have some of the best scoring depth in the entire league with numerous guys that can finish. Elliot and Allen are a good tandem but it's tough to say weather they are deep playoffs calibre goaltenders yet.
Chicago: Chicago stands just as good a chance as ever to win another cup, though with Kane not coming back to later rounds everyone will have to step up a little more, they definitely still have the brass to get it done and added some depth at the deadline. They are all in this year.
Anaheim: Anaheim has added some depth in their roster and have two good goalies that are now healthy to really give them a strong playoff push, what they lack in physicality they make up for in speed and scoring. I can safely say that a team like Winnipeg could easily wear them down in a playoff series but with their better scoring and goaltending it's a tough call.
Vancouver: Vancity is a hard call at this point. They won't have Miller back until the playoff begins, I believe. It all depends on whether Lack and Markstrom can play well enough to keep them where they are. They have a lot of playoff veterans that know how to win a series coupled with a lot of young guys who can play good hockey. It's hard to say whether this could be a cinderella story so to speak.

Calgary: I wouldn't count out Calgary just yet, not until we see a few games without Giordano. They are still going to be one of the best 3rd period scoring teams in the league. The loss of Gio who is a huge presence on the blueline and a major contributor to their goal scoring ability could have devastating effects. But they can still get it done offensively so I'm not sure where they stand. It may still be a dogfight between them and LA for the last spot in the pacific.
Winnipeg: The Jets have an incredibly physical team, one that is built to play fast and aggressive playoff hockey but their bottom 6 scoring is lacking and they're goaltending is incredibly unpredictable. Hutchinson has played great but I seriously doubt his ability to stick out a 7 game series at this point and Pavelec is one of the worst goaltenders at the NHL level in my opinion. They added a bit of depth though but we'll have to see how they fair over the next couple of games.

Minnesota: Minny is very deep team that has been on a tear lately and with Dubnyk playing like a boss they could continue that tear well into the playoffs. It's hard to say whether Dubnyk will come back down to earth or remain in orbit but he's been pretty lights out since being traded to the Wild and after their deadline moves they actually scare me a lot. Glad Winnipeg won't be facing them in the 1st round this year.
LA: These guys actually look like they are tired. Though they are famous for turning it on when it matters. I really don't know what to say about the Kings this year. They lack heart, which could end up costing them a trip to the playoffs at all.

San Jose: I don't think SJ has the ability to get into the playoffs this year. I am counting them out at this point.

I don't know much about the East except that Montreal kind of reminds me of Nashville with their depth and incredible goaltending. Washington is looking like a crazy good team this year too and Detroit has just as much a shot as any other year they make the playoffs. I'm really hoping Boston gets taken out of their WC spot by Florida. I despise Boston.

If I had to call it right now I'd say it's going to be a Nashville vs. Montreal SC final.

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I don't think Montreal has the offensive guns to carry them.

Rangers in the East. They are good enough on offence, defence and goaltending.

But you can never count out Detroit.

West is tougher. Nashville is well rounded with terrific goalie in Rinne and solid defence. Anaheim- very good. Chicago is always in the mix. And the Kings may find their mojo. Minisota is a wild card that has had stretches of great play.

But I'm going to go with St Louis to win it all.

If they don't go very deep, Hitchcock is fired.

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Habs got dummied on their swing through California. 0-3. Those are the type of teams they need to beat if they want to win the Cup and they just don't have the horses up front (or behind the bench).

Islanders are a pretty fun team no one seems to be talking about despite them vying for top spot in the east. A deep run by them would be pretty great after everything that fan base has been through over the years and with this being their last year in Uniondale.

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Islanders are a pretty fun team no one seems to be talking about despite them vying for top spot in the east. A deep run by them would be pretty great after everything that fan base has been through over the years and with this being their last year in Uniondale.

They are and you are right, they should be fun to watch.

But I have to say, I put them in the 'Presidents Cup Failure Dept' .....any team that comes from almost nowhere (they were all previously good)and rises to be cream of the crop tend to falter the first years vying for the Cup.

Ottawa

St Louis

Colorado (last year)

NYI...tis year

Detroit.

It would appear (and no research by me) that it takes a couple of runs and failures to figure it all out .

Of course that doesnt explain the SJ Sharks so...........

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Minnesota: Minny is very deep team that has been on a tear lately and with Dubnyk playing like a boss they could continue that tear well into the playoffs. It's hard to say whether Dubnyk will come back down to earth or remain in orbit but he's been pretty lights out since being traded to the Wild and after their deadline moves they actually scare me a lot. Glad Winnipeg won't be facing them in the 1st round this year.

Going by stats, Devan Dubnyk is now the 2nd best goalie in the league. If only the Oilers had a guy like that! errr.. wait.. AARRRRGHHHH

-k

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Going by stats, Devan Dubnyk is now the 2nd best goalie in the league. If only the Oilers had a guy like that! errr.. wait.. AARRRRGHHHH

-k

Dubby is also in a contract year. He's making $800,000 this year I suspect if Minny intends on keeping him he's going to be getting a significant raise, especially if they manage to go deep in the playoffs. If he wins a cup, he'll be making $4 mil bare minimum next season.

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Dubnyk on his time in Edmonton:

“It was just disappointing to spend 10 years with an organization, buy a home there, have our first kid there and plan to be there a long time. But you know what? I forgot to stop the puck.
“I guess you can say I’m happy I ungracefully exited Edmonton to make my way here.”

It's too bad he couldn't have figured it out in Edmonton but good for him for not making excuses. Playing on a more defensively sound team has likely made it a lot easier for him.

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Dubnyk's fall and rise is another black mark on Craig MacTavish's record. Guy was trending well, looking no worse than an NHL backup when MacTavish undermined him by publicly expressing his desire for an upgrade and, of course bringing in the Eakins Disaster. Another fireable offense from the unfireable GM.

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Dubnyk on his time in Edmonton:

“It was just disappointing to spend 10 years with an organization, buy a home there, have our first kid there and plan to be there a long time. But you know what? I forgot to stop the puck.

“I guess you can say I’m happy I ungracefully exited Edmonton to make my way here.”

It's too bad he couldn't have figured it out in Edmonton but good for him for not making excuses. Playing on a more defensively sound team has likely made it a lot easier for him.

He didn't "forget" to stop the puck so much as discover it was almost impossible to do it in Dallas Eakins' idiotic "swarm" system. Dubnyk had a top ten save percentage the year before Eakins arrived when, Ralph Kruger was coach. It was like .923 or something like that. Then Eakins comes to town and Dubnyk is getting lit up every game, and his save percentage is like .890 and MacTavish trades Dubnyk and signs the crazy Russian dude, and trades for Scrivens and Fasth and wow, for some reason their save percentage isn't any better than Dubnyk's was, go figure. And then last summer MacTavish is like "bad goaltending put us in a hole that we never got out of last season, but now that problem is fixed so we're not bringing in a new goalie." So then this season starts and they're still getting lit up most nights and the goaltenders save percentage is still around .890 and meanwhile Dubnyk is reborn in Phoenix. And then the Oilers have done their "internal audit" and concluded that the only guy who needs to get fired is the goalie coach, so they fired him and then nothing changes. Meanwhile the Coyotes trade Dubnyk to Minnesota for a low draft pick because Dubnyk was winning too many games in Phoenix and ruining their chances of getting the Wonder Kid in the draft. Then somebody, probably the owner, mades MacTavish fire Eakins because the team went over a month without a win and the fans are furious and putting up billboards about how much the team sucks. And since Eakins got fired Ben Scrivens save percentage jumped from .887 to .912, and Dubnyk is entering the Vezina Trophy race.

There were two main problems with Eakins. The first is that the players obviously hated his guts and didn't want to play for him. The second is that his stupid system was completely worthless in the NHL. The whole idea behind the "swarm" defense was to "swarm" the puck carrier along the boards to force turn-overs. Maybe in the AHL, or EA Sports, or wherever it was that Eakins invented this plan, puck-carriers turn over the puck when they get "swarmed". But in the NHL, when puck-carriers get "swarmed" along the boards they can usually make a pass to a team-mate who is wide-open because all the defenders are "swarming" along the boards. Somebody made a compliation video of all the goals the Oilers gave up this season while Eakins was coaching (it was a really long video) and it's amazing how often they come as one-timers from wide-open players in the slot while Oiler defenders are "swarming" along the boards. And also from guys who were able to pick up a loose puck and walk to the front of the net which was was undefended because too many Oilers were "swarming" the guy who had the puck a few seconds earlier.

Also I read that Eakins was completely obsessed with a statistic called "Corsi" which is basically a measure of shot attempts differential. So he wanted the Oilers to take lots of low-percentage shots from the perimeter instead of trying to get into better percentage shooting locations. And meanwhile at the other end of the ice the Oilers were giving up fewer shots, even though they were high percentage shots. So the Oilers actually had good "Corsi" under Eakins, because they were taking lots of low-quality shots, while the opposition didn't need to take very many shots to get good scoring chances. So Eakins is like "our Corsi is improving, and Corsi correlates with winning, so the wins are going to come as long as we stick with my system!"

It's so pathetic that it a season and a half of this nonsense for the Oilers to fire the guy. They basically wasted 2 seasons of Hall and Eberle's time with the team trying to implement a stupid idea that only works on Xbox. MacTavish is an idiot for falling for this scam in the first place, and he's a bigger idiot for sticking with it for as long as he did. What's most pathetic of all is that he didn't want to fire Eakins at all. He was convinced right up to the end that Eakins was on the right track. He probably still is.

-k

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Yebbut... systems aside, a big reason for the utter hopelessness of the Oilers under Eakins was the players.

When your defense consists of people like Cory Potter, Anton Belov, Grebeshkov, Philip Larsen and Mark Fraser......plus a couple more that are not much better- what do you expect?

Oh, and your forwards are all so tiny they never, ever win a puck battle....

Dubnyk was absolutely f**ing awful that year, even with a dreadful group in front of him.

MacTavish cannot ever indicate publicly that Eakins was mistake, or that Nelson probably is as well.

His first mistake was firing Krueger.

GMs generally get to fire/hire two coaches before they come under scrutiny themselves, and MacT is on his third in leas than 2 years. There will likely be a fourth in June.

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Why is Nelson a mistake? After going through so many coaches over the past few years, they should stick with him for a while. The players like him, he developed some of them in the minors. Oscar Klefbom is their best defenseman by a mile, and it is probably because Nelson worked with him for a couple of years in the AHL. Nelson's wins and losses results are pretty much in line with what the team was doing while Kruger was coach. I wish they had kept Kruger, but since it's too late for that they should keep Nelson. Instead of rolling the dice on more coaches, maybe MacTavish should pull his head out of his ass and fix the roster instead.

Is the roster that Eakins had any worse than the one that Kruger had the year before? If it is, that's on MacTavish. MacTavish has turned over most of the team. I heard that Jordan Eberle is now the longest serving Oiler. And how much did Eakins and his Corsi-inspired philosophy affect the moves MacTavish made? The Oilers probably only acquired Mark Fraser because Eakins coached him in the AHL, for example. I heard that they went and got Pouliot and Nikitin because they had good Corsi, too. And again... did the players just get better after Eakins left? I'm super tired of hearing people make excuses for him. Like I turned on the TV one night and heard the guy say "I bet Dallas Eakins wishes he had a guy like Derek Roy while he was coaching the Oilers." Yeah? Well I bet Todd Nelson wishes he had a guy like Taylor Hall, who has been injured for most of the games since Nelson took over. Taylor Hall who was one of the league's top scorers last year, or Derek Roy, who passed through wavers? You be the judge. Or right after Eakins was fired, his buddy from TSN wrote a big column claiming that Eakins got a bad rap because Taylor Hall was actually the problem in Edmonton, that he's uncoachable. Sick of hearing people making excuses for Eakins. He was a piece of dog crap. That's all there is to it.

The team has many problems, but Eakins made it way worse. I am looking forward to seeing the players continue to improve under a coach who isn't a mental retard. Hopefully MacTavish will make some deals to fix some of the weak spots, like bringing in better defensemen and some scoring forwards who aren't wimps. But since MacTavish is a big moron I don't have much hope that he'll do anything good. Since Lowe is also a big moron I doubt MacTavish will get fired either. And since Katz doesn't give a crap I think we are stuck with Lowe and MacTavish for many many years.

-k

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Why is Nelson a mistake?

Because they replaced an inexperienced AHL with another one that looks exactly the same.

This is not a time or place for a coach to audition for the big team.

The Oilers need an experienced NHL coach that will bring structure and discipline to their game.

An example of a coaching change vastly improving a mediocre team is just down the road- Calgary flames. They are not deep in talent, but they play a solid system hard under an experienced hardnosed Bob Hartley, and it has given them some success.

Bringing in Nelson is no different than starting Dreisatl as second line center, or having a blueline full of AHL rejects. Desperate and clueless moves.

I heard that they went and got Pouliot and Nikitin because they had good Corsi, too.

They got Pouliot because he is pretty big, pretty aggressive, willing to go into the corners, had a great Stanley Cup run with the Rangers, and was one of the few free agents willing to come here. They got Nikitin because that was all MacTavish could get in the offseason on defence. He showed up fat and out of shape, played terribly and luckily got hurt so he could not continue to play like a reeking turd. One of the reason the OPielrs have played better lately is because he is not on the ice. Another horrible blunder by Mactavish, though he continues to tout Nikitin as a top four NHL caliber defenceman.. I guess he has to do that.

They have big holes in goal where they need a starter, though Scrivens might be OK as a backup., On defence, they need at least two top defencement, since they have none now. MacTavish has already named Schultz and Klefbom as his 1-2 defenders next year. God help us. And of course, they need a second line center and likely a third line center too.

And a coach. And a GM. And a .........

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Corsi or SAT as the NHL calls it is a great underlying metric used to measure the success of a team, but a terrible way to measure success of an individual. It works a lot like plus/minus but accounts for chances rather than just goals. It's a terrible way to build a team without using pretty much every other mainstream and advanced stat. On it's own it's pretty much useless, just as much as any other stat.

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He didn't "forget" to stop the puck so much as discover it was almost impossible to do it in Dallas Eakins' idiotic "swarm" system.

There were two main problems with Eakins. The first is that the players obviously hated his guts and didn't want to play for him. The second is that his stupid system was completely worthless in the NHL.

The "swarm" or double up system isn't worthless in the NHL. It is really just a more aggressive version of the overload and the Jets use it quite well. On paper, the overload and "swarm" should really suit teams with smaller, quicker defense. The problem with this system in Edmonton is really the Oiler's ability to play it.

To be successful the initial hit has to be good and the opponent trapped along the boards. The second defender has to read that initial contact and "double up" if it was executed successfully. The Oil struggled with both the initial hit and even more with the read. As a result, they gave up a tonne of great chances.

Many favour the conservative collapse approach to D. The idea is to give up more outside shots and limit good scoring chances. Unfortunately, this approach requires more size and strength to with the one on one box out battles, which is something we're lacking in Edmonton.

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Also I read that Eakins was completely obsessed with a statistic called "Corsi" which is basically a measure of shot attempts differential. So he wanted the Oilers to take lots of low-percentage shots from the perimeter instead of trying to get into better percentage shooting locations. And meanwhile at the other end of the ice the Oilers were giving up fewer shots, even though they were high percentage shots. So the Oilers actually had good "Corsi" under Eakins, because they were taking lots of low-quality shots, while the opposition didn't need to take very many shots to get good scoring chances. So Eakins is like "our Corsi is improving, and Corsi correlates with winning, so the wins are going to come as long as we stick with my system!"

I don't think this is actually true. I suspect the issue with Eakins's Corsi numbers wasn't shot quality but score effects: that is, the Oilers would find themselves trailing early and often and the opposition would sit back and defend.

I heard that they went and got Pouliot and Nikitin because they had good Corsi, too.

Well Nikitin's Corsi numbers were crap in Columbus so that probably wasn't a factor there. That hire was on Scott Howson IMO.

Because they replaced an inexperienced AHL with another one that looks exactly the same.

This is not a time or place for a coach to audition for the big team.

The Oilers need an experienced NHL coach that will bring structure and discipline to their game.

An example of a coaching change vastly improving a mediocre team is just down the road- Calgary flames. They are not deep in talent, but they play a solid system hard under an experienced hardnosed Bob Hartley, and it has given them some success.

Bringing in Nelson is no different than starting Dreisatl as second line center, or having a blueline full of AHL rejects. Desperate and clueless moves.

The only thing Nelson and Eakins have in common is they were both AHL coaches. Style-wise, they are complete opposites and I'm not just talking sartorially and tonsorially. nelson is getting me out of this roster than Eakins was. But the roster is still garbage.

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the Oilers would find themselves trailing early and often and the opposition would sit back and defend.

Not what I saw for the last several years. Nobody has to 'sit back and defend' aginst a popgun offence.Teams beat the Oilers by attacking and forechecking them hard. The whole team just folds when pressured. The Oilers do OK against teams that are small skating teams. Big aggressive forechecking teams crush the Oil. There is no need to defend against the Oilers, with the exception of the first line, because they have little offence to worry about.. Watch the other team defencemen when the puck is in the Oilers zone(which is much of the game)- they pinch constantly to keep pressure on. It's hardly a risk.

I don't think this is actually true. I suspect the issue with Eakins's Corsi numbers wasn't shot quality but score effects: that is, the Oilers would find themselves trailing early and often and the opposition would sit back and defend.

Well Nikitin's Corsi numbers were crap in Columbus so that probably wasn't a factor there. That hire was on Scott Howson IMO.

The only thing Nelson and Eakins have in common is they were both AHL coaches. Style-wise, they are complete opposites and I'm not just talking sartorially and tonsorially. nelson is getting me out of this roster than Eakins was. But the roster is still garbage.

What they also have in common, in addition to zero NHL experience, is very similar records in the NHL in 2014-15. Their win-loss records after coaching 31 games each is nearly identical. There is really no need to expect anything different. Same people, same result. They need a strict, disciplined, experienced coach to get the team working together in a coherent consistent way. Of course, the better coaches in the league who do this have no reason to come here. Being unemployed might be better than working here, it is quite likely a career killer.

They have not improved at all statistically in four years, and nearly all of this same team will be back next year. The management is dreadful, and the coaching picks are done from desperation, not from a carefully considered plan. Eakins had to go and Nelson was not picked because they wanted him but because that is truly all there was available in mid season. I full expect MacT to endorse and support his own mistakes, that is clearly his style.

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