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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    29 Apr '10 21:05
    It's getting harder and harder to take the NHL regular season seriously. This makes 9 times in 16 years (since they went to the 1-8 format) that a 1 seed has been knocked out in the first round (that's 9 of 32 in all)

    I'm not even sure I buy the "hot goaltender" argument. I just think there's so much luck involved in the NHL that when 2 teams of anywhere close to the same talent level play each other, anyone can win. Get 120 points in the regular season, hit a couple of posts, have a goal here and there disallowed, have a defensive lapse or 2 and bam; you're out of the playoffs.

    I hate to say this, but for the regular season to be important, the NHL has to scale back to 8 (or, at most, 12) teams making the playoffs.
  2. 30 Apr '10 13:15 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    It's getting harder and harder to take the NHL regular season seriously. This makes 9 times in 16 years (since they went to the 1-8 format) that a 1 seed has been knocked out in the first round (that's 9 of 32 in all)

    I'm not even sure I buy the "hot goaltender" argument. I just think there's so much luck involved in the NHL that when 2 teams of anywhere clo be important, the NHL has to scale back to 8 (or, at most, 12) teams making the playoffs.
    OH BROTHER!

    Don't you dare blame the "system" for the Caps losing that series and disappointing all you Yankee-fan types who hate the underdogs. As much as it kills me to say, the habs did everything right to beat the Caps, including great play from Halak (not lucky play). The Caps could learn something from Montreal for next season - it's called teamwork. And Boudreau would be well advised to manage Ovechkin's minutes a little better next year....
  3. 30 Apr '10 13:16 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    that when 2 teams of anywhere close to the same talent level play each other, anyone can win. Get 120 points in the regular season, hit a couple of posts, have a goal here and there disallowed, have a defensive lapse or 2 and bam; you're out of the playoffs.
    Furthermore:

    1. Tell me how this is different from any other sport in North America.

    2. Tell me why this is a bad thing.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Apr '10 13:29
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Furthermore:

    1. Tell me how this is different from any other sport in North America.

    2. Tell me why this is a bad thing.
    1. Baseball is similar; upsets in baseball can happen with the same frequency; for similar reasons. There's a lot of luck involved in baseball too; maybe even more than in the NHL. That's why it's good that baseball only allows 8 teams into the playoffs. The regular season matters.

    Football and basketball have far fewer major upsets. Generally speaking, if you physically dominate a game in the NFL or NBA, you win.

    2. Because it devalues the regular season
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Apr '10 13:40 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by darvlay
    OH BROTHER!

    Don't you dare blame the "system" for the Caps losing that series and disappointing all you Yankee-fan types who hate the underdogs. As much as it kills me to say, the habs did everything right to beat the Caps, including great play from Halak (not lucky play). The Caps could learn something from Montreal for next season - it's called teamwo ...[text shortened]... d Boudreau would be well advised to manage Ovechkin's minutes a little better next year....
    Disappointing me? Completely ridiculous. I couldn't care less about the Caps. I actually think it's kind of funny that Ovechkin and Co. got bounced in the first round after the Caps dominated the league for the whole season.

    But, come on, you can't possibly believe that it's good for the sport that the dominant regular season team with the #2 marquee player in the league gets bounced by a mediocre team that barely made the playoffs.

    The NBA became popular partly because it can market big stars like Lebron and Kobe. In most years, you know the best teams with the best players are going to be there in the latter rounds of the playoffs. You think the NHL wants Montreal and Boston in the Eastern Conference finals? LOL. It would be a disaster for the league.

    I love the NHL; much more so than the NBA. But the luck involved in hockey is an unfortunate but true fact about the sport. The NHL can either retain the status quo, which they will. Or, they could acknowledge this fact about the sport. If they did, the only way to deal with it would be to decrease the number of teams in the playoffs, so the mediocre teams wouldn't have the chance to pull off these playoff upsets or they could dramatically change the rules to reward skills, thus decreasing the luck factor. It's one or the other.

    I get lambasted for not being a "true" NHL fan whenever I say all of this, as you'll no doubt echo; but deep in your heart, you know I'm right.

    Let me ask you: You really think Montreal is as good as Washington? Really? Is that why they finished, what? 34 points behind them in the standings? Does the regular season count for anything?
  6. 30 Apr '10 13:48
    Originally posted by sh76
    1. Baseball is similar; upsets in baseball can happen with the same frequency; for similar reasons. There's a lot of luck involved in baseball too; maybe even more than in the NHL. That's why it's good that baseball only allows 8 teams into the playoffs. The regular season matters.

    Football and basketball have far fewer major upsets. Generally speaking, if y ...[text shortened]... ally dominate a game in the NFL or NBA, you win.

    2. Because it devalues the regular season
    Basketball is terrible for so many reasons - its lack of competition being one. Sadly, baseball is on its way there as well... I think the NFL's one-and-done playoff system makes for plenty of upsets. Giants over the Pats was a very recent massive upset. Anything is possible in the playoffs in the NFL.

    I will agree that the NHL regular season could be shorter. I love the 16 team/Best of 7 playoff format though. I don't think they should mess with that at all.
  7. 30 Apr '10 13:54
    Originally posted by sh76
    Disappointing me? Completely ridiculous. I couldn't care less about the Caps. I actually think it's kind of funny that Ovechkin and Co. got bounced in the first round after the Caps dominated the league for the whole season.

    But, come on, you can't possibly believe that it's good for the sport that the dominant regular season team with the #2 marquee player ...[text shortened]... t? 34 points behind them in the standings? Does the regular season count for anything?
    I can tell you sound like a genuine sports fan but let's remember - I'm CANADIAN! So what I think is "good" for the NHL will likely be in stark contrast to what you, or other Bettmanites, think. I'm sure a handful of fairweather fans would've tuned into Versus to see a Pitt/Wash Eastern Conference finals but I really am not disappointed that that series is not going to happen.

    I can honestly say that Montreal is indeed the better team than Washington. Washington had much more talent, much more individual skill and many more playmakers but Montreal played better as a team, were coached better, had better goaltending and employed their strategy to perfection.

    And no, the regular season counts for nothing. Just ask Boston last year. Or Montreal the year before that. Or Buffalo the year before that... and so on, and so on. Nothing has changed, man.
  8. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    30 Apr '10 14:33
    Originally posted by sh76
    Disappointing me? Completely ridiculous. I couldn't care less about the Caps. I actually think it's kind of funny that Ovechkin and Co. got bounced in the first round after the Caps dominated the league for the whole season.

    But, come on, you can't possibly believe that it's good for the sport that the dominant regular season team with the #2 marquee player ...[text shortened]... t? 34 points behind them in the standings? Does the regular season count for anything?
    Man, i doubt you ever played hockey on any serious level.

    If you did, you would/should have realized that a team can have better individual talent than another team and still lose.

    The classic example is the Team USA basketball team a few years ago that got beat. They were Soooooo much better than everyone else but because they played like a bunch of indifferent selfish individuals, they lost.

    Washington was no different. They played like a bunch of individuals, no team play whatsoever. They made about 3 passes the whole series.

    Mtl on the other hand, while clearly out-classed talent wise, played as a team...a 5 man unit that checked Washington into the ground. They played the perfect underdog style....and got AMAZING goaltending.

    Make no mistake, Washington should have won game 6 but Halak stole the game. But that's what can happen and it makes no difference if it's an 8th place team or a 6th place team or a 4th place team. Goalies make a huge difference. I note you make no reference to the fact washington's no. 1 goalie (theodore) had to be pulled and they were forced to go with their back-up goalie. Hey, maybe if their no. 1 goalie had played better they wouldn't have lost the series!!

    So, in short, don't blame the washington loss on anything other than washington. It didn't matter what team they played in the first round because the way washington played, they would have lost anyway. This series only went to 7 games because MTL isn't a great team. A better team would have knocked washington out in 5 or 6.
  9. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Apr '10 17:35
    Originally posted by darvlay
    And no, the regular season counts for nothing. Just ask Boston last year. Or Montreal the year before that. Or Buffalo the year before that... and so on, and so on. Nothing has changed, man.
    Exactly. Thanks for making my point for me.

    And is this a good thing, for the league to hold a full 82 game season wherein all you have to do is play average hockey and you have as good a chance to win the Cup as anyone?

    I became exposed to the worthlessness of the regular season very early. I became a sports fan in 1986 when I was 9 years old. The Rangers snuck into the playoffs in 4th place in the old Patrick Division and upset Philly and Washington to make the conference finals. The same year, 3 of the 4 first place teams lost in the first round and the other lost in the second round.

    It's tougher and tougher to get "into" a big first place showdown in December when you know that success in the regular season is so poorly correlated to winning the Cup.
  10. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Apr '10 17:36
    Originally posted by uzless
    Man, i doubt you ever played hockey on any serious level.

    If you did, you would/should have realized that a team can have better individual talent than another team and still lose.

    The classic example is the Team USA basketball team a few years ago that got beat. They were Soooooo much better than everyone else but because they played like a bunch of i ...[text shortened]... cause MTL isn't a great team. A better team would have knocked washington out in 5 or 6.
    Were you saying the same thing after game 4 when the Caps were up 3-1 and looked like a juggernaut??
  11. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    30 Apr '10 17:47
    Originally posted by sh76
    Were you saying the same thing after game 4 when the Caps were up 3-1 and looked like a juggernaut??
    lol, a juggernaut??

    Um, lets recall.

    Game 1 victory for MTL.

    Game 2, MTL is up 4-1 and should have won making the series 2-0 MTL. The series should have been over.

    Game 3 MTL completely dominates washington for the first period. It wasn't even close. MTL just couldn't score. Washington hung on and eventually sniped a few shots to make the score difference larger than it should have been.

    Game 4. Game tied for a long time until shoddy goaltending again inflated the score.


    So, no they def did not look like a juggernaut, unless of course you simply looked at the game result. The play on the ice should have told you a different story.

    Did you even watch the games? I can't imagine you would be saying this if you watched all 7 games.
  12. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    30 Apr '10 17:58 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    Exactly. Thanks for making my point for me.

    And is this a good thing, for the league to hold a full 82 game season wherein all you have to do is play average hockey and you have as good a chance to win the Cup as anyone?

    I became exposed to the worthlessness of the regular season very early. I became a sports fan in 1986 when I was 9 years old. The Ranger when you know that success in the regular season is so poorly correlated to winning the Cup.
    Half the teams in the NHL do not make the playoffs. You can complain all you want that that is too many but it's pretty much exactly the same as the NBA

    But how can you compare NHL playoffs to the NBA or MLB anyway?

    For one, MLB (and NFL) avoids the first place team getting beat by giving them a cheesy BYE from the first round so any comparison is cheap.

    Comparing MLB and NBA is not a good comparison to the NHL because MLB and NBA rely way more on individual talent than team play.

    MLB - pitcher versus hitter while everyone else stands around watching.
    NBA- a bit better but mostly spread the floor and go screen and roll for individuals. IF you are cleveland, just give it to lebron and go for the rebound. No real team play here.

    In the NHL it's different. You can't spread the floor and let someone go 1 on 1 with someone because the defensive team doesn't really care if they leave a guy on the corner or out at the blue line because even if he gets a free shot at the net, holy cow, there is a goalie in front of the net to stop those low-percentage shots. The defensive team just crowd the front of the net and force you outside.

    It's a true team game in hockey. You can't really rely on individual talent to pull you through. Washington tried to. Washington lost.

    In baseball and the NBA, the best "teams" are the ones with the best individuals and the individual talent will pull you through if it's a test of one on one.

    In so many ways, hockey is like soccer where individual talent means very little if you don't play as a team. It's little wonder americans don't like hockey.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    30 Apr '10 18:41
    Originally posted by uzless
    Half the teams in the NHL do not make the playoffs. You can complain all you want that that is too many but it's pretty much exactly the same as the NBA

    But how can you compare NHL playoffs to the NBA or MLB anyway?

    For one, MLB (and NFL) avoids the first place team getting beat by giving them a cheesy BYE from the first round so any comparison is ch ...[text shortened]... little if you don't play as a team. It's little wonder americans don't like hockey.
    The statements about the MLB and NFL are exactly the point. Both sports choose to make their regular seasons important by limiting the number of teams that make it to the playoffs. IF the MLB would let 16 teams in, their regular season would also be a joke, as basically any decent MLB team could beat any other team ina given 7 game series.

    The only sport that has the same philosophy regarding the playoffs as the NHL is the NBA. "Teamwork" aside, the NBA has fewer upsets because there's so much scoring, that it minimizes the odds that luck will factor into an outcome. Sure, a game between 2 equal teams can be decided by luck; but if one team really "ought" to lose, 100-70; they're not going to win because of a bounce or two.

    In hockey, the better team can lose because of bad bounces. You can get a couple of flukey goals and then basically turn the neutral zone into muck for 40 minutes, get some decent goal tending and steal games that way. I didn't watch all of every game in the Washington series, but I did watch all of Game 7 and it's plain that the Caps were more talented and the better team. They outshot the Habs almost 3-1; but you give up one PP goal in the First, get a questionable waive off on the Ovechkin shot early in the third (Knuble didn't interfere with Halak; that was just bad luck); have a strange defensive breakdown on the last goal and the Canadiens can nurse a 2-1 win.

    Look, I'm not saying the Canadiens didn't deserve to win. They won fair and square. But they were not the better team. They were -6 in goal diff in the reg season and the Caps were + 85.

    +85!

    By FAR the best in the league. That's roughly analogous to a baseball team being +300 in run differential.

    Hockey is conducive to allowing the inferior teams to win individual games and series'. That's why it makes sense to keep them out of the playoffs.

    As far as I'm concerned, in the East, Buffalo, Pitt, Washington and NJ really belonged in the playoffs. The rest had basically mediocre seasons.

    In the west, I guess everyone except for Colorado can make a case for having had a really good year. But that's 11 teams. 16 is too many.
  14. 30 Apr '10 18:48 / 2 edits
    I'm really not buying your argument, dude. Sorry. Teams who deserve to be in the second round are there now. Who cares who's "better" by your standards? Your standards are irrelevant. Simple as that.

    The Caps choked that bad. It was epic.
  15. 30 Apr '10 18:54 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sh76
    In the west, I guess everyone except for Colorado can make a case for having had a really good year. But that's 11 teams. 16 is too many.
    Colorado had a great year. They had amazing rookies come up and fill the voids left over by departed veterans, they finally found their no. 1 goaltender and their coach had an award-worthy year bringing it all together.

    Colorado had a more consistent year than Detroit who were terrible the first half of the season.