Taking a look at what factor luck plays in being a "Cinderella Team"

Cam Lewis
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.

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
May 08 2015 07:00AM

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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.

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What can previous playoffs series tell us about what's going to happen in the second round, and beyond?

Cam Lewis
May 06 2015 08:00AM

The playoffs are crazy. There’s no other way to put it. And of course, this year has been no different. Although the playoff are wacky and unpredictable, there does appear to be a pattern over the past couple of seasons that suggests what it takes to win. Underlying stats would suggest that generally, the team with the better Corsi For percentage wins the playoff series, but when that doesn't happen, what's the deal? Is it luck? How far can that carry a team? What can the last two years of first round playoff match ups tell us about where the teams in this year’s playoffs are headed? 

Let’s take a look. 

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Nation Drafts 2015 charity playoff pool update

Thomas Drance
May 02 2015 12:35PM

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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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Stanley Cup Playoffs Round Two Preview: Montreal Canadiens vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Cam Lewis
May 01 2015 08:00AM

By now, the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning should be pretty familiar with one another. Aside from playing each other multiple times throughout the season, the Canadiens also swept the Lightning in last year’s Atlantic Division semifinals. Last year’s playoff series was only the second time in playoff history the two teams met. The first was back in 2004, and as we all know, that went well for Tampa, as they went on to win their first and only ever Stanley Cup.

This series will feature the most prolific offence in the league and the best goaltending, as the Lightning and Habs each finished at the very top of the league in goals for and goals against respectively. 

The major issue for Tampa is whether or not Steven Stamkos, a key part of their regular season juggernaut, can get his game together when it matters most. If he wasn’t able to get it done against the Red Wings, will he be able to against a vastly superior defensive team in Montreal? If not, will this be a repeat of last year’s sweep for the Canadiens? 

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