As the regular season has finished and we have started round 1 of the playoffs and at the end of the second day, some interesting results have some about. Some controversy as well! But this is what the Playoff’s are about, finding out who is the best of the best of the best!
The history of the playoffs dates back to before 1926, when the NHL took over the Stanley cup and making it for there own. (From Wikipedia)
The National Hockey League has always used a playoff tournament to determine its champion, generally opening up its playoff games to a much larger number of teams, including those with a losing regular season record in some years (the most recent being the seventh and eighth seeded San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers, respectively, in 1999).
From the NHL’s inception to 1920, when ownership of the Stanley Cup was shared between the NHL and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association the regular season was divided into two halves, with the top team from each half moving on to the league finals, which was a two-game total goals series in 1918 and a best-of-seven series in 1919. In 1920, the Ottawa Senators were automatically declared the league champion when the team had won both halves of the regular season. The two halves format was abandoned the next year, and the top two teams faced off for the NHL championship in a two-game total goals series.
At the time, the NHL champion would later face the winners of the PCHA and, from 1921, the Western Canada Hockey League in further rounds in order to determine the Stanley Cup champion. During this time, as the rules of the NHL and those of the western leagues differ (the main difference being that NHL rules allowed five skaters while the western leagues allowed six), the rules for each game in the Stanley Cup Finals alternated between those of the NHL and the western leagues. Before the WCHL competed for the Stanley Cup, the Cup championship series a best-of-five series. Following the involvement of the WCHL, one league champion was given a bye straight to the finals (a best-of-three affair starting in 1922), while the other two competed in a best-of-three semifinal. As travel expenses were high during these times, it was often the case that the NHL champions were sent west to compete. In a dispute between the leagues in 1923 about whether to send one or both western league champions east, the winner of the PCHA/WCHL series would proceed to the Stanley Cup Finals, while the loser of the series would face the NHL champion, both series being best-of-three.
In 1924 the NHL playoffs expanded from two to three teams (with the top team getting a bye to the two-game total goal NHL finals), but because the first-place Hamilton Tigers refused to play under this format, the second and third place teams played for the NHL championship in a two-game total goals affair. The Stanley Cup Finals returned to a best-of-five format the same year.
Not many leagues can claim a that there finals/playoffs have been here for as long.
But as we go though the first round, game 2 has past and game 3 is half way though. Some very interesting results are happening and making us all wonder…. How did the Senators get this far…. and will they make it past the next game. But what is also concerning for the North is the Jets…. not a win yet but only 2 games played. Jets have some great skill and can do better then what they are, they are having a moose in the head lights moment and need to move it up a bit more. If the Jets can take the next game it will get a great series to watch.
The Blues & Wild what a match up we have here. Very even teams out there when they are firing, but a simple head not being where it should here and we are seeing some mixed results from both the D & O from both teams… This is going to be the gladiators match up if there is to be one this year!
Vancouver Vs Flames, for the North you cant have 2 bigger rivals almost. This is HUGH for both teams, Calgary haven’t held Lord Stanley since the 88-89 season, its a long time coming for them but not as long as the Canucks, one of the few teams not to even have the honor with the Lord! so this is a true dog fight to make it though. I am a bit bias here and will always take the Canucks over anyone as they are my Second favorite team out there, the Sedin Brothers have what it takes to lift the team and also a hold arena to get the results they want to see!
Lightning Vs Wings & Rangers Vs Penguins, WOW what can I say. Rangers coming back to try to make it all the way this year after a disappointing loss to the Kings at the 2014 Playoff’s. The definitely have something to prove. Penguins need to keep there heads about them and make sure they watch this one, if not they will be watching it from the bleachers. As for the lightning and wings, I feel these are just great rivals and always have been, at the end they are always going to be even and the Lightning may just bring this one home with the W, as they have the extra home game. This home crowd will be the make or break for this almighty rivalry.
Now this one is a bit of a Surprise to me but it may just be the new areana that is bring the new love for the Islanders, never rule them out as they will get in a do what needs to be done. But the Caps, if the Islanders cant keep control of Ovechkin this will be a run away series here.
Now for the most important game of them all
Blackhawks (my all time fav) Vs Preds…. There is never going to be any love lost between these 2, The preds love to trow themselves around a lot and play the hard hitting game. But the Hawks are finding ways around this atm with the 2-1 lead. The most interesting part of all of this would have to be the net minders for the Hawks. The Crow with his experiance in the net at these times and the only one on the ice in any of the games to be holding a stanley ring as goalie, should be well up to this task…. But this does not seem to be the case this year. The first Game letting 3 goals by on 9 shots in the First Period. And then in game 2 letting another 2 goals past, playing out the rest of the 60 min and allowing another goal past for the win to the Preds. Game 3 brings an turn from Coach Q, with changing up the net minder to the big 6 Foot 6 inch Darling, what a goalie we are seeing here. Racking up so far a 0.975 SV% after his 79 saves in 128min in 2 games.. yes thats right only 2 games, with a double over time in the net but missing the first period for Game 1, Darling brought home the win. The biggest thing we have noticed here is that the BIG man is just having fun, playing around with the refs and making sure his D is on the puck. He is bring life back to this team right when they need it and making them all remember why there are here.
ITS ALL ABOUT THE FUN, its why the started when they were kids and still do to this day and will do with there kids and grand kids long into the feature!!!!