Game 1 is in the books and after a brief moment of post-season exaltation that was nine years in the making, the Leafs were handed a 4-1 drubbing from the Beantown Bruins. ICYMI, here’s the first ever Playoffs Game in 10 in MLHS history via Mislav.
Not shockingly, this game resembled those from prior seasons, where 5-on-5 hockey looked like a Bruins powerplay, giveaways were in abundance, and the Leafs’ top offensive players were unable to gain the Bruins zone with any sort of speed, aggression or consistency. At certain points in the game, even the Bruins’ fourth line had the Leafs hemmed into their own zone. As Carlyle put it during his post-game presser, the team just seemed to implode and “guys were falling down” even when no one was around (psst…Barb Underhill).
I don’t want to belabor what’s already been talked about last night but what in high hell was that?!
As I’m sure most fans are doing these days, I’ve been incessantly checking the Eastern Conference standings just to get a snapshot of what the current match-ups are and to make guesses about how things might shake-out. Following last night’s confounding loss, and before I lost my cool, I noticed something interesting about the recent records of the Eastern Conference playoff teams. In particular, if you combined the records of these playoffs teams’ most recent games against non-playoff teams, you’ll find that they’ve gone a dismal 1-5-1 against non-playoff teams. The list of playoffs teams that have played, and lost, their most recent games against a non-playoff team include the Penguins, Bruins, Canadiens, Leafs, Islanders, and Rangers. Now, this stat isn’t meant to absolve the Leafs of an unacceptable performance against the Lighting, however it appears that they are not alone in their struggles to finish strong despite meagre competition.
IT’S OVER. The Maple Leafs are playoff bound after 9 years on the outside looking in as the clinch has been sealed with a 4-1 victory in Ottawa Saturday night. Enjoy this moment, Leafs fans.
There was a lot at stake last night, with two game sevens on the docket, and several second round berths still up for grabs. With four teams already securing spots in the conference semi-finals, the anticipation leading into last nightâ€™s game was even greater because of the uncertainty.
The Vancouver Canucks came to play in Game 7. Alex Burrows scored early inthe first period to give the Canucks an early one goal lead, which they held well into the third period. Two players on particular – Robero Luongo and Ryan Kesler competed hard and both had strong performances. Kesler was all over the ice and getting to the dirty areas to generate scoring chances. Although he wasn’t as flashy as goaltending counterpart Corey Crawford, Luongo was poised between the pipes and avoided his trend of crumbling under pressure. Unlike the previous three games of the series (all Vancouver losses), the Canucks managed to bring a physical element to the game, out hitting the Blackhawks 37-14 midway through the third.
After last night’s outcome, the second round of the Western Conference playoff picture has been determined. The Eastern Conference wraps up tonight, with Game 7 of the Boston/Montreal and Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay series.
What are your thoughts on the matchups on the West and who which teams will win tonight in the East?
After watching the playoffs from the sidelines for the past few seasons, the Lightning have made the most of their first post season appearance since 2007. Tampa Bay looked shaky in the first two games of the series, but has settled into the series and have given the Penguins all they can handle.
Head coach Guy Boucher, one of the most promising young coaches in recent memory, has had a calming influence on his team. He has prepared his team to overcome back-to-back elimination games and fought back to tie the series at three games apiece. Led by Steve Downie’s game winner and a series of terrific saves from veteran backstopper Dwayne Rolson, the Lighting earned a 4-2 win to force game 7.
With all of their momentum of their side, Tampa looks to secure a spot in the second round when they visit the Pens in a do-or die situation on Wednesday.
I hate to direct traffic towards Glenn Healy’s employer but there has been an MLHS Playoff Pick ‘em Pool set up over at CBC Sports. Register for an account, locate the league entitled “Maple Leafs Hotstove” and fill in the password “MLHS” to enter. From there, you pick six forwards (three from each conference), four defencemen (two from each conference) and two goaltenders (one from each conference) while staying within the 30 point “player value” limit. CBC has a grand prize of a KIA Optimus Turbo up for grabs but given I’ll be driving that home MLHS is offering up a prize of its own. The winner of the Maple Leafs Hotstove pool will receive a Pucking Hilarious t-shirt of their choice. Toss your pool picks and playoff predictions in the comments section. The final first round playoff matchups for your referral:
Photo Credit: Zimbio.com
Alexander the Great comes to Toronto with a win in mind. In our case tying the season series against the Capitals means prolonging what little is left of our playoffs hopes. However, even a win tonight canâ€™t win the war against numbers. If Buffalo manages to beat Tampa, or even if that game goes into overtime the Leafs will officially be eliminated from the playoff race. Grab your voodoo paraphernalia, tarot cards, whatever other mumbo jumbo you might have and hope, just hope.
The stretch drive is on and teams are aware of the implications of every game. Three-point games make the average fan cringe while driving NHL management crazy.
Yesterday we point out the records of teams when playing a tired team on the second night of back-to-back games
The following show how many games are left for each team taking advantage of tired teams, and opponents faced as the tired team.
I absolutely love playing golf. There are days â€“ many, many days â€“ all I want to do is golf.
Might be some Leaf fans that share my love. Some fans are forced into golf due to the lack of playoffs.
Ahh, the playoffs .. but a memory. What better way to understand or reacquaint with the postseason than by using an example too many Leafs fans know.
The Playoffs are about to start and what better time than now for the CFB predictions. We highlight every series with individual writers giving their own opinion on why or how a particular team can win the series. This is the Round 1 Predictions for the Western Conference.
The Playoffs are about to start and what better time than now for the CFB predictions. We highlight every series with individual writers giving their own opinion on why or how a particular team can win the series. This is the Round 1 Predictions for the Eastern Conference.
With Files from Gil Brown
The current point system is most equitable for playoff races in January and individual franchise marketing, beginning as early as midseason.
Part of the logic behind Detroit Red Wing’s GM Ken Holland’s proposal, shot down in GM meetings in Naples, Florida in March, to change the season ending tie-breaking measures from Wins, to Regulation Wins is incentive for teams to get the job done in 60-minutes.
It’s about motivation, from puck drop in October through to April. But the current point system has greater connotations for marketing games, ticket sales and shaping the playoff race, the biggest issues for owners.