2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
Some good first round matchups. Toronto and Tampa playing each other again, New Jersey vs. NYR should be intense, Dallas and Minnesota meeting again in the first round, Edmonton vs. LA, Boston vs. Florida, Carolina vs. NYI, defending champion Colorado vs. the expansion Seattle Kraken, and Vegas vs. Winnipeg.

Anything but lifting the Stanley Cup will be considered a huge disappointment for the record-setting Bruins, but the Stanley Cup playoffs usually provide surprises. I like the Rangers as the team that could emerge out of the East and then win the Cup, but the Devils and Hurricanes are also dangerous. Would also like to see Connor McDavid and the Oilers win as he needs at least one Stanley Cup championship to cement his legacy.

The Penguins missed the playoffs for the first time since Sidney Crosby's rookie season in '06, the longest streak among the four major pro sports leagues. They had a quite flawed roster this season and were not enjoyable at all to watch as they lacked passion and motivation and were soft, slow, old, lazy and mistake prone. It's actually surprising they even came close to making the playoffs as the curtain looks to have set on Crosby, Malkin and Letang as the "core" of a viable Cup contender. I thought they should have traded or let Letang and Malkin go their own way years ago and now the team is stuck with their no-trade contracts as well as some other bad contracts. The entire organization is stale as can be and needs to be shaken up. At least it was a good run for a number of years.
 

Flint

Mentor
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
1,468
The Penguins situation is similar to the Red Wings that had a long playoff run with a couple of cups. They stuck with the core too long, which is hard to avoid as those guys usually get long expensive contracts and are hard to move. For Pittsburgh's sake I hope the "rebuild" doesn't last as long as it is in Detroit. It's been brutal. The other Pittsburgh teams are not doing well now either (also like Detroit). So it's going to suck if the Pens become basement dwellers.
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
The decline of the Red Wings, Black Hawks and Kings are often mentioned by knowledgeable Penguins fans as the team's likely fate for a while, especially Detroit as they had a very long run of success. It's pretty much an unavoidable situation to a degree in a salary cap league, but the Penguins now have few prospects as their early draft picks were continually traded, while Malkin and Letang are not exactly aging like fine wine and the team was booted in the first round of the playoffs for four straight years before failing to make it this year. The smart teams trade or shed players a year or two before they begin to fade instead of after the fact when they have little value. At any rate I always like watching the Cup playoffs whether the Penguins are involved or not. It's the toughest, most grueling test in sports.
 

Freethinker

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
7,081
Location
Suffolk County, NY
In NY, the expectations for the Rangers are sky high. Realistically, anything sort of a Stanley Cup appearance would be considered a disappointment by many. Whether fair or not, many Rangers fans are looking past the Devils in the first round despite the Devils finishing with more points in the regular season. I expect the series to go 6 or 7 and there should be a lot of excitement in the tri-state area because of it.
 

SneakyQuick

Mentor
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
1,528
Devils beating the rangers would be the sweetest outcome in the whole playoffs for me. I’d like to see the cats go deep but devils over rangers would be great.

Was such a good rivalry during the Brodeur years and the devils had a good season again. I’d like to see the rangers look past them a bit and get tripped up but there is little chance of that given the rivalry

The east is seriously stacked this year but it may also be its undoing. It’s so hard to make the cup finals from the east that whoever gets there might not have enough left in the tank

Should be great
 

Bucky

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
9,278
Watched the Tampa Vs Toronto game last night, lots of scoring! Looks like Toronto playoff woes will continue.
 

Freethinker

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
7,081
Location
Suffolk County, NY
Rangers looking really good through 2 games so far.

Also the Maple Leafs had a nice bounce-back in game 2. I imagine it would be good for the sport if Toronto broke their long playoff win drought.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2022
Messages
297
I've been a huge Ranger fan since 1985. I'm very surprised they are taking the Devils behind the woodshed so far. I don't think the Devils will get swept though I hope they do and Florida takes Boston to6 or 7 games as the Rangers should get by Carolina pretty easily but a rested Boston should get by the Rangers in 5 or 6. They are just a better overall team and very well coached. Gerard Gallant is a capable coach but he mixes his lines up to much and as on paper this is the most 5alented Rangers squad I've ever seen they don't play well as a unit. I love Patrick Kane but he is not a team player and forwards like Chris Kreider lack consistency. I'd like to see another Ranger cup win before I die but this team is so cap heavy on just 4 players they aren't going to do it anytime soon unless it's now because they can't afford Tarasenko or Kane next year and they lack serious organizational depth especially on defense and goalie. Now or never but they won't get by Pasternak and the Bruins.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2022
Messages
297
I'm a little worried about my Rangers. I'm 90 percent sure they will go up 3 to 1 on NJ tomorrow night but once again Boston may be one of the greatest teams ever assembled outside of the Gretsky Oilers but they might have a weakness. Seven of their top 20 players are 32 or older. If the Rangers do meet with them in the ECFs they need to hit them as much as possible. Problem is the Rangers are a super finesse team and outside of Chris Kreider, Barclay Goodrow, Jacob Trouba and possibly Ryan Lindgren who is tough as nails but coming off a serious shoulder injury the Rangers are wicked soft.
I like Adam Fox but he is overpaid and could not hold a candle to Bostons McElroy right now.
Artemis Panarin is being paid 12 million a year and last night he missed the net on a breakaway that would have given the Rangers the win. He's a great passes but he is never good in the clutch, can't backcheck and turns the Puck over at an alarming rate. The Ranger website I read daily comments are pretty smart fans. A huge amount of them think he will be traded if the Rangers eat half the salary. I hope they are right. Please dump Trouba and don't resign kandre Miller. They are terrible clearing the Puck and Miller is soft as he'll and Trouba makes 8 million a year for the skills of an above average Ahl player. If the Rangers don't win this year they are going to not make the playoffs for another 4 years.
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
The biggest surprise so far was LA taking a 2-1 lead in games over Edmonton as the Oilers were as dominant down the stretch run of the regular season as Boston was all season long. Then the Kings went up 3-0 in game five tonight before the Oilers battled back and finally prevailed 5-4 in the first OT to tie the series. Very entertaining game.
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
It looked like NJ-NYR was headed for a sweep after the Rangers won the first two in Jersey in easy fashion, but the Devils have now won two straight at MSG. The Devils are young, hungry and very fast -- they skated circles around the Penguins this season -- but they needed to tighten up their defense after the first two games and they have. Should be must-watch hockey now.
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
The Maple Leafs come back from down 4-1 to tie Game 4 and force OT and then win it to go up 3 games to 1 over Tampa after losing the first game. Tampa has been the Leafs' roadblock in recent years but Toronto hasn't won a playoff series since 2004(!) so they have a huge monkey to get off their back if they can close it out at home in Game 5.

Tampa won two straight Cups and made it to the finals last year, but they are following a predictable arc as even though they're still a formidable team their mini-dynasty is likely over, though only a fool would count them out of this series before it's official.

The arenas aren't just filled with super-energetic crowds, each team seems to have an outside area for thousands of proles who can't afford the high-priced playoff tickets, and they're even crazier than the fans inside. Good thing hockey's just a "niche" sport, as so much evidence shows otherwise.
 

SneakyQuick

Mentor
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
1,528
The Maple Leafs come back from down 4-1 to tie Game 4 and force OT and then win it to go up 3 games to 1 over Tampa after losing the first game. Tampa has been the Leafs' roadblock in recent years but Toronto hasn't won a playoff series since 2004(!) so they have a huge monkey to get off their back if they can close it out at home in Game 5.

Tampa won two straight Cups and made it to the finals last year, but they are following a predictable arc as even though they're still a formidable team their mini-dynasty is likely over, though only a fool would count them out of this series before it's official.

The arenas aren't just filled with super-energetic crowds, each team seems to have an outside area for thousands of proles who can't afford the high-priced playoff tickets, and they're even crazier than the fans inside. Good thing hockey's just a "niche" sport, as so much evidence shows otherwise.
The area outside the Toronto hockey arena at even a regular season game is pretty nutty. I very much hope the leafs can dispatch the bolts but you never know until it’s over!
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
The Seattle Kraken play in a "green" facility called Climate Pledge Arena. Wouldn't expect anything else for a team from Seattle. I'm wondering how Portland will outdo them if that city ever gets an NHL team -- perhaps Kill Whitey Arena will be their home.

Florida staved off elimination tonight, winning Game 5 in OT in Boston. The Bruins dominated everything but the goal scoring. The OT winner happened after a bad Boston turnover.

All 16 first round teams are still alive.
 

Bucky

Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Messages
9,278
Nice I hear Seattle runs their stadium on manure from the homeless. Now that’s progress!
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
I didn't realize there are playoff games this afternoon, guess the NHL wants to compete as little as possible against the three day religious holy festival being conducted by the NFL and its fake news media partners.

Tampa beats the Maple Leafs in Game 5. Gonna be some angry hockey fans in Ontario if a strong Toronto squad once again fails to get out of the first round.

And the atmosphere may be ugly in MSG for Game 6 as the Devils are about to go up 3 games to 2 on the Rangers after losing the first two. It seemed like this might be the Rangers' year but now they're up against it.

Edit: didn't realize I was watching replays of games from Thursday night, not games played this afternoon.
 
Last edited:

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
And now the Panthers have come back after being down 3-1 in games and have forced a Game 7 against the Bruins, who aren't looking nearly as mighty as they did during the regular season. That's another fan base that will be disgusted if the Bruins get eliminated at home by the team that just squeaked into the playoffs.
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
The Maple Leafs finally advance past the first round, beating the Lightning in OT. It was a tense, very well played game by two talented and desperate teams, a game any hockey fan could appreciate.

Auston Matthews scored Toronto's first goal while John Taveras was credited with the OT winner that was flukey as it bounced off a Tampa defender's skate in front of the net. Steven Stamkos scored Tampa's goal so the big stars came up big and both goalies were outstanding. Will be interesting to see now if the Maple Leafs can keep advancing. If Boston loses Game 7 tomorrow and New Jersey eliminates the Rangers then they'll have a very decent chance to advance out of the East.
 

SneakyQuick

Mentor
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
1,528
And now the Panthers have come back after being down 3-1 in games and have forced a Game 7 against the Bruins, who aren't looking nearly as mighty as they did during the regular season. That's another fan base that will be disgusted if the Bruins get eliminated at home by the team that just squeaked into the playoffs.
The thought of those disgruntled bruins fans and their highly annoying accents would make the victory that much sweeter.

Here’s hoping. Let’s go Cats!!!
 

Freethinker

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 3, 2008
Messages
7,081
Location
Suffolk County, NY
Panthers do the incredible and knock off the regular season Goliaths after being down 3 games to 1. In this game 7, the Panthers needed a goal with their goalie pulled and a minute to continue their season and they got it. Then they prevailed in OT. Needless to say, the Boston fans were devastated.
 

Flint

Mentor
Joined
Jan 27, 2016
Messages
1,468
Stupid Bruins, what a choke. Makes the regular season look like a joke. Their goalie let them down late in the game.
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
The Bruins were very tight and nervous for most of the game. Their passing and decision making was bad and they looked like a shell of their regular season juggernaut status. Only after they took the lead in the third (thanks to several straight power plays) did they loosen up. But Florida dominated the overtime and were the better team for most of the game.

This makes ten straight years the President Cup's winner has been eliminated in the playoffs, usually in the second round. The Blue Jackets sweeping Tampa in the first round a few years ago when the Lightning were almost as dominant as this season's Bruins, and now this one are the two biggest upsets. Florida just barely made the playoffs, by one point over a sub-mediocre Penguins team, so I'm amazed by this. But hey, Boston sports fans have been spoiled over the past 20 years so now they get a taste of what DWFs regularly go through everywhere else.
 

SneakyQuick

Mentor
Joined
Sep 11, 2021
Messages
1,528
The Bruins were very tight and nervous for most of the game. Their passing and decision making was bad and they looked like a shell of their regular season juggernaut status. Only after they took the lead in the third (thanks to several straight power plays) did they loosen up. But Florida dominated the overtime and were the better team for most of the game.

This makes ten straight years the President Cup's winner has been eliminated in the playoffs, usually in the second round. The Blue Jackets sweeping Tampa in the first round a few years ago when the Lightning were almost as dominant as this season's Bruins, and now this one are the two biggest upsets. Florida just barely made the playoffs, by one point over a sub-mediocre Penguins team, so I'm amazed by this. But hey, Boston sports fans have been spoiled over the past 20 years so now they get a taste of what DWFs regularly go through everywhere else.
The thought of approximately 18000 bruins fans leaving the arena shellshocked after their epic collapse is heartwarming.

It also goes to show how the nhl playoffs is divorced from the regular season.

Very glad the cats pulled it out. They played the bruins very tough and the bruins were gifted a couple penalties but the Panthers survived.

Bobrovsky was terrific in goal but it was just an all out effort and the panthers had total belief. Easily the best thing to happen this week!
 

Don Wassall

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
30,561
Location
Pennsylvania
And now the expansion Seattle Kraken beat the defending Stanley Cup champs on the road in Denver in Game 7! So the defending champion Avalanche are out in the first round, Boston the team that put up the most points ever in the regular season falls at home in Game 7, and the Lightning, who had been in three straight Stanley Cup finals, also fall in the first round, with the Devils and Rangers to decide their series in a Game 7 tomorrow. Amazing first round action and results this year with lots of very high quality hockey.
 

white lightning

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 16, 2004
Messages
20,943
And now the expansion Seattle Kraken beat the defending Stanley Cup champs on the road in Denver in Game 7! So the defending champion Avalanche are out in the first round, Boston the team that put up the most points ever in the regular season falls at home in Game 7, and the Lightning, who had been in three straight Stanley Cup finals, also fall in the first round, with the Devils and Rangers to decide their series in a Game 7 tomorrow. Amazing first round action and results this year with lots of very high quality hockey.
I will root for anyone other than Seattle. The left leaning soy boy types that are all tree huggers that mostly live up there in the city just
drive me crazy. I know I shouldn't root against a team because of the fans but I just can't do it. What a name for an arena. Lol.
 
Top