Can the breakout teams of the past help us predict Calgary, Nashville, and the Islanders' future?

Cam Lewis
May 22 2015 08:30AM

Every year there’s one of those teams who really exceeds expectations and rides a seemingly endless, unsustainable hot streak into the playoffs. Sometimes these teams stick, other times, they fall back into oblivion. This year we had the Flames, Predators, and Islanders all break out and massively exceed their preseason expectations. None of them were expected to be any good this season, especially the Flames, who were supposed to be knee deep in the McDavid sweepstakes, but they vastly exceeded their expectations and put together really good seasons.

Last year, we had Colorado and Tampa Bay. Both of them were lottery watching in the shortened 2013 season, but managed to exceed expectations and finish as two of the best teams in the league in 2014. As we all know, one of them fell off a cliff, and the other one looks like they might win the Stanley Cup this year.

So what’s going to happen with Calgary, Nashville, and Long Island? How can we tell when these teams are legitimate, rather than just luck driven overachievers? 

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
May 22 2015 06:45AM


Oilers and Leafs land the coaches they want, the Canucks ongoing rebuild and Jordan Subban, Flames draft plans and cap situation, Zack Kassian, Ladi Smid, the NHL draft, free agency and more in this week's Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.

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Draft Theory: On Risk and Reward

money puck
May 18 2015 12:34PM

Hockey is full of time honored cliches: "We're going to take it one game at a time" "A two-goal lead is the hardest one to hold on to in hockey" "When you put the puck on net, good things happen" "We need to play a full 60 minutes" "We need to give 110%" "Your goalie has to be your best penalty killer". I'm not sure if it's that we love cliches, or the play-by-play guys and players love to repeat them.

In any case, one of the most overused cliche's as it relates to prospects is "He's a high risk, high reward player", but in many cases this term is pretty inaccurate. 

I'll explore the relationship between risk and reward when evaluating prospects after the jump.

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Thomas Drance
May 16 2015 01:29PM


The Nation Network isn't accustomed to playoff success. What else do you expect from a blog network based out of Edmonton?

We're experts in the draft lottery though, and we know a thing or two about playoff pools - particularly the Nation Drafts charity playoff pool that we run annually. With the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs already in full swing, let's take a moment, look back at round one, and check out the progress that the Nation Network's poolies are making in the competition!

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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals Preview: New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Cam Lewis
May 15 2015 12:47PM

I can’t say I’m surprised at all. The New York Rangers made easy work of the Penguins in the first round, then proceeded to steal their second round series from the Washington Capitals. Even when the Caps were up 3-1 in the series, it was nearly impossible to count the Rangers out. The Tampa Bay Lightning were almost on the wrong side of an epic collapse of their own, letting the Canadiens back into the series after going up 3-0. 

Although their paths getting to this point have been a little unpredictable, these are the two teams that belong here. I don’t think this Eastern Conference Finals matchup comes as much of a surprise to anybody as the Rangers and Lightning really are the cream of the crop in the East. On one hand, you have last year’s Eastern Conference Champions and the President’s Trophy winners, and then you have the team who looks poised to become the league’s next powerhouse. Then you also have Martin St. Louis and Ryan Callahan facing their former teams in a playoff series, which is pretty cool. 

Are the Rangers bound for another shot at their first Stanley Cup since 1994? Or are the Lightning ready to establish themselves as the team to beat in the East? Let’s take a look.

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