I’ve got to post something just because I’ve had a post about being empathetic to Leafs fans on the front page for like a week and I’m over it. (Okay, one last word on it: if you haven’t read Tyler Dellow’s amazing post on the probability of seeing a game like that again, go do that now.)
MacLean for Jack!
Unsurprisingly, Piddy Macaroon got his second consecutive Jack Adams award nomination today. I think we can all agree it’s well-deserved, considering the combination of low payroll and injuries he had to deal with. But one has to wonder at what point the expectations game catches up with him.
As we all know, the Jack Adams is awarded to either the coach who is perceived to have done the most with the least, or the coach who wins so handily in this parity-filled league that the team’s success just has to be his doing, right? In the battle of the paupers, MacLean and Boudreau go head to head–as if neither of them have anything to work with. All MacLean had was Vezina caliber goaltending and Boudreau had relative unknowns like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan.
This angle is a bit of a joke. If it’s expectations we’re talking about, why not Capuano for getting the Islanders into the dance, or Todd Richards for having Columbus playing competitively all season long? Or even Hitchcock again? He has a good team, but that’s one of the lowest payrolls in the league and Blues were a regular season powerhouse yet again.
In any case, it’s probably going to be hard for the jury (or whatever ramshackle assembly of arena workers and carnies they have vote on this thing) to ignore Chicago’s record-setting start to the season. I mean, good is good, but the record books sort of elevate a person’s case beyond reproach.
And hey: Michel Therrien wasn’t nominated! Yeah, fuck that guy!
Oh yeah, the playoffs
Sigh…the Pens are pretty good. Didn’t like much of what I saw from the Sens this week, but they had their chances. It’s going to be a really fine line all series long. Ottawa has to play with grit and toughness, getting right up in the Pens’ wheelhouse. But at the same time, if you give a team like that power plays, they’re going to eat you alive. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t see Ottawa getting this team off their game through peskiness, given all the veterans they have in their lineup. Which brings us back to that old mainstay…Help us, Craig Anderson. You’re our only hope.
Anyone watch that LA – San Jose game last night? Obviously I’m hoping the Senators win two or three Cups this year, but if it’s not them, LA has the look of a team who could repeat. Just fantastic depth on that team, and their system is relentless. Perfect combination of hard work and skill-based puck possession. You can see how it pretty much wouldn’t work at all without Doughty (so glad we’ve got one of those on our team), but beyond him, I can’t think of a more serviceable and intimidating group of tough defensive defensemen than Regehr, Scuderi, and Mitchell. None of them has to be The Guy, but together it’s just a wall. Get past them, and you get Jonathan Quick. And, as the Sharks learned last night, even if you get up on them by a couple of goals, they have the kind of tenacious and skilled players in Brown, Kopitar, Carter, Richards, and Stoll that they can absolutely claw back. I’m also still blown away that a GM as incompetent as Sutter could be such a good coach. The Kings are the complete package.