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Ruki

The 2018/19 NHL Thread!

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Bah! Head to Head scoring in our fantasy league screwed me over. I finished with the most points out of any of us, but didn't make the playoffs.

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I think I might be finally be getting on board with the Zombie Whalers. This Storm Surge thing the Carolina Hurricanes are doing is brilliant.

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It was always going to end this way.

 

Also Carolina are having fun, so they are the best. Screw anyone giving them sour looks 

Screenshot_20190325-073500.png

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Storm Surges, (likely) first playoff berth in a decade, fun young team. All this stuff is great and especially in a market like Carolina that really needed a shot in the arm.

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I won the league :D

 

was closer than I thought at the end.

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So last night was Bob Cole's last game. This makes me very sad. I just don't know how you replace a man like Bob in the booth. :crying:

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So in the States the Jets-Blues series that I'm actually reasonably excited about is being exiled to CNBC. Cue, Binnington means Business jokes. Overall I guess any reasonable playoff predictions comes down to saying who besides Tampa Bay has a shot. Needless to say Washington, Pittsburgh,  Toronto, and Boston out of the east. St. Louis, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Nashville out of the west. I can't trust San Jose and Vegas with how they ended their seasons. On paper they both could make deep runs but I can't reconcile that with the reality of the last few weeks.

And a neat thing they're doing is making the draft lottery early this year, I think it's on Tuesday. So we'll know very shortly who gets Hughes/Kakko and who doesn't.

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6 minutes ago, damsher hatfield said:

So in the States the Jets-Blues series that I'm actually reasonably excited about is being exiled to CNBC. Cue, Binnington means Business jokes. Overall I guess any reasonable playoff predictions comes down to saying who besides Tampa Bay has a shot. Needless to say Washington, Pittsburgh,  Toronto, and Boston out of the east. St. Louis, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Nashville out of the west. I can't trust San Jose and Vegas with how they ended their seasons. On paper they both could make deep runs but I can't reconcile that with the reality of the last few weeks.

And a neat thing they're doing is making the draft lottery early this year, I think it's on Tuesday. So we'll know very shortly who gets Hughes/Kakko and who doesn't.

I feel like this is going to be another one of those times where Tampa dominates the regular season and then falls short once more in the playoffs. I'm, of course, going to cheer for the Penguins to win it this year but I'd also be okay with a Winnipeg win as well. Definitely not Calgary. Never Calgary.

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5 minutes ago, The Fork Horsemen said:

I feel like this is going to be another one of those times where Tampa dominates the regular season and then falls short once more in the playoffs. I'm, of course, going to cheer for the Penguins to win it this year but I'd also be okay with a Winnipeg win as well. Definitely not Calgary. Never Calgary.

I think the assumption is that Calgary will be let down by their goaltending in the playoffs, but we had this exact same discussion this time a year ago about Washington when Holtby was playing awful and Grubauer was trusted with starting the first few playoff games. And we definitely had it seemingly for 2 years with regards to Matt Murray I feel, though I might be wrong.

I would definitely be happy with a Winnipeg win, likable guys on that team and it's a city that has never tasted that glory. Plus we're so overdue for a Canadian team to win the Cup.

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1 minute ago, damsher hatfield said:

I think the assumption is that Calgary will be let down by their goaltending in the playoffs

Yeah, all too often they have to outscore their opponents in a shoot out style of affair - you know they'll let in goals, so you have to hope that the offense delivers. That, as was seen at times this season, isn't always a guarantee.

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1 hour ago, Liam said:

Yeah, all too often they have to outscore their opponents in a shoot out style of affair - you know they'll let in goals, so you have to hope that the offense delivers. That, as was seen at times this season, isn't always a guarantee.

Having watched all 82 games, I think it's important to mention that the statistics for our goalies are misleading. I'm comfortable with them starting Smith on Thursday because he's really seemed to pick his game back up. Last night against Edmonton wasn't great, but they weren't playing for anything, so we'll let that slide. Rittich's numbers since the all-star break look worse than Smith's, but the numbers are deceiving.

The team plays a much tighter defensive game when Smith is in net, most likely to protect him and help him get his game back. He struggled heavily early in the season, and they adjusted their game when he was in net. Since then, he's done much better. That does mean though, that they tend to play looser defensively with Rittich manning the pipes, and that run and gun style has left him hanging too many times. If the Flames can stay tight defensively, and the offense is being generated, they have a chance to go all the way with either guy in net.

So basically... Smith struggled early in the year, the team adjusted how they played, and he managed to get back into form in the last half. He's still nowhere near as consistent as he was with Arizona, but provided the offense actually shows up (and don't fool yourselves. The Flames are not a one or two line team. 4th liner Derek Ryan put up 40 points this season) they should be able to rely on Smitty to steal one or two games if necessary... and if Smith falters, but they maintain a strong defensive game, David Rittich is more than capable of stepping in and taking over.

Our round 1 match up against Colorado is super favorable, and it should be a good gauge as to how Smith is going to look in the post-season. My biggest concern going into the playoffs for the Flames is that Bill Peters may give Smith too long of a rope before making the switch to Ritters.

I also think that Mike Smith knows this is his last bit in Calgary, and I feel like he's going to be pushing himself harder than he ever has in an attempt to capture the Stanley Cup. Rittich is a guy they must re-sign in the off-season, but the team would be insane not to be looking to upgrade in net during the off-season, when it's clearly the only part of their game that hasn't been able to consistently steal points for them. The offense and defense at different points have stolen games, but aside from Rittich's early dominance, the goaltending hasn't been able to do that. At 25 or 26, even if Smith wins them a Cup, Rittich is the guy who gets re-signed, and Smith is headed for free agency... and at his age, with the consistency issues that he's had, I don't think Mike Smith tends the net for a Cup contender next season if he continues playing. So he has a lot to play for in the playoffs, and he's always been at his best with a chip on his shoulder.

Peters is also going to have to do a good job of recognizing when guys aren't going offensively. He's not against line-juggling, and has done it a lot this year... but he's also been guilty of keeping top guys together when they're struggling but there's still a line or two securing consistent scoring chances. He can't be doing that in the playoffs, because if two lines aren't going, you've got two other lines holding the team up, but what happens if they go cold? He'll need to be more pro-active in that sense for the post-season. If he's got two lines that really just aren't clicking in a game, even if they're up, he should be doing some juggling with the ultimate goal being that all four lines should be active offensively at all times. They absolutely need to avoid having all four lines go cold at the same time, because every game matters in the post-season, and one loss could be all it takes to domino into an early exit.

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Ugh, Islanders have blown three leads including just now with 90 seconds left.

Can’t say I feel optimistic about this series at all given the history between the teams.

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The Blue Jackets came back from a three goal deficit to defeat Tampa Bay in game one. I figured they would win one, but I didn't think it would be the first game. Will be interesting to see how the Lightning bounce back from that in game two.

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On 25/03/2019 at 08:36, Ruki said:

It was always going to end this way.

 

Also Carolina are having fun, so they are the best. Screw anyone giving them sour looks 

Screenshot_20190325-073500.png

Forgot the playoffs were happening.  My team had a really weird downturn all of a sudden.  Still happy with 2nd place.

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Leafs win game one :D

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3 hours ago, Ruki said:

Leafs win game one :D

Which made me very excited. They're my East team.

Then I got way more excited. The Flames shut out Colorado 4-0 to win the first game of their series.

Everything's coming up Milhouse.

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Since I live in the Calgary area, I want Calgary to do well. It'll be good for the city!

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On 10/04/2019 at 23:52, Eric Buschenhagen said:

Isles got outplayed tonight but still came away with the W in overtime.  I’ll take it!

I actually felt like the Isles played really well in this game. They came out like a team that knew they needed to get the early momentum and then went out there and took it. I'm not fearful of the Pens losing this series but the Isles definitely came out and gave me an "Oh shit" moment with this game. I think that Pittsburgh will definitely take Game Two.

As much as I'd love to see Colorado pull the upset on Calgary, I feel like that's not going to happen and that makes me sad. I feel like my two Western teams (Colorado and Vegas) are in for a bad series.

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You can never predict the NHL playoffs. Same story every year where at least one clear favorite goes down in round 1 and often loses. League has set itself well from the standpoint of parity.

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Losing in overtime today was a heartbreaker. Hopefully we can make something happen in game three back in Carolina.

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