Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ducks cooked

We're going to have a new Stanley Cup champ this year.

Dallas finished off the defending champs from Anaheim with four unanswered goals in the third period, winning a series in six games that almost every pundit (including yours truly) picked the Ducks to run away with.

It's actually quite remarkable how difficult it has been for teams to stay on top lately. Both Anaheim and Ottawa, last year's finalists, have been bounced in the first round, and the other postlockout Cup finalists, Carolina and Edmonton, didn't make the playoffs this year.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, was the NHL's worst team in 2007-08 after winning the Cup three seasons ago.

I believe the Ducks are now the fifth consecutive champion to lose in the first round (or not make the playoffs at all) the season after going all the way. Hard to believe.

Give Dallas credit: They took an us-against-the-world mentality and turned it into a convincing win, and they'll now face either San Jose or Colorado, depending on who wins Game 7 in the Sharks-Flames series.

And how about Stephane Robidas, broken nose and all, in this one? He's a had a great turn replacing Sergei Zubov.

If they can keep scoring goals like this did in this series, with 20 in six games, they'll be in the mix to come out of the West.

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At 11:42 p.m., April 20, 2008, Blogger andy grabia said...

This certainly means the Ducks and Oilers picks will be much closer than Brian Burke ever expected.

At 12:24 a.m., April 21, 2008, Anonymous Andrew said...

According to my understanding of the draft rules, the Anaheim pick could be as good as 20th, or as poor as 24th. Edmonton's pick is 12th. (Of course, they own each other's picks in the first round.)

Anaheim picks 20th if the final four (Stanley cup finalists + conference finalists) consists of some combination of BOS, CGY, PHI, COL, NYR, or DAL. These are teams that finished with fewer points than Anaheim, but would pick in spots 27-30 due to making the final four.

Anaheim picks 24th if the final four consists of some combination of DET, SAN, MON, PIT, and WAS. These are teams which are guaranteed to pick worse than Anaheim (since ANA is eliminated, and they are division winners). Throw in MIN, and you've got the six teams that would pick 25-30.

With a mix of final four participants from both groups, ANA picks 21, 22, or 23.

Bottom line... if you are an Oiler fan, cheer for BOS, CGY, PHI, COL, NYR, or DAL to get the best possible pick from the Pronger trade.

At 12:48 a.m., April 21, 2008, Anonymous scott said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 2:31 a.m., April 21, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the sidebar, Dallas is No. 5 not 4 as you have listed.

At 5:19 a.m., April 21, 2008, Blogger Doogie said...

Actually, it can't have been five straight years, as both Carolina and Edmonton missed both last year and this year.

As a side note, have the two Cup finalists ever gone on to miss the playoffs two years in a row?

At 8:25 a.m., April 21, 2008, Anonymous Rachael said...

James - you forgot to mention that Turco has finally won a playoff series!

At 11:59 a.m., April 21, 2008, Anonymous Robert said...


This is Turco's second playoff win. His first was his first playoff series against the Oilers in 2003. His first loss was against the Ducks, though.


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