The playoffs are the best and the worst times depending on what team you cheer for.
If you’re an Oilers fan, where our team has not made the playoffs in ten years, the playoffs stink for news. It’s understandable. The off season has begun but with games being played and June 24th so far away, the moves aren’t going to happen. It’s a long wait with plenty of speculation, off season targeting, mock drafts and reviewing players.
It’s totally fine. There’s a lot of great stuff out there (which I will be linking). That said, there will be more of a focus on the playoffs since the Oilers season is done.
Around the Oilers
Jason Gregor of Oilersnation raised the issue where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins might not be so great defensively and could be a trade target.
The Oilers Rig’s Supernova had a great post analyzing right handed trade options for the Oilers. There’s a good list to choose from.
Oil on Whyte looked at Bob Stauffer throwing out Dylan Strome’s name in trade talks.
If you like advance stats, you should look at Woodguy’s latest blog about defencemen.
Coppernblue hits it hard by revealing that a team that hadn’t made the playoffs in ten years is actually a bad team.
Lowetide ponders if Peter Chiarelli could go big game hunting.
This week we had our first three teams get eliminated: The Detroit Red Wings loss in five games to the depleted Tampa Bay Lightning, The Los Angeles Kings fell in Five games to the San Jose Sharks and the New York Rangers were dumped in five against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night. We also have the St Louis Blues doing what they know best: disappointing in the first round.
Couture Bites LA
Logan Couture had some harsh words for the Kings
“Throughout the last couple of years things have been said by players on that team that to me I take it as disrespectful. It’s nice to stick it back to them and beat them in this series,” Couture said. “Even in this series someone said on the team they had us right where they wanted us.Wonder if they have us where they want us right now.”
My take: To be fair, the Kings had the Sharks recently in the playoffs, especially after the epic collapse of 2014 where the Kings pulled the reverse sweep on route to the Stanley Cup. The Kings are my third team and I have a friend who is a big Sharks fan, so I have a personal rivalry there.
That said, the better team won. The Sharks completely outplayed and man handled the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings did not play good hockey at all this series. While I had the Kings winning the series, Couture is in the right here. They showed the Kings they can finish. San Jose could be scary in the playoffs. Those are some heavy demons that are now gone.
Does Detroit need to Change?
The Red Wings, while contuining their impressive playoff streak, were bounced from the first round yet again and this time, are losing Pavel Datsyuk as he is leaving back to Russia. Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press suggests The Red Wings need to re model their philosophy.
I tend to agree with Sharp. The Wings, while being a playoff team, are not a Cup Contender. They are aging and are simply not good enough. Dylan Larkin definitely stood out but so did Andreas Athanasiou. Sharp suggests the Wings missing playoffs and focusing more on developing of talent. They have some nice pieces there.
The Fall of the Rangers
Blueshirtnation has a biting review of the New York Rangers. Like Detroit, their window for contention has seemingly closed after being handled any what way by the Penguins this playoffs. While the Red Wings have some good prospects, the Rangers were in win now mode for the last few years, striving for playoffs success. However, in doing so, the Rangers have sold the farm to achieve this. The main example in this piece is the Keith Yandle trade that sent a second rounder, John Moore, Anthony Duclair and a 2016 first round pick, for a defenceman that will be leaving this off season.
The Rangers could be hurting in the very near future with the burden of overrated and bad contracts in Rick Nash, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi.
That’s Why They Call It the Blues
The Blues had a 3-1 series lead. The Blues had a 3-1 lead after the first period. The Blues continue to do what they do best: blowing it when it matters the most.
The series against the Blackhawks is tied 3-3 after a 6-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last night.
The most perplexing: There seems to be trouble brewing between Vladimir Tarasenko and Ken Hitchcock.
Tarasenko played only around sixteen minutes last night. That’s absurd. He is one of the game’s most dangerous snipers and he somehow managed to play only around 6 minutes after his spat with Hitchcock. That’s a dumb move that can cost someone their job.
Still there’s one game left in the series. St Louis can take off a gorilla off their backs with a win.
The Hitchcock Tarasenko Spat
Donksoi scores on Quick
Connor McDavid answered some questions from some kids!
The Week Ahead
Right now, the Flyers and Capitals are playing in Game Six. Washington, like San Jose and St Louis, need to have a deep playoff run to get rid of the chokers label. Capitals are leading 3-2 in the series.
Later today, the Wild are making a series against the Stars forcing a game six by winning two straight games. The Stars are leading the series, 3-2.
The Florida Panthers are down 3-2 to the Islanders and play at 5 PM MDT, while the Ducks can finish off the Predators at 6 PM MDT, as they too lead 3-2.
Thanks for reading today as always. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! Enjoy the Playoffs.