30 Thoughts on the Beach Episode IV Playoff Hopes

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30 Thoughts on the Beach Episode IV Playoff Hopes

Post by GigantorTheGoalie » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:34 pm

It’s here, it’s finally here. The WHL Playoffs are about to begin and I’d be lying if there wasn’t a lot of good match-ups to look at. I also must say that I am thoroughly looking forward to the Canadiens-Lightning series as those two GM’s have been jawing each other since the Lightning started their unlikely march into the playoffs. So with the playoffs beginning here are your 30 thoughts:

1. How about Tampa and that run into the playoffs? Is it enough for Most Improved GM though? I’d say maybe. Even if GM Storm does not win Most Improved GM of the year, this run into the playoffs has to become something we all remember for a long time.

2. Despite that run into the playoffs the Tampa Bay Lightning are primed to get knocked out of playoffs quickly. On paper the Lightning are a terrifying team with Giroux, Kucherov, Hedman, Johnson, and Bishop just to name a few. However if you look past the names and dive into the numbers Tampa is finding themselves not playing to their abilities which will be costly in this series.

3. Once again even if Tampa gets eliminated they deserve the respect that comes with such a run that makes the playoffs. What about the teams that didn’t make playoffs though?

4. Were mistakes made that cost teams those few extra points needed for playoffs?

5. Lets look at the Ottawa Senators. No trades made and no pick-ups off of the waiver wire. Nothing wrong with that if you believe that this is a development/review year. However when you purposely hurt your team by placing a top 4 defender in the AHL in Cody Ceci then that might be a decision you look back and think to yourself, yes that was a mistake.

6. Regardless of the Ceci decision it was still a very strong season from Ottawa who can be proud they were one of the top 16 teams in the WHL. They just had the unfortunately luck of playing in the Eastern Conference.

7. Another team that missed the playoffs that should have been there is the Colorado Avalanche. What were the Avalanche missing? Depth. If Bordeleau, McLeod, and Kassian are in your line-up on a daily basis that can easily cost a team some points. Though there should be credit for the increase in defensive depth. I believe we see an Avalanche team in the playoffs next season as their young forward talent will continue to grow.

8. Other than the Avalanche in the West is there really that much surprise over the playoff picture there? Yes the Dallas Stars were at one point in the playoff picture but the selling at the Trade Deadline and the Seguin injury sealed their fate.

9. In the East there are another two teams that were always in the race until the last week. Those two teams are the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders.

10. The Pittsburgh Penguins when looking closer it’s not that big of a surprise they missed playoffs. Sidney Crosby only played 50 games this season. An oddity that might have contributed to the teams failure to make playoffs is the lack of roster players. The Penguins seemed content to run with 17 players(including goalies) for nearly two weeks. I can’t imagine it’s easy to win games when you have to double or triple shift players.

11. The New York Islanders are an even bigger question as to why they didn’t make playoffs. Sure the John Tavares injury didn’t help. The team had significant offensive depth in players such as Joe Pavelski and Wayne Simmonds. Not to mention goaltender Halak playing out of his mind all season long. With all this information the New York Islander GM has quite the job ahead of him.

12. Before we get into playoffs I’d like to talk about award winners for the season. First and foremost congratulations to Valdimir Tarasenko for winning the Art Ross Trophy(only player with +100 points) and the Maurice Richard Trophy(61 goals, no other player hit 50 goals).

13. Usually I hate the idea of giving the Norris to a defenseman that just scorers points. Despite that, Duncan Keith absolutely deserves the Norris. 66 points, plus 27 and played over 30 minutes per game. He as a workhorse on defense and no other defenseman can touch him.

14. Calder Trophy is a little bit harder. Max Domi and Connor McDavid had great seasons. Both players played the same amount of games so that helps makes the decision a little bit easier since you don’t have to compensate for missed time due to injuries.

15. Connor McDavid won the scoring race at 19yo. Max Domi is 21yo. Points to Max Domi though for putting up a 30 goal season. That is huge. Despite the 30 goals, Connor McDavid played at a more consistent level through the year getting better and better as he dealt with being given more ice time.

16. Considering all of the above, the Calder Trophy should go to Connor McDavid by a hair.

17. One last trophy I promise. The Vezina trophy. It’s another two-horse race just like the Calder Trophy. This race is between Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist. Both have the same SV%, Lundqvist has the better GAA, Carey Price has more shutouts, and both goalies have the exact same avgR.

18. The clincher for me is that Carey Price set a new season record for wins as a goalie with 50. That beats Martin Brodeur’s mark by 3 wins.

19. 11 thoughts to go so let’s focus on the playoffs. Let’s ask the question of can a Wild Card team win a series?

20. Despite what I said above the Tampa Bay Lightning do have the pieces to win. The Red Wings? They’ll be hard pressed without Henrik Zetterberg to score on Lundqvist. Can the Ducks do it? They barely got into the playoffs and are going against the President’s Trophy winner.

21. Apart from Tampa I think we have the Minnesota Wild as the next best shot for an upset against a divisional winner. Having a new GM could be the X-Factor necessary to pulling off an upset against the Los Angeles Kings.

22. For the record all the division 2nd vs. 3rd are way too close to have someone named the favourite and someone named the underdog.

23. The Oilers only have home ice because they have one more ROW then the Coyotes. That’s how close these match-ups are.

24. Weird fact: The difference in points between the 2nd vs. 3rd match-ups go 9(Atlantic), 6(Metro), 3(Central), 0(Pacific).

25. Usually in the playoffs there is one player who breaks out and scorers at clutch times unexpectedly. Who will it be this year?

26. My vote is for the Russian Rookie Anton Slepyshev. He’s been great in his limited time with the Oilers. Plus the Oilers seem to have a knack for having unknown players catching fire in the playoffs. Fernando Pisani anyone?

27. One question that will be answered is will experience triumph over youth? We’ll get part of the answer after the Blackhawks/Predators series.

28. You see it season after season. Once a team wins the Stanley Cup every other GM looks at their playoff run and tries to see just how those teams win.

29. When the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2011 teams started to try and copy their style of play. Big forwards backed up by a big time defenseman and great goaltending. So after this Stanley Cup is won will teams try and follow the blue print created by the winner? How many teams will trade the future for a big time goalie or defenseman or winger or center? Who will be the next big thing? Will powerforward’s come back in style or will there by teams wanting flashy forwards?

30. Oh to set the record straight the best road team in the league is the Florida Panthers. Don’t believe me go look it up.

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