Twelve teams are gone from the NHL Playoffs, among them some very good teams. The President’s Cup winners Washington Capital, Atlantic Division winners Montreal, Western Conference Champions Chicago Blackhawks. Columbus Blue Jackets, 106 regular season points, Edmonton Oilers 101 points, Minnesota Wild 104 points. And that’s only six teams.
Of the four teams that are left, Cup Champs Pittsburgh playing a gutsy Ottawa Senators squad, are in a 2-2 tie, with the Anahymen Ducks and the Smashville Preds being the other series. The aforementioned Preds won last night to take a 3-2 lead, playing a fast paced style vs a Ducks team that is trying to pulverize Nashville puck carriers.
As we move towards the Cup Final, it is extremely evident that the Playoffs are a game of attrition. Pittsburgh is missing key components, like Kris Letang, Brian Rust, Justin Schultz and it appears Sidney Crosby is playing with a concussion. Smashville lost its #1 and # 2 centers two games ago. The Ducks are playing without two of their top four scorers and their #1 goalie. Ottawa’s two time Norris trophy winning D man Erik Karlsson is playing with broken bones in his feet and so is Anahymen C Ryan Getzlaf.
As I write this, the Pen are up 5-0 in their home game vs Ottawa with half the game to go. What I wanted to point out next is that the scrubs from the minor league teams are being plugged into the lineup and scoring the winning goals and winning the bulk of the faceoffs they are being asked to win. Are they really scrubs? Naw, they are mostly high draft choices on deep teams that just couldn’t crack the lineup. Until now, when its for all the marbles.
Admirable to say the least and downright clutch in most cases. Hey San Jose, fucking pay attention. Jettison players that are taking up valuable roster spots and costing an arm and a leg. Everyone else is doing it. Is it ridiculous to have Joe Thornton play with a torn ACL and MCL? Hell yes, he was ineffective. Even Logan Couture, who I love as a player, was largely a liability vs the Edmonton Oilers because his jaw was destroyed by a deflected puck in a game against Nashville in the regular season.
The point is, when players suffer catastrophic injuries it isn’t a good idea to let them play. End of story. Writers with better access to players than me, fawn over these guys like they’re gods because they’re “playing with pain.” As a former hockey player I can tell you that we all played with pain, even in beer leagues. There is a huge difference between playing with pain and playing injured
Everyone plays with pain in the playoffs. Bring up the scrubs, they often can play more effectively than an injured star. Hell, you might make the team next year by how well you rise to the occasion in this years payoffs.
Get well soon Cooch!!! Oh yeah, you too Joe and Patty, he said grudgingly.