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What Questions Have Been Answered In The Playoffs So Far?

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davetherave

davetherave
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Playoff questions are being answered
By Craig Button - Special to NHL.com

2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

What Questions Have Been Answered In The Playoffs So Far? Playoffs

One week ago, predictions were made. Some with certainty, others with doubt, and in some cases, I am sure, with a rooting interest for your favorite team.

There were questions about teams and players and only one way to find answers; watch the games and see the outcomes. After all, the games provide the entertainment and the resulting joy or disappointment, depending on your vantage point. The outcomes determine the victors and the vanquished and the playoffs, at times cruelly and harshly, clearly separate the two.

What answers have been obtained through the early part of the playoffs?

* St. Louis had a wonderful run to the playoffs, but had the misfortune of facing a team which had an equally good record entering the playoffs.

* Roberto Luongo has been on top of his game, and a fortune could be made if there was a dollar handed out at every mention of "goaltending is important in the playoffs."

* The Canucks' defense is outstanding and any questions about the Sedin twins have been emphatically answered during the first round with their stellar play.

* The future remains bright in St. Louis and while the experiences may be painful, they will also prove to be helpful.

* Chris "OsGreat" has warranted the belief the Red Wings put in him prior to the playoffs. The series has unfolded as a lopsided one, but early in Game 1, the Blue Jackets put the test to the Red Wings, and Osgood not only answered brilliantly, he has maintained that level of play through three games.

* The Blue Jackets are playing the "big dogs" and it is a lesson they can only hope will benefit them in the future.

* The Sharks may have been following along to the words of the song, Californication by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers; "Destruction leads to a very rough road but it also breeds creation." Losing the first two games of their series to Ducks on home ice didn't raise any new questions, but only intensified the ones which have been asked so many times over the past few years about the Sharks.

* Rob Blake and Dan Boyle may be the answers the Sharks have been seeking, and if their performances in Game 3 are any indication, this series is destined to play out as a classic.

* Youth versus experience. Bright future versus the future is now. Chicago versus Calgary. The answers have not been obvious, but rather revealing. The Hawks have a leader in Jonathan Toews, who relishes a challenge and he has shown a savvy belying his age. With a player out front meeting the challenges posed by the Flames, and allowing confidence to build throughout the team, the Hawks can feel confident in their opportunity this season and excited about what lies ahead.

* Sacre Bleu! The lament of Habs' fans everywhere can be heard loudly. The centennial anniversary will not produce the Stanley Cup hoped for, but for it to come at the expense of their storied rival and adversary, the Boston Bruins, only makes the disappointment bitterer.

* The hub of championships in professional sport and in NCAA hockey is Boston and the Bruins look extremely capable of adding their own championship trophy to the mantle.

* The playoffs always produce challenges for teams and individuals. How quickly the challenges facing the Rangers were turned around and put on to the Capitals. There were no questions surrounding Henrik Lundqvist entering the playoffs and the Capitals may have found their own answer to their goaltending questions in Simeon Varlamov. It is a not a time for the faint of heart or those who may be reluctant to make necessary changes. Bruce Boudreau has shown the courage of a lion and the nerves of steel in trusting the Stanley Cup aspirations to his young goaltender.

* Martin Brodeur and Cam Ward are Stanley Cup champions and the quest to lead their respective teams to another contributes to a drama that shows the potential of playing out to the very end and even into extra time. The back and forth of two teams determined to win has provided one answer after four games; there is no clear indication of who will win this series and being ahead or being behind in a game does not allow any comfort of control. One of the best series to date and it will only get better.

* It is not so much the experience that helps, but rather what one has learned from their experience. The Penguins have taken the lessons of both 2007 and 2008 and are applying them to their best advantage. They are were the NHL's best team during the last 20 games of the regular season and look both determined and capable of giving themselves the opportunity to compete for the club's third Stanley Cup.

* The question that begs to be asked of the Flyers is; at what point do they want to focus more on disciplined and aggressive play rather than on the undisciplined and senseless which has provided ample opportunity for the Penguins to take advantage?

The playoffs will always provide the burning questions and whether a team is victorious or on the losing side, answers will always be forthcoming whether one wants to hear them or not.

Guest


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Question: Who the the worst defenseman in the NHL?
Answer: Ryan Obyrne

PTFlea

PTFlea
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HowieMorenz wrote:Question: Who the the worst defenseman in the NHL?
Answer: Ryan Obyrne

Laughing3

wprager

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The Sedins have answered nothing. It's their last chance to get a contract their agent thinks they're worth. Don't look at the way they've been playing these past four games, but how they've bee playing the last four years. Are they worth the money they are (rumoured to be) demanding? Yes, if they play like this, but I would not give them that much ever. They've played more games than they have left to play, and this is the first time that I can remember that people are raising eyebrows.

Thomas? I'm still waiting for that big test. Montreal without Markov, Tanguay, Lang and with Schneider's bum shoulder is not a big enought test.

davetherave

davetherave
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wprager wrote:The Sedins have answered nothing. It's their last chance to get a contract their agent thinks they're worth. Don't look at the way they've been playing these past four games, but how they've bee playing the last four years. Are they worth the money they are (rumoured to be) demanding? Yes, if they play like this, but I would not give them that much ever. They've played more games than they have left to play, and this is the first time that I can remember that people are raising eyebrows.

Thomas? I'm still waiting for that big test. Montreal without Markov, Tanguay, Lang and with Schneider's bum shoulder is not a big enought test.

Hmm...in every game I've watched in the series (which is all of them), the Sedins have been more complete players than they've ever been...and they helped the Canucks oust a very talented Blues team in four...so IMHO Button's evaluation would seem to be accurate, no?

wprager

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davetherave wrote:
wprager wrote:The Sedins have answered nothing. It's their last chance to get a contract their agent thinks they're worth. Don't look at the way they've been playing these past four games, but how they've bee playing the last four years. Are they worth the money they are (rumoured to be) demanding? Yes, if they play like this, but I would not give them that much ever. They've played more games than they have left to play, and this is the first time that I can remember that people are raising eyebrows.

Thomas? I'm still waiting for that big test. Montreal without Markov, Tanguay, Lang and with Schneider's bum shoulder is not a big enought test.

Hmm...in every game I've watched in the series (which is all of them), the Sedins have been more complete players than they've ever been...and they helped the Canucks oust a very talented Blues team in four...so IMHO Button's evaluation would seem to be accurate, no?

My point is they've had a great series in their contract year, but put that up against the backdrop of their OK but not great performance the last four years.

davetherave

davetherave
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True enough

PTFlea

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wprager wrote:My point is they've had a great series in their contract year, but put that up against the backdrop of their OK but not great performance the last four years.

:??: Never really thought of it like that. I saw them emerge as big stars with slick moves who were getting hard to knock off pucks.

That's an interesting point.

From here on out, they're guaranteed a big pay day - let's see how they fair against their next opponents.

asq2

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Without goal-tending, it doesn't really matter how good the rest of your team is.

Ask Washington and Philadelphia.

wprager

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asq2 wrote:Without goal-tending, it doesn't really matter how good the rest of your team is.

Ask Washington and Philadelphia.

Varlamov has done alright. If heplayed in game 1 this series would be at least 2-2, if not 3-1 Caps.

davetherave

davetherave
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wprager wrote:
asq2 wrote:Without goal-tending, it doesn't really matter how good the rest of your team is.

Ask Washington and Philadelphia.

Varlamov has done alright. If heplayed in game 1 this series would be at least 2-2, if not 3-1 Caps.

Prags, with all due respect, Mike Green's poor performance is more of a factor.

Varlamov, as you say, has been alright. The Caps as a team have not.

Lundqvist has been beyond brilliant...if you watched last night's game you know what I mean. Breathtaking.

Caps are fortunate they won Game Three. And I say that because the Rangers shouldn't be able to beat them based on the difference in talent and scoring. But the Rangers have...for one reason. The King.

Cronie

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Lundqvist is showing everyone how it's done. I am in awe of his performance last night personally.

As for the Habs, Well, after the 1st period onslaught, they looked so dejected and running on fumes. I think it's safe to say that they didn't even bother showing up for 2nd and 3rd periods in the least.
And no, the loss should NOT be blamed ENTIRELY on Price, but WHY oh WHY did Gainey go with him when the team needed just ONE game for morale?!

Cap'n Clutch

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Questions that have been answered for me are:

1 - Second half performance certainly doesn't mean much. St. Louis was THE Hottest team over the last half of the season but still went down in 4.

2 - The Hawks aren't listening when it comes to youth and inexperience being a downfall.

3 - The Habs truly had no fight in them and there is no "Switch" to turn on come playoff time.

4 - The Playoffs are a whole new ball game. Just ask Steve Mason.

5 - The Sharks need to win this series or my prediction will come true. Another strong regular season followed by a dismal playoff.


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davetherave

davetherave
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Cap'n Clutch wrote:Questions that have been answered for me are:

1 - Second half performance certainly doesn't mean much. St. Louis was THE Hottest team over the last half of the season but still went down in 4.

2 - The Hawks aren't listening when it comes to youth and inexperience being a downfall.

3 - The Habs truly had no fight in them and there is no "Switch" to turn on come playoff time.

4 - The Playoffs are a whole new ball game. Just ask Steve Mason.

5 - The Sharks need to win this series or my prediction will come true. Another strong regular season followed by a dismal playoff.

Batting 1.000 Cap!

davetherave

davetherave
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How smart does Bruce Boudreau look at the moment for dumping Theodore and putting in Varlamov?

Very, yes?

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