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Friday, April 21, 2006 

What Do Pat Quinn's Career and the Regular Season Have In Common?

2006 NHL Playoff Bracket

With the playoffs set to get underway, and my awards ceremony behind us, it's time now to focus on the upcoming NHL Playoff Matchups. The first round has a couple of interesting match ups, primarily between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Buffalo Sabres, and between the Calgary Flames and the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. To me, at least, the other series seem quite predictable, although I'm sure like every other year there will be some surprises in store. That's the great thing about sports - they aren't played on paper. That's why leagues that are worth watching have playoffs, not just final standings.

Eastern Conference

(1) Ottawa vs (8) Tampa Bay
Heatley, Spezza, Alfredson, Havlat, Chara, Redden, Phillips, Meszaros, Emery/Hasek. And Scott Burnside over at ESPN actually picked the Senators to lose to a Grahame/Burke mess in net. That's a spectacular mistake. How can someone like him have a sports writing job, but here I sit writing this thing on my own time? It's not fair. It's like when I watch Berg and Belak "play defense", or see John Ferguson Jr "GMing" without being given the chance to do either myself. It's just not fair. Senators in 6.

(2) Carolina vs (7) Montreal
A couple weeks ago when I was looking forward at the playoff picture I had this to say about Montreal: "Montreal - Best Case Ottawa, Worst Case Carolina. The Habs do not want the Caines. Trust me. It would be over fast". Well, you gotta dance with the one who brung ya, so I gotta stay true. Hurricaines in 5.

(3) New Jersey vs (6) New York Rangers
The Devils set the NHL record for longest win streak to end a season, by finishing with 11 straight wins. The way Brodeur and Elias are playing right now, it's hard to imagine that streak not continuing for a couple more games. Rookie of the year candidate Lundqvist made the Rangers season, as was evidenced by their slide to the 6th spot at the end of the year. Without him at 100% the Rangers are sunk. Jagr can pull a couple games out of his pocket, though. Devils in 6.

(4) Buffalo vs (5) Philadelphia
A Buffalo Philly playoff series yet again. How many times are we going to have to pretend to care about a Buffalo Philly series? At least, for once, I didn't buy tickets to a game in the series (which means my mom got an Easter present for once that wasn't playoff tickets). It could go either way, so I'll say Philadelphia will take this one since everyone else is taking the Sabres and I like being different. Besides, we've all seen what Forsberg is capable of doing in the playoffs. Flyers in 7.

Western Conference

(1) Detroit vs (8) Edmonton
Let the destruction begin, although the Wings leading scoring, Datsyuk, is going to miss at least the first game of this one. That will help a bit, but with a mismatch like in this series, it's not going to matter. Pronger, remember, plays in Edmonton, and the playoffs are where his defensive deficiencies shine. Unless the IR grows to include Legace, Lidstrom and Zetterberg, this one will be over before it starts. Red Wings in 5.

(2) Dallas vs (7) Colorado
This will be a good and, and in the end the series will go to the better goalie. If Aebischer was still in Colorado, I might be more inclined to swing their way, but there are way too many questions right now about both goalies left in the mountains. Add to that Jason Arnott, Brenden Morrow and Sergei Zubov's amazing years and Dallas should have no trouble in this series. Stars in 6.

(3) Calgary vs (6) Anaheim
Calgary Calgary Calgary. Phaneuf is this. Kiprusoff that. Stanley Cup run this. Quack quack quack, Mister Duckswerth. Ducks in 7.

(4) Nashville vs (5) San Jose
After Joe's arrival, the Sharks have been arguably the best team in the league. The Preds rode Vokoun to a great record, and then lost him. You're tired by now of hearing this same stuff over and over so I'll make it simple. Sharks in 6.

RIP Paddy Q

Some other notes from today to take care of before calling it a night - the firings. The Leafs got it wrong in firing their coach and not their GM, and the Kings got it wrong by firing their GM and not just giving it another year to build. They don't have a bad team in LA, just one that wasn't ready yet. And they need to get rid of the distraction himself in Avery. Once Labarbera has another year of experience and gets his head in the right gear, he will be one of the best, and the Kings will be competitive. I liked their rebuilding in LA, but lack of results for one year means a job lost, as Pat Quinn knows very well. If McCabe hadn't got injured the team would be in the playoffs right now, and Quinns job would be secure until the next "emergency" in Toronto. The problems with the Leafs are by no means his fault. The front office staff, and particularly the GM in Toronto have no idea what's going on. Not really rebuilding, not really going for it now, not allowing young guys to develop unless there are injuries, and a trading deadline that saw a real defenseman (Klee) leave down for a Luke (Richardson). It was like bringing Keith Carney into Vancouver and pretending that was a good pickup to solidify the defense. It doesn't make sense, and at least to me that was transparent from a 3000 miles away. The GM's in these cities need to be destroyed. Not just replaced, but literally destroyed. They shouldn't be allowed to mess with NHL teams ever again. The fans just deserve better.

So, what did we learn from all of this? If you're a GM and you decide to rebuild, your team will improve and show hope for the future (ie. LA Kings, Toronto Raptors), but you will lose your job in the process (ie. LA Kings, Toronto Raptors). If you don't rebuild, and stick with the guys in place who had some success in the past but clearly can't cut it anymore, your job will be spared because you can blame the coach (ie. Toronto Maple Leafs). "These guys were fine before, he must have just lost his touch behind the bench". It's disgusting, and I really just don't understand how front office staffs, especially MLSE, can be so blind to reality over and over again. I need to move out of Toronto. It's the only way to relieve my frustration. I hear East Rutherford is a nice town.

flames and sabres for sure, on goaltending situations alone

I don't care who wins....I'm so depressed:(

you'd rather live in a swamp?

quinn didnt get results this year, so he lost his job. thats how sports work.

its nice to see someone finally pointing out prongers ineptitude on defense. its painful watching him. if he cant grab or interfere you in some way, you just get to have the shot you want. absolutely painful to watch.

the way they praise him is unbelievable. i just dont see it. hes just bryan mccabe and probably even somewhatworse on the defensive side.

we love you sports guy! kiss!

you think the leafs didn't make the playoffs because mccabe got injured?

i think the leafs didn't make the playoffs because of the way he played in the last 31 games of the season, 4 goals in 31 games and a -6 from the big powerplay specialist.plus his stupid penalties and poor defense hurt his team.couldn't even hit the empty net twice in the last game.i don't see why you love him so much.

surprisingly yes, i think a team that finished 2 points out of the playoffs missed the playoffs by losing 8 straight games. i see how that could come as a shock to you, but they just need to be 1-6-1 in that run in order to be in, and yes i think their most offsensive defenseman can make up that difference.

14 power play points in those 31 games. 16-11-4 in those games, after dropping 8 in a row when he was injured. the 10 games they played in april he had a total of 3 penalties. The question really is, why do you hate him so much? Oh, and I guess more importantly, why do you even watch the Leaf games anyway? No ones forcing you to.

Kisses for everyone!

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