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Thread: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    OK. Most everybody has had enough time to where I suspect that you're at least open to the idea of tuning in to watch the Finals, even if it's only casually. I got lucky and was able to watch Game 1 in the bar of a lovely Japanese restaurant in Vancouver with a bunch of people who weren't rooting for either Boston or St Louis and that kind of let me hit the reset button a bit. Having had a spectacular meal first probably helped as well.

    So ... we're knotted at a game apiece through two with the series heading back to St Louis for Game 3. Seems a lot of commenters are surprised that the Blues were able to find a W in Boston since they looked a bit slow and over-matched in Game 1 once Boston found their hands. I'm not so sure that Boston is that much better than St Louis, to be honest. Tuuka appears to have remembered that he's not actually a brick wall and the Blues are really good at generating traffic and scoring out of the mess in front. Yeah, they're slower but they're also bigger and won't get knocked around by the Bruins so easily. I think this one could be a fairly tight, back and forth kind of deal. Now ... watch Boston win three in a row.

    As for overall playoff narratives ... one thing I'm noticing is that this playoff season is cementing the recent shift towards speed in the league. The Blues were always a hybrid in the West, which leaned more heavily into the monster sized rosters we saw in the last cycle. Teams like Anaheim and LA haven't just aged out, they're also on the wrong side of the hill when it comes to the league's shift towards younger, more mobile rosters. Boston isn't a full tilt speed freak team like Toronto, but they've managed to mix young, fast legs in with their battleships to create a sneaky fast squad that still features the grunt from guys like Carlo, Chara, and Backes. And you're going to see St Louis have to make more adjustments than Boston will need to make in this series because of that speed. Speed kills, children. It always did ... but that's the trend as the league is increasingly influenced by the tidal wave of cheaper entry level players.

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    Hall of Famer TheBigKahuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    There have been times where it's looked more like WWE wrastling than world class hockey. I wish the league would clean up the game. The best teams should be the best teams, not the biggest goons.

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    Hall of Famer LJG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    I enjoyed watching last night for the most part. Pulling for St Louis because they are not Booins. Who can get bent along with all their idiotic fans. Damn, autofill almost got that 100%!
    Keep Music Evil

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBigKahuna View Post
    There have been times where it's looked more like WWE wrastling than world class hockey. I wish the league would clean up the game. The best teams should be the best teams, not the biggest goons.
    The reluctance of NHL officials to actually enforce the rulebook in the playoffs only gets worse as the thing goes along. That's one advantage a bigger, more physical team like St Louis has over Carolina when facing the Bruins. Yeah, the Bruins are the kind of team that will bend every single rule and take 100% of the wiggle room the refs offer them on the ice, but St Louis is physical enough to take more of the resulting punishment. The Canes weren't shrinking violets or anything, but that Blues team is HUGE by comparison.

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    Hall of Famer LJG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    I was surprised they called one so early in OT on the Bs.
    Keep Music Evil

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    I quit watching when it turned into a rodeo.

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffbear View Post
    The reluctance of NHL officials to actually enforce the rulebook in the playoffs only gets worse as the thing goes along. That's one advantage a bigger, more physical team like St Louis has over Carolina when facing the Bruins. Yeah, the Bruins are the kind of team that will bend every single rule and take 100% of the wiggle room the refs offer them on the ice, but St Louis is physical enough to take more of the resulting punishment. The Canes weren't shrinking violets or anything, but that Blues team is HUGE by comparison.
    Outside of the fact that the Canes back in the big dance on a long run was the highlight of this playoff season, my biggest takeaway has been just the brutally awful decline of NHL officiating overall with no improvement in sight moving forward. The rulebook is not enforced like you mention JB, but the endless excuses made for gross incompetence of the officials is getting tiresome. The game is too fast, the players are too big, the ice is too small, the internet and social media put so much more pressure on these refs...blah, blah, blah. The NHL has done a terrible job of training and grooming officials at every level, the inconsistency in the officiating and just the overall lack of incompetence happens almost nightly. No one said the job is easy, and maybe the league needs to spend a helluva lot more money preparing these future refs to handle the game on ice.

    This playoff season has seemed like every other night there has been too many butchered calls and officials just getting things wrong far too many times.

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    All-Star SlapShots's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Pierre McGuire was on NHL radio the other day and while he retains facts like an idiot savant, his opinions are nauseating. His take is you can either have a league with hitting or without hitting. What BS! How about the proper use of a hit-- get the puck away from a player versus, for example, Ovi targeting a player to make a hit for a hit's sake, head shots and that one horrible call against Ferland. By comparison, the NFL is able to regulate hits with some degree consistency (no comment on the lack of call in the NFC final) and is able to put in new rules/responses to address issues as they arise (see the response on the Saints complaint-- received league wide backing; use of video replay). The idea that the league is capricious and arbitrary in what it chooses to enforce/call is the most frustrating thing.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by LJG View Post
    I was surprised they called one so early in OT on the Bs.
    By that point they owed them at LEAST one call. At one point in the final 2-3 minutes of regulation the refs let three or four OBVIOUS hooking/holding calls against Boston slide ... one of which blatantly took away a scoring chance.

    It's that same BS math we see every year in the playoffs. We're not going to "decide the game" with a call late in regulation, so we store up a mental balance and "even it up" in OT. It's garbage, but it happens in nearly every playoff game that goes to OT.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by SlapShots View Post
    Pierre McGuire was on NHL radio the other day and while he retains facts like an idiot savant, his opinions are nauseating. His take is you can either have a league with hitting or without hitting. What BS! How about the proper use of a hit-- get the puck away from a player versus, for example, Ovi targeting a player to make a hit for a hit's sake, head shots and that one horrible call against Ferland. By comparison, the NFL is able to regulate hits with some degree consistency (no comment on the lack of call in the NFC final) and is able to put in new rules/responses to address issues as they arise (see the response on the Saints complaint-- received league wide backing; use of video replay). The idea that the league is capricious and arbitrary in what it chooses to enforce/call is the most frustrating thing.
    Look ... McGuire is a blithering idiot and nobody in the hockey media (outside of his fellow morons at Comcast/NBC) has any respect for him at all. That said, the nonsense he spews ends up sounding an awful lot like the kind of stuff that must be discussed in league offices based on what comes out in the form of changes and rulings.

    I have a hard time arguing with Sean McIndoe on this topic ... Down Goes Brown on Twitter and the Athletic. He's 100% correct when he says that the biggest reason not to trust the NHL with even more video replay is that they will simply do what they've done a million times in the past and make an even bigger hash of things. The NHL makes the slippery slope fallacy look like an imperative from on high. They take something Kindergarten level simple like addressing the obvious Matt Duchene off sides miss from a couple of years ago and give you whatever the heck that crap was that happened to Gabe Landeskog in the 2nd round. And they do it REGULARLY.

    I'll even stand on his foundation and take it a step further. When it comes to governance, the league is managed unprofessionally and in an extremely reactionary manner. That was the case back in the early days when we got genius ideas like putting all 6 new expansion teams in their own Division back in 1967 and it's the case today. They wear better suits today and have nicer offices, but it's still the same old result. You expect the guys who brought you the glow puck to learn from their mistakes, but they don't.

    And those same dolts and lawyers are supposed to "fix NHL officiating." How, by making it even worse? Because that's all they ever do. You really want those clowns weighing in on fundamental changes to the rules on hitting? Because God help us all if they do.

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    NEw rules are t needed, just call them the way the are written. Hooking is hooking, holding, etc.

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    Hall of Famer TheBigKahuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    It shall be an interesting, and short (yay) off season. I think many people are curious to see what Dundon/Waddell do this summer.

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    This is the first Stanley Cup final that I have not watched a minute of it yet and have no desire to watch any of the remaining games. I am pulling for St. Louis.....but mainly because I hate Boston. I have no feelings for St. Louis either way. From my perspective there just really isn't a compelling story line or players to get me to tune into the Finals.

    As already noted, the officiating is terrible and plays into the physical style of play of both teams. It is time for the NHL to start paying attention to calling penalties again and actually enforcing the rulebook. It is getting rough to watch.

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Oskar Sundqvist has been suspended for game 3 for boarding Matt Grzelcyk last night. This is the 2nd time this post season that a penalty assessed as a minor on the ice has resulted in a suspension. Recall that Charlie McEvoy was suspended after his hit on Josh Anderson Columbus game 6.

    It’s a pretty good video from Player Safety, great explanation of the rule and multiple camera angles.

    https://www.nhl.com/news/oskar-sundq...al/c-307621494

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaPen View Post
    This is the first Stanley Cup final that I have not watched a minute of it yet and have no desire to watch any of the remaining games. I am pulling for St. Louis.....but mainly because I hate Boston. I have no feelings for St. Louis either way. From my perspective there just really isn't a compelling story line or players to get me to tune into the Finals.

    As already noted, the officiating is terrible and plays into the physical style of play of both teams. It is time for the NHL to start paying attention to calling penalties again and actually enforcing the rulebook. It is getting rough to watch.
    I saw one of those "see who each state is rooting for in the Finals" maps yesterday and it sounds like you're not alone. Other than New England there were only a couple of other random states in B's yellow and black ... Illinois because Blackhawks, weirdly enough SC, and like Idaho and one of the Dakotas. Bottom line, pretty much nobody outside of New England can stand Boston sports teams in general.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by andyt View Post
    Oskar Sundqvist has been suspended for game 3 for boarding Matt Grzelcyk last night. This is the 2nd time this post season that a penalty assessed as a minor on the ice has resulted in a suspension. Recall that Charlie McEvoy was suspended after his hit on Josh Anderson Columbus game 6.

    It’s a pretty good video from Player Safety, great explanation of the rule and multiple camera angles.

    https://www.nhl.com/news/oskar-sundq...al/c-307621494
    Yeah, I don't think they had a choice. The contact point was crystal clear and he had enough time to bail on that hit. Sundqvist isn't really the kind of guy to head hunt, but he probably got distracted by whatever the heck position Grzelcyk managed to get himself in along the boards. What was he even trying to do there? He basically managed to turn so awkwardly that 100% of his body was touching the boards before he got hit. Weird play.

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    It looked to me like he was deking, faking one way and moving another and lost his balance or an edge.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by dwind View Post
    It looked to me like he was deking, faking one way and moving another and lost his balance or an edge.
    Yeah ... it's just rare to see a professional look that awkward.

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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    A piece of tape or a gouge in the ice can cause it.

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    Mod Squad jeffbear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Stanley Cup Finals Notes ... and the post season narrative takeaways

    Quote Originally Posted by dwind View Post
    A piece of tape or a gouge in the ice can cause it.
    And that's a narrative point that's going under-reported IMO ... the ice has SUCKED throughout these playoffs. The league ice "experts" take control of the process in the various arenas in the post season now, whereas they used to just play a consulting role. Our crew in Raleigh was ticked off that the league's site manager wouldn't let them employ their usual techniques for humidity management. Veteran fans definitely commented on the higher temps in the building, which is a key factor in humidity control. Our guys generally keep the A/C blasting to keep down the moisture in the air, but again ... not their call in the playoffs. That directly led to soft ice at PNC and we've seen the similar results elsewhere all post season long. Boston's ice has been horrible, and let's be honest ... that's not normal for TD Garden. Especially with the Celtics being done fairly early in the process.

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