2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs

white is right

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The playoffs have been fascinating to watch this year. I picked Edmonton to go to the finals as it seemed like the natural progression of the team since they drafted Connor McDavid -- finally making the playoffs and then getting to the conference final last year, before bowing out at home in the second round last night to Vegas. McDavid will be going into his ninth season in '23-24 having still not reached a Stanley Cup final much less won one. It'll be a huge blow to his legacy if it remains that way the rest of his career.

But McDavid is only one player. Vegas, Florida and Carolina are showing very well this year that winning playoff series is even more about discipline, tenaciousness and extremely hard work than it is about just talent. Teams that are serious about raising the Cup have to be all in on paying the price, which is why there are so many upsets and why nothing beats the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Dallas-Seattle Game 7 tonight should be another great game. Seattle is another team that works like hell and never relents for even a second. Dallas plays hard too and I hope they win but the Kraken have been very impressive. If they win tonight, it'll be a second year expansion team against a very successful sixth year expansion team in the Western Conference final.

BTW, McDavid played superbly throughout the two series the Oilers were in. He isn't to blame in the least for the team's playoff failures. McDavid is exponentially better than Auston Matthews, who played like a slug against the Panthers. Jack Eichel of the Golden Knights is also much better than Matthews when it comes to seeing the ice and setting up scoring plays.
The Toronto media has had field day of breaking down the 2nd round debacle of Toronto. As you said Matthews, Marner and even team captain Tavares have been criticized for poor play in the playoffs. The playoffs are another animal from the regular season and the little things change series. I noticed the Panthers were tight in their defense and to a man back checked and were willing to block shots.

The gm and coach could both walk the plank after this disaster it would hard to trade any of the big 4 as they are all being paid top salaries and are hard to squeeze into other teams salary caps.
 
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Don Wassall

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The Toronto media has had field day of breaking down the 2nd round debacle of Toronto. As you said Matthews, Marner and even team captain Tavares have been criticized for poor play in the playoffs. The playoffs are another animal from the regular season and the little things change series. I noticed the Panthers were tight in their defense and to a man back checked and were willing to block shots.

The gm and coach could both walk the plank after this disaster it would hard to train any of the big 4 as they are all being paid top salaries and are hard to squeeze into other teams salary caps.
I was watching Matthews throughout the Game 5 finale loss at home, and he kept losing the puck, losing his footing, couldn't connect on a difficult pass or set up a play to save his life, and just generally looked like a fourth liner. I kept waiting for him to at least make some splash plays, as McDavid does a dozen times a game, but there were none. Tavares has always been known as a hard worker so with him maybe it's a bit of age kicking in.
 

Flint

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The Toronto media has had field day of breaking down the 2nd round debacle of Toronto. As you said Matthews, Marner and even team captain Tavares have been criticized for poor play in the playoffs. The playoffs are another animal from the regular season and the little things change series. I noticed the Panthers were tight in their defense and to a man back checked and were willing to block shots.

The gm and coach could both walk the plank after this disaster it would hard to trade any of the big 4 as they are all being paid top salaries and are hard to squeeze into other teams salary caps.
The Leafs losing pissed my off almost as much as the Bruins losing. What a pathetic effort by the Leafs in the OT of their last game. It was like Florida was on a power play most of the time, and then they give up the odd man rush on the game winning goal!
 

SneakyQuick

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Florida continues to find ways to win. Outstanding goaltending by Bobrovsky and timely plays by barkov and Tkachuk. Really has been fun to watch
 

Don Wassall

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Barring a miracle, it'll be Vegas vs. Florida in the Stanley Cup final. Both seem to be teams of destiny so should be fun to watch for hockey fans.

The Panthers and Golden Knights play a lot alike -- they're fundamentally sound, give relentless effort including battling for every puck, and both have a suffocating defense.
 

SneakyQuick

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If Bobrovsky keeps playing as he has been Florida will win in no more than 5. He is significantly better than Oettinger on the stars and also than the knights youngster.


Time to hunt !!!!
 

Don Wassall

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If Bobrovsky keeps playing as he has been Florida will win in no more than 5. He is significantly better than Oettinger on the stars and also than the knights youngster.


Time to hunt !!!!
The Stars have come back from the brink of a sweep and now it's 3 games to 2 with Game 6 in Dallas on Monday. Every game has been tightly contested other than the Game 3 blowout, so Dallas definitely has a chance to pull off one of the rarest feats in pro sports, coming back from down 0-3 to win in 7, though Vegas still has to be considered the heavy favorite to move on.
 

NikoDuke

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I'm happy for both Vegas and Florida but, this year's playoffs have been the most boring to watch in a long time. Seems the NHL is reverting back to grinding, physical hockey.
 

SneakyQuick

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I'm happy for both Vegas and Florida but, this year's playoffs have been the most boring to watch in a long time. Seems the NHL is reverting back to grinding, physical hockey.
I’m a cats fan and I have to say I disagree. Sure there is a lot of grinding but the games have been nail-biters for the most part. Far more entertaining than the negro felon’s league playoffs.

Let’s go cats! Time to hunt!
 

NikoDuke

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I’m a cats fan and I have to say I disagree. Sure there is a lot of grinding but the games have been nail-biters for the most part. Far more entertaining than the negro felon’s league playoffs.

Let’s go cats! Time to hunt!
No argument that the Panthers are a compelling story and the games have been closely contested.
But I think the games are interesting because in general games in Stanley cup playoffs have a lot of meaning. But, if many of these playoff games were regular season games in Feb, most fans wouldn't be entertained by the on ice product.

I hope I'm wrong but, I get the sense the NHL is moving away from skill.
 

SneakyQuick

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I suppose it’s possible. The panthers are a deep team without a lot of superstars


The oilers have two of the best players in the league and are fun to watch but it’s not enough to survive the playoffs

The Stanley cup playoffs are so physically demanding that it doesn’t lend itself as much to a finesse game. That said. Check out the Bob probert documentary on prime video and you’ll see how much less fighting there is these days. Perhaps it goes in waves?
 

NikoDuke

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I suppose it’s possible. The panthers are a deep team without a lot of superstars


The oilers have two of the best players in the league and are fun to watch but it’s not enough to survive the playoffs

The Stanley cup playoffs are so physically demanding that it doesn’t lend itself as much to a finesse game. That said. Check out the Bob probert documentary on prime video and you’ll see how much less fighting there is these days. Perhaps it goes in waves?
Agreed the right composition for a winning team seems to be a mix of skill and grit. Oilers, Maple leafs seem to lack this mix.
But, most NHL GMs are lazy thinkers so instead of bringing on players with the right intangibles, they just seem to do what the other guy is doing. And now it seems the other is leaning to size and strength.

Thanks for the recommendation. I have seen it before and frankly, I don't mind the fighting in the game as it can serve a purpose. I just hate dump and chase style of hockey.
 

Don Wassall

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I've enjoyed the heck out of the playoffs this year. Exciting, high caliber play and Florida and Vegas both play hard every shift of every game so I'm hoping for a highly entertaining final. If Florida prevails it'll be one of the all-time great playoff runs.

The only downside is there's been too many days off since the Western Conference final ended; the final should have started Thursday instead of tomorrow.
 

Don Wassall

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Vegas ends up dominating an outmanned and tired Florida team, crushing them in Game 5, 9-3 to win the greatest trophy in sports. The Golden Knights are big, deep, talented, relentless and fundamentally outstanding and got better as the playoffs went along. Would have to put them up there with the strongest Cup winning teams over the past two decades or so.
 

NikoDuke

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I admit this years playoffs hasn't been my favorite when it comes to the on ice entertainment but, I realize that's subjective.
Congrats to Las Vegas and even more impressive is the team's owner who said that they would win the cup by 6th year of their existence. And they did indeed win it in year 6!
 

SneakyQuick

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Vegas ends up dominating an outmanned and tired Florida team, crushing them in Game 5, 9-3 to win the greatest trophy in sports. The Golden Knights are big, deep, talented, relentless and fundamentally outstanding and got better as the playoffs went along. Would have to put them up there with the strongest Cup winning teams over the past two decades or so.
Yeah they outplayed my cats. I do think the physical play in the east hurt us ultimately as we were clearly worn down by the final. Regardless, Vegas played a dominant game and fully deserved the Cup.

Tkachuk played with broken ribs and I believe Lundell or Forsling played most of the playoffs with a broken foot.

Oh well next year it will be time to hunt!
 

NikoDuke

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Yeah they outplayed my cats. I do think the physical play in the east hurt us ultimately as we were clearly worn down by the final. Regardless, Vegas played a dominant game and fully deserved the Cup.

Tkachuk played with broken ribs and I believe Lundell or Forsling played most of the playoffs with a broken foot.

Oh well next year it will be time to hunt!
Listening to a hockey podcast this morning , they were stating that the Florida roster may look quite different next season and may impact their chances.
 

SneakyQuick

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Well most of the key players are locked up so I’m not too worried. We don’t have a depth issue (I don’t think). If anything we have a couple of guys who are too expensive but still tied up (like Bobrovsky)
 
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