May 13 2015 07:30AM
The Ducks and Hawks are set to square off in the Minnesota State Division, uh, I mean, the Western Conference Finals. I apologize in advance for the Might Ducks movie references, but this is the first time the Anaheim Ducks and the Chicago Blackhawks have ever met in a playoff series, so it’s necessary to do so. The Hawks are pretty similar with the Conference Finals, as they’ve made it this far for the third year in a row, and for the fifth time in the last seven seasons. The Ducks, on the other hand, haven’t been this far in the playoffs since way back in 2007 when they beat the Red Wings and then went on to win their first ever Stanley Cup.
The Ducks have made it look pretty easy so far. Gordon Bombay, err, I mean, Bruce Boudreau’s squad has only lost one game so far throughout the first two rounds of playoffs, and they’re fresh off absolutely dominating the Flames in five games. The Hawks haven’t really had it too tough either, though.
Chicago was pretty much everyone’s favorite to come out of the West, but based on the way the Ducks have carved their way through the first two rounds, this could be a pretty interesting series. Anaheim hasn’t been challenged yet, so how will they fare against the toughest competition available?
May 10 2015 04:46PM
Team Canada is icing one of its best rosters at the World Hockey Championship in recent memory. The team features a wealth of NHL superstars up front that could (really should) help Canada win its first Gold Medal since 2007, or even its first medal overall since 2009. Even though the roster is made up of players who didn’t make the playoffs, the team is stacked, and they look like they could be a Stanley Cup contender on paper (but they may have to fix their goaltending first).
Before this team could play in the NHL, though, not only would they have to figure out their goaltending situation, they would also have to become cap compliant. How big is this stacked Canadian World Championship team’s cap hit for the 2015-16 season?
May 08 2015 02:41PM
Dustin Byfuglien --like many of the Winnipeg Jets' best players-- is a pretty controversial player. You either love him and think he's the best, or you just out right hate him.
Regardless of which category one falls in line with, almost all agree that the Big Buff has a tonne of talent in many areas but struggles in others. Very few will deny his offensive prowess, and almost everyone can remember at least one moment where a dangerous play evolves from a defensive miscue.
Which camp you lie in depends on your opinion of whether or not his strengths overcome his weaknesses.
Let's take a look at the numbers.
May 08 2015 07:30AM
Since the 2005-06 lockout, we’ve seen quite a few memorable Cinderella Runs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In fact, there have been so many, it almost seems inevitable that a seventh or eighth seeded team is going to make a deep run into the playoffs while a top seeded team is knocked out in the first round. The stage was set in 2006, the first year into the new era of the NHL, when the eighth seeded Oilers made it to within one game of winning it all. Since then, we’ve seen the seventh seeded Flyers make it to the Finals, the eighth seed Canadiens to the Eastern Finals, the eighth placed Kings win it all, and many other upsets.
What goes into being one of these so called Cinderella teams? Are these teams really actually even underdogs? In the case of the Los Angeles Kings, no, not at all. To a lesser extent, same goes for the 2006 Oilers. Sometimes, these are mediocre teams who ride luck all the way through season and into the playoffs. Other times, actually, pretty commonly, these are examples of good teams who had an unlucky regular season, resulting in them being way lower in the standings than they should have been.
Let’s take a closer look.
Nation World HQ
May 08 2015 07:00AM
The Flames stay alive, Bob Hartley, the Battle of Alberta, Leafs coaching and GM favorites, Kevin Bieksa moving, Oilers interviewing coaches, the Kings are old and more in this week's Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.