April 10, 2015

steve laidlaw

2015-04-10

Gee, sorry there. Excuse me, eh. A spectacular night for Canada as Flames/Jets punch playoff tickets

 

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Playoff Draft List is now available for download. Buy it here

 

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We will have a new Stanley Cup champion this season as the Calgary Flames did everyone a favour knocking the LA Kings out of the playoffs. It was about time the Kings lost an elimination game. They must have won six or seven in a row last spring on their road to the Cup final.

 

The Kings certainly had their chances, outshooting the Flames 34-24 for the game and 26-10 over the final two frames. They just couldn't get the equalizer. You could certainly second guess Darryl Sutter's indecision with pulling the goalie. They had a number of chances to do so and hem the Flames in with a tired line during the final three minutes but didn't end up pulling Jonathan Quick until the final minute.

 

The flip side is that the Flames are so damn good breaking out of their zone quickly that you can understand Sutter's pause in making a pull. Indeed, the Flames scored within seconds of Quick coming out of the net to ice the game and a playoff berth.

Naturally, Jiri Hudler was in on all three goals for Calgary including netting the game-winner. Six points total for the Flames top line.

 

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In the end the Kings just didn't have enough juice to make it and maybe it's for the best. They probably could have made a bigger push but they'd have had to give up an asset like Tanner Pearson to do so. They paid a steep enough price for Andrej Sekera whose injury status leaves them wondering what could have been.

 

Of course, this means the Kings did not meet the condition of their trade with Carolina and will defer the first round pick until next season, when they plan on being more competitive. Cue the paranoia that the Kings will beat the odds and win the McDavid lottery with just a 2% shot. Wouldn't that be something.

 

Let's get real for a second, though. Basically every team outside of the bottom six gets scary in a hurry if they win the lottery and it's just south of a 30% chance that the lottery swings that way. Between 1/3 and 1/4 odds of a super team? I don't know whether to get excited or terrified.

 

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Three straight shutouts for Ondrej Pavelec!!! And somehow he lost last night. The good news, Calgary gave them a pick-me-up and kept the Kings off their back, which means we get playoff hockey in Winnipeg for the first time in two decades. But also, THREE STRAIGHT SHUTOUTS FOR ONDREJ PAVELEC!!! Yeah but, PLAYOFF HOCKEY IN WINNIPEG FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TWO DECADES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Which one of those is more unlikely? I don't even care. This is awesome. Let's all make piñatas with the likeness of the Kings logo and have a freaking fiesta!

 

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The Senators are now in a playoff spot and control their own destiny thanks to a shutout victory by Andrew Hammond with a couple of big scores from the top line of Kyle Turris, Clarke MacArthur<