white is right
Hall of Famer
- Feb 16, 2006
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 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 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.