We’d like to take a few moments today to honor those teams in the NHL playoffs which have left us already this year. As a Minnesota Wild fan, I’m going through the stages of grieving that include both sadness and anger, among other, more irrational emotions. I’m wishing I had seen more of (make that any of) Marian Gaborik’s goal-winning celebration smiles during the last six games.
But I want to remember the good times, the great plays, the hot guys – which got me thinking that others out there are doing the same for the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, and the Anaheim Ducks. Join me for the montage after the jump…
Minnesota Wild – Not so crazy on you anymore.
By all accounts, the Minnesota Wild outplayed the Colorado Avalanche throughout the series, but they just couldn’t score when they needed to. (Kudos to Jose Theodore.) They led 4 minutes, 31 seconds out of over six and a half hours total, with three games going into overtime. Still, Gaborik notched only one playoff point with an assist and the team’s results accordingly followed suit. They’re young and will be back.
New Jersey Devils – It’ll be a cold day in hell …
The Devils drew the short straw when they had to play the New York Rangers. New Jersey had lost to New York 11 times in the last 13 games, including seven losses in the regular season. Add that to the fact they went without a win in regulation during their final 15 games, and it’s not surprising they admit to making more mistakes than the Rangers, resulting in being out of the playoffs now. Brian Gionta was their star in 2007, scoring eight goals in the postseason. (Too bad he didn’t perform as well this year.) And of course, there’s Zach Parise, who will be missed until next year.
Nashville Predators – Hunting season is over.
The Predators real masked marauder was Dan Ellis, who stopped 40 shots in game six to try and hold on for his team, but still went down 3-0 that night. And who can forget Ryan Suter and Jason Arnott scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals respectively in just nine seconds in game three? It was the first time in NHL playoff history that a team went from trailing to leading in less that 10 seconds. The Detroit Red Wings advance, and the Predators will have to wait another day for their turn in the hunt for Lord Stanley’s cup.
Ottawa Senators – The votes are in, confirming early poll results.
The Senators barely made it into the playoffs and quickly made it out. A number of factors combined to make this the case, including fatigue and injury, along with disgruntled players. Maybe next year they can match the start of their season to the end.
Boston Bruins - The Habs, and The Hab Nots…
The Bruins were 9-7 in Game 7s, winning six of their last seven. (That’s a lot of sevens!) But they have only played in one such Game 7 since 1994, losing that one to Montreal in ’04. (It must have been in the cards, because all the numbers seem to match up.) It appears that history really does repeat itself. The Bruins went down in Game 7 to the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens were 26-0 in playoff series they have led 3-1, and last night was no different. Montreal’s stats improve going into the next round.
Anaheim Ducks – Oh how the mighty have fallen.
In their earliest playoff exit since the 1999 season, the Ducks are ousted in five games. I guess it’s only fitting given how the Wild played them in last year’s playoffs. At least this year a former Minnesota team sent them flying. It was the first time since moving to Dallas for the Stars’ franchise that they eliminated a Stanley Cup champion.