2016-2017 NHL Season

Discussion in 'Hockey' started by celticdb15, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    You make a great point, Don. Sullivan completely changed the culture of the team, and it's paid off. I still remember all of those Penguin series the last 4-5 years before last season where they'd be giving up 3-4 goals a game it seemed like. It's been night and day with Sullivan on the bench.

    Crosby has been playing great this year as well. He's been very impressive, helping to carry the team at times when various Penguins have been out with injury, with 45 goals and 45 assists this season. It's good that Malkin has come back (who's impressed the first couple of games in the Columbus series), along with defensemen Maata and Daley. With Letang out for the year, the Penguins need all of the defensive help they can get in the playoffs. Justin Schultz has helped with the defense as well; he's taken his game to another level this season, and is helping to soften the blow of losing Letang. It sounds like Carl Hagelin may be back as well should the Penguins beat Columbus, which should help bolster an already very strong attack. Young guns Jake Guentzel and Conor Sheary have been very impressive playing alongside Crosby. They are fast, talented, and fun to watch.


    The Capitals and Maple Leafs square off in Game 2 tonight. It should be very interesting, considering the Maple Leafs had Washington on the ropes in the first game before they came storming back to win in OT.

    Edit: The Blackhawks and Predators will also be on NBC tonight for those interested. The Predators won game one. I'm hoping Chicago is able to come back and beat them in the series. The Predators feature the media's favorite player in PK Subban.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  2. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    The Maple Leafs prevail in double OT off an amazing combination play! The series is evened up at 1-1 going back to Toronto. The Young Leafs looked pretty impressive, with Andersen saving multiple good looks by the Capitals.

    The Blackhawks lose 5-0, and go to Nashville not having scored a goal in two games at home... yikes.
     
  3. Riggins44

    Riggins44 Mentor

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    I watched all of the Caps game and was disappointed they didn't pull it out, but what a fantastic contest, fought fiercely right up to the end by both sides. It is so great to watch a game with only white men playing!
     
  4. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I ended up watching up almost all of it too, had things to do but it was such a great game I couldn't not watch it.

    Toronto is a very impressive young team, fueled by rookies and some key veterans, definitely a team quickly on the rise no matter how they fare in the playoffs. It's been a long time since Toronto's had a strong team.

    I'm rooting big time for Washington to get knocked off by Toronto or at least put through the grinder to advance as I think they'll win the Stanley Cup this year if they can get by the Penguins, assuming both advance to the second round where they'll have to face each other, which will be the Stanley Cup final two rounds early as far as I'm concerned.
     
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  5. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Pittsburgh with a HUGE come from behind win today! Columbus came out firing, and had Pittsburgh down 3-1 within 8 minutes. However, the Penguins fought back, with two goals by Rust to even things up at 3-3 before Jake Guentzel got his 2nd of the day to put the Penguins ahead 4-3. Columbus got the goal back from a Brandon Dubinsky shot in the 3rd period. Guentzel completed his hat trick off a great feed by Crosby (he got the Penguin's first goal) and won it in OT for Pittsburgh. Fluery started off shaky, but played a great rest of the game, giving up only 1 more goal after the first 10 minutes. It was a hard fought game by both sides, but I'm not sure how the Blue Jackets will come out after today's heart-wrenching loss that put them down 3-0 in the series. Go Penguins!!!
     
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  6. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    What a game!! Penguins stuck a dagger in the hopes of Columbus with the OT win. Great comeback win, and they were clearly the better team after the first five minutes. Was definitely their best game of the series so far; when they're non-stop relentless to go along with their skill level they are very hard to beat. Hopefully they can finish the Blue Jackets in four or five games while the Capitals continue to have their hands full with the upstart Maple Leafs.
     
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  7. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Maple Leafs beat the Capitals in OT to take a 2-1 lead in the series. All three games have gone to overtime. Toronto is playing fearlessly, Washington has to be very concerned at this point. They'll have a bunch of free agents this summer so this could be their last best chance to win the Cup in the Ovechkin era.
     
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  8. Matra2

    Matra2 Master

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    Caps cratering again in the playoffs. All three games against the Leafs - who got 23 fewer points than Washington in the regular season - have gone to overtime with Toronto now leading series 2-1.

    The Leafs are faster but they shouldn't be beating Washington. Ovechkin just doesn't have the leadership abilities of Sidney Crosby.

    Meanwhile the Senators and Canadiens now lead 2-1 against Boston the NY Rangers respectively. A good round, thus far, for Canada.
     
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  9. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    All games tonight went to OT!! Nashville and Anaheim both come back from multi-goal deficits and win two thrillers against Chicago and Calgary! Both teams take commanding 3-0 leads over the losing sides. Calgary's was especially brutal; they lost a 4-1 lead, and lost in OT 5-4. Chicago lost a 2-0 lead in the third period as well. I think Calgary will get swept; however, Chicago will probably win the next one and get the series back to Chicago.
     
  10. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    The Penguins lose a close game tonight 5-4. Admittedly, Fleury didn't get a lot of help from the defense on at least a couple of those goals. Defensemen Daley (Pittsburgh's lone black player) and Maata didn't play well at all tonight. It was a hard fought game, with Pittsburgh fighting down to the end. It would've been a great achievement to sweep a desperate Columbus team that was the 4th best in the regular season. I'm hoping the Penguins will be able to seal the deal on Thursday night. As long as the Fleury that played the first two homes games shows up, they should be fine.

    For those interested, Edmonton and Connor McDavid are starting now against the Sharks.
     
  11. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The Penguins didn't play with desperation and ended up letting Columbus back in the series. The goaltending was comically bad on both sides. Fleury is back to being "playoff Fleury" the past two games. Bobrovsky has been bad the entire series. Thankfully Fleury is all but gone after the season, probably to Las Vegas in the expansion draft, if they even want him. Always over-rated and a train wreck in the playoffs most years, but the Pittsburgh hockey media has always inexplicably fawned over Fleury (must be his ever-present room brightening smile). I think the Penguins will win the next game and close it out, but they need a healthy Matt Murray to have their best chance of duplicating last year's playoff run.
     
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  12. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I agree. While Fleury has been good at home, that's not good enough in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Unfortunately, I haven't heard when Murray is supposed to be back. Also, I've seen a few articles saying Fleury has now earned the job based on his first two games, so I'm not sure if we'll be seeing Murray anytime soon, unless Fleury keeps having games like his last two, and Murray can get healthy. Hopefully, "home-game" Fleury in this series will be back on Thursday.
     
  13. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I'm making a lot more of an effort to watch more NHL playoff games this year. Usually, I try and catch all of the Penguins games, but my schedule has cleared up for a bit, so I've been able to enjoy a few of the other series as well. I'd recommend trying to watch the games if you can; they're usually a lot of fun, and pretty exciting as well.

    It looks like San Jose is playing like the team that made the Stanley Cup Finals last year. After not scoring a goal at home in a Game 3 loss, the Sharks are all over the Oilers tonight, up 4-0 in the 2nd.
     
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  14. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    The NHL's is super-secretive about injuries, so no one knows Murray's status. But he's definitely Mike Sullivan's guy and he'll start as soon as he's healthy enough.

    Fleury is maybe the worst playoff goalie in NHL history. He cracks under pressure, always has going back to his junior hockey days. He flops around in the net overplaying pucks and is often out of position, gives up big juicy rebounds on a regular basis, and it's breath-holding time when he goes behind the net to play the puck. And he has a knack for letting up goals at the worst possible times. He let in a goal 11 seconds into Game 3; tonight the Penguins had all the momentum entering the third period, down 3-2 but making a strong comeback the latter part of the second period. And Fleury lets in a terrible goal half a minute into the third period, game over for all intents and purposes. But the whole team played badly tonight, hopefully they got it out of their system.

    I've written anti-Fleury rants every year in the playoffs lol. He has the longest tenure on the team and I can't wait until he's finally gone this summer.
     
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  15. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been watching as much of the other series as I can. The Toronto-Washington series has been off the charts enjoyable to watch. The NHL playoffs and the majors in golf and tennis are easily my favorite sports events now. But there's nothing comparable to what hockey players have to go through to prevail through four consecutive best of seven series. The captain of the winning team lifting the Stanley Cup like a conquering barbarian couldn't be more appropriate symbolically.
     
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  16. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I'm really hoping so!! Murray won me over during last year's playoffs. Not on here as much, but I've been as big of a Fleury critic as anybody the last few years. I still remember that Islanders series a few years ago. Pittsburgh did win it, but every game seemed like it was 5-4. I also remember the Lightning series as well a while back, when the Penguins were up 3-1, and then went on to lose. There are also the consecutive losses to the Rangers before the Penguins finally beat them last year. Despite the articles I've seen, I'm hoping you're right, and these last two games should give Murray his job back once he's healthy.

    I've loved the Toronto series as well, it's the young guns against the very experience Capitals, who've looked VERY shaky thus far. The further that series goes, the more pressure Washington will be feeling. I also enjoy watching Edmonton play, although not so much tonight; the Sharks are up 6-0 after just two periods! It's looking like Anaheim will be the best team left out West after the first round; they're in position to sweep Calgary, and the Wild and Blackhawks are on the brink of getting swept.
     
  17. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    Pittsburgh needed to come out and play well tonight, and they definitely did. Penguins win Game 5 by a score of 5-2 and win the series!! The Pens' offense was lethal tonight, Crosby and Scott Wilson had great goals. Ian Cole stood out to me on defense; he was stellar tonight. Fleury also played great tonight, only allowing 2 goals on 50+ shots! He was bailed out on two occasions by his teammates that I remember that would've been goals off of rebounds, but other than that, he played great tonight. I'm glad Pittsburgh has some time to rest up before the next series.
     
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  18. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Columbus is a big, strong, physical and relentless team. If they had better finishers on offense they might have won the series. It definitely felt closer than 4 games to 1, but good on the Pens for eliminating them.
     
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  19. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Chicago swept by Nashville, scoring just 3 goals in four games, I wonder what kind of odds a bettor could have gotten on that happening.

    So the #3 overall team in the regular season is eliminated (Blackhawks), along with #4 (Columbus), and #5 Minnesota is down 3-1 to St. Louis. And #1 Washington is deadlocked 2-2 with the upstart Maple Leafs.
     
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  20. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    I still can't believe that Chicago was swept. That's the beauty of the Stanley Cup playoffs; no team is safe, and nearly every series is interesting. There is a lot more parity in the NHL playoffs than nearly every other sport. Most teams that are in the playoffs are usually very talented, unlike the NBA, which usually has it's fair share of blowout games. Chicago did not look like a team that would get swept, especially with the stars they have.

    San Jose and Edmonton are currently playing, with the Oilers just going up 1-0. This is a very important game for them after the Sharks blew out Edmonton 7-0(!) in Game 4. In addition to McDavid, the Oilers also have #1 pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who anchors their 2nd line. He's not too bad himself. This is a good series to watch: A very young and talented Oilers team up against one of the most veteran teams in the NHL in the defending Western Conference Champion Sharks.
     
  21. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    It's amazing how good Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton still are for San Jose. In their age 37 seasons, the two are still anchoring San Jose's first line, and they're still good players. That's one thing I like about the NHL: the longevity of a lot of players in the league.
     
  22. Jack Lambert

    Jack Lambert Hall of Famer

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    The Oilers withstand a LOT of pressure from San Jose and win game 6 on the road to advance! You gotta feel for guys like Thornton and Marleau. It was a great series, and I look forward to seeing what the young Oilers can do the rest of the way. Should be another great series for them with Anaheim coming up.
     
  23. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Edmonton made San Jose look old and slow the last two games, after the Sharks had pummeled them 7-0 at home in Game 4. San Jose will likely have to rebuild as it looks like their window of opportunity to win the Cup is over with too many key players in their mid-30s and older. The Oilers and Maple Leafs are similar teams, young and fast and already with lots of skill. The NHL changes a lot from year to year but it'll be surprising if both don't continue to build from how well they've done this season.

    I'm hoping the Leafs extend the Capitals to Game 7 by winning tonight, but have a feeling Washington will close it out.
     
  24. Riggins44

    Riggins44 Mentor

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    Yep, the Caps beat the Leafs 2-1 in OT and advance to face the Pens in the second round! Should be a fantastic series!
     
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  25. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Both teams have some factors in their favor. The Penguins have a lot of experience and savvy gained from last year's successful playoff run. And they've had Washington's number in the playoffs seemingly forever, to the point that the Capitals must feel jinxed against them. They have the best offensive talent of any team, and despite all the injuries they've had they still had a great regular season and knocked off the Blue Jackets in five games. But they have some notable negatives that they didn't have against Washington last year -- Matt Murray is still injured and Marc-Andre Fleury has become a league-wide joke in the playoffs to everyone but the Pittsburgh media. Fleury will need to continue to play above expectations at home like he did in the first round and help win at least one game on the road, though the Capitals have notably better finishers than Columbus. They may need Murray to be healthy enough to play at least part of the series to have a legitimate chance. And Kris Letang is done for the playoffs, and Karl Hagelin, their fastest and best-checking forward, is also still injured.

    Washington won the President's Cup for the second straight year and is loaded on paper. But they struggled against Toronto, though that may have made them more battle hardened for the series against Pittsburgh. Motivation won't be an issue that's for sure. This could be their year of destiny after so many playoff disappointments, but if they lose again, in the second round again and to their arch-nemesis, the team is likely to be overhauled in the offseason as a lot of big names will become free agents. There'll be a tremendous amount of pressure on Washington to win.

    The Capitals are the team that worries me the most. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I regard this series as the real Stanley Cup final, though that may be underestimating Anaheim, St. Louis and Nashville, who all looked very strong in the first round. I think either Washington will exorcise their quarter-century plus of playoff demons against the Penguins and dominate the series and win easily, or else the Pens will win in a very closely contested six or seven games.
     
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