the admiral

Rite of Spring '15: exhume our idols! bury our friends!

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Sigh... Yes Tank

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Here's the thing: the trap was GARBAGE. Like I said, sure it worked and you can call it good strategy, but it was awful to watch as a fan. Nothing to do with New Jersey. It killed what people love about hockey: nonstop action and flow. The trap was designed to kill that flow. It worked, and we were all the worse for it. The obstruction allowed at the time made it even more soul sucking.

Hey you may not have liked it but to fans of the Devils it was fun.

I loved when it became soul sucking watching other teams wither was fun, almost as much fun as when Scott Stevens turned Eric Lindros inside out. I miss those days.

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So you like it only because it was the Devils.

If it was another team, would you as a hockey fan just watching the game without the Devils involved, would you enjoy watching the trap? Seriously.

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Just because you root for a particular team doesn't mean you have to like the way they play.

Not too long ago we Ducks fans had to deal with Randy Carlyle's stale and soul-crushingly boring coaching style. In the years following the Cup win, I most certainly didn't enjoy watching that. Excessively defense orientated, grinding, dump-n-chase, "defending the lead", more grinding, more dumping and chasing...

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Everyone blames the Devils, but the three major contributions killed the offensive flow of hockey in the mid-to-late 90s:

1. The lack of playmaking centers. After the likes of Gretzky/Savard/Lemieux//Lafontaine retired and Messier started to age, damn near all the best offensive players from 1997-2004 were primarily wingers. There weren't enough Sakics/Forsbergs. Not enough guys down the middle to set up the finishers. It's a lot easier to stifle offense when the only big guns are wingers, not centers.

2. Obstruction. The funny thing is that the year after NJD won their first Cup, scoring went up. Refs were doing a better job calling power plays that year. The refs simply ignored this stuff.

3. The Florida Panthers. They basically were a less talented version of the Devils. Not a coincidence that scoring went down the year after Florida basically did what the Devils did. The fact they beat who they beat with not as much talent on their roster opened a lot of eyes around the league. When Florida made their run, that's when scoring went way down. Hell, the Devils scored 300 goals in Lemaire's first year. The lockout shortened part of the year screwed things up in '95. With a full season, hey maybe the '95 Devils have home ice advantage in the Finals.

I put the blame on the Panthers more than the Devils.

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Hey you may not have liked it but to fans of the Devils it was fun.

I loved when it became soul sucking watching other teams wither was fun, almost as much fun as when Scott Stevens turned Eric Lindros inside out. I miss those days.

Considering there are like 20 fans total, I'm sure it was. Of course you might have more fans if you didn't play hockey that made most fans of the sport want to stab their eyes out with various rusty utensils.

I put the blame on the Panthers more than the Devils.

I thought you'd blame the Blackhawks because you've blamed everything else on them.

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I don't care what you call the thing the Blackhawks are doing. Whatever it's called, it's cool.

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It was great strategy and fans were just upset that a team from Jersey had won and not the loser Rangers. If the Rangers did the neutral zone trap it would be hailed as genius, but New Jersey cant ever be given credit for any thing.

The strategery can be great but still unwatchable. Playing a neutral zone trap in hockey isn't unlike using the Four Corners offense in basketball or, to a lesser extent, the triple option. They're all successful strategeries and all aren't as fan-friendly for viewing.

New Jersey does get the credit, but they're not alone in sharing the blame for unwatchable hockey: the Wild made games boring, the Predators made games boring, and the Coyotes and Blues have gotten some flak in recent years for their trap tendencies.

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Trigger warning: Jacques Lemaire

Just as much a problem as the Devils' trap was the rapid expansion and wealth disparity which led to teams leveling the playing field through rampant obstruction, which the NHL was happy to allow in lieu of off-ice parity measures. Remember the 2003 Minnesota Wild who spent $21 million on payroll? NO, YOU DON'T REMEMBER THE 2003 MINNESOTA WILD WHO SPENT $21 MILLION ON PAYROLL, BECAUSE YOU'VE HAD TO REPRESS THE TRAUMA TO FUNCTION IN EVERYDAY LIFE.

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Well, thanks for bringing up such painful memories, pal.

Just when I thought I was finally past this, you just HAD to drag Pascal Dupis and Willie Mitchell back into my life :(

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Just because you root for a particular team doesn't mean you have to like the way they play.

Not too long ago we Ducks fans had to deal with Randy Carlyle's stale and soul-crushingly boring coaching style. In the years following the Cup win, I most certainly didn't enjoy watching that. Excessively defense orientated, grinding, dump-n-chase, "defending the lead", more grinding, more dumping and chasing...

I really thought you guys would have a legitimate chance of repeating in 2008... I certainly didn't expect a first round exit to a declining Stars team, in the first round.

As for the Devils argument, it doesn't matter how you get the job done so long as you get it done. I wish my team won three championships with the neutral zone trap... I wouldn't care whether the rest of the league or the majority of fans liked it or not.

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Now, while I would like to see Chicago win, it needs to be noted that, if they do, they are not a dynasty. A "quasi-dynasty"? Sure. An "as-close-as-you-can-realistically-come-to-a-dynasty-in-the-salary-cap-world" success story? Yup. But a true dynasty? No chance. The '80s Oilers, '40s Leafs, and '60s Habs were all true dynasties. But the 2010s Hawks? Don't get me wrong, winning three Cups in six years would be very impressive, but it's nowhere near those historical precedents.

It's important to remember, though, that the 40's Leafs and 60's Habs only had 5 other teams to deal with. Even the 80's Oilers (plus 1990) were only working in a 21 team league with no salary cap. Fact is, winning the cup was easier back then. It's not too ridiculous to stretch the definition of dynasty to match where the league is in terms of size now.

If the Blackhawks win their third cup in 6 years I'll give them the dynasty label, this will be the Blackhawks era, and place them on the same level as the late 90's/early 2000's Red Wings who also won 3 cups in a 6 year stretch.

While I agree with the 2nd half of the post, the first half of the post does not support it. Less teams does not equal it being easier. Latvia will never win an Olympic Gold Medal in mens hockey so long as the NHL is participating. Less teams equals more talent per team and thus better teams. If we made 6 All-Star teams now, though you'd have 1 in 6 odds technically, the work required to actually defeat one of those 6 teams would be far greater than any team assembled today.

I've only ever seen O6 fans make the argument that fewer teams makes it harder to win and it makes no sense.

Fewer teams absolutely makes things easier. If there were 30 teams back in 1960 there's no way the Canadiens would've won as many cups as they did because they would've had 6 times as many opponents with the opportunity to knock them off.

If there's only 6 teams each team's level of talent would be better, but everything is relative so that means your team's level of talent is also better so that's completely irrelevant to the discussion. With a 6 team league versus a 30 team league there's only 5 other teams to out-manage, out-draft, out-skill, out-work, out-play as opposed to 29 other teams. It was more likely in a given year that you'd find the right combination of all those elements to beat your opponent if there's only 5 of them. That's just math.

Edit: Also, only 2 playoff series to win, which means a 4th place team, a bottom half team, could squeak in, get hot, go 8-6, and take home a stanley cup. There were way fewer landmines.

If the talent level really was truly relative than the Canadiens wouldn't have more cups than the Bruins, Hawks and Rangers combined in that era.

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Anyone know why Game 2 on Saturday is starting at 7:15 Eastern time rather than at 8 like the rest of the series?

I assume it's NBC wanting as many viewers of the Belmont Stakes to stick around for hockey afterwards. The race time is 6:50pm.

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Now, while I would like to see Chicago win, it needs to be noted that, if they do, they are not a dynasty. A "quasi-dynasty"? Sure. An "as-close-as-you-can-realistically-come-to-a-dynasty-in-the-salary-cap-world" success story? Yup. But a true dynasty? No chance. The '80s Oilers, '40s Leafs, and '60s Habs were all true dynasties. But the 2010s Hawks? Don't get me wrong, winning three Cups in six years would be very impressive, but it's nowhere near those historical precedents.

It's important to remember, though, that the 40's Leafs and 60's Habs only had 5 other teams to deal with. Even the 80's Oilers (plus 1990) were only working in a 21 team league with no salary cap. Fact is, winning the cup was easier back then. It's not too ridiculous to stretch the definition of dynasty to match where the league is in terms of size now.

If the Blackhawks win their third cup in 6 years I'll give them the dynasty label, this will be the Blackhawks era, and place them on the same level as the late 90's/early 2000's Red Wings who also won 3 cups in a 6 year stretch.

While I agree with the 2nd half of the post, the first half of the post does not support it. Less teams does not equal it being easier. Latvia will never win an Olympic Gold Medal in mens hockey so long as the NHL is participating. Less teams equals more talent per team and thus better teams. If we made 6 All-Star teams now, though you'd have 1 in 6 odds technically, the work required to actually defeat one of those 6 teams would be far greater than any team assembled today.

I've only ever seen O6 fans make the argument that fewer teams makes it harder to win and it makes no sense.

Fewer teams absolutely makes things easier. If there were 30 teams back in 1960 there's no way the Canadiens would've won as many cups as they did because they would've had 6 times as many opponents with the opportunity to knock them off.

If there's only 6 teams each team's level of talent would be better, but everything is relative so that means your team's level of talent is also better so that's completely irrelevant to the discussion. With a 6 team league versus a 30 team league there's only 5 other teams to out-manage, out-draft, out-skill, out-work, out-play as opposed to 29 other teams. It was more likely in a given year that you'd find the right combination of all those elements to beat your opponent if there's only 5 of them. That's just math.

Edit: Also, only 2 playoff series to win, which means a 4th place team, a bottom half team, could squeak in, get hot, go 8-6, and take home a stanley cup. There were way fewer landmines.

If the talent level really was truly relative than the Canadiens wouldn't have more cups than the Bruins, Hawks and Rangers combined in that era.

The talent was still relative. The talent is always relative. Just happened that more of the talent played for the Canadiens. The Canadiens had more cups in that era because rules for negotiating with local players gave them the ability to monopolize a scouting pipeline and there was no free agency so they were able to keep them forever. In addition to that only having 5 opponents to compete with made controlling that scouting pipeline much much easier on them. It wasn't a level playing field.

But that doesn't matter because that's not your argument. Your argument was that it's harder to win with fewer teams and that still makes no sense because of math.

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I think for public relations purposes if nothing else, the NHL needs to step in and tell teams to knock this crap off with not taking out-of-state credit cards to keep Blackhawks fans out. It looks so Hooterville to have these teams trying to keep the "wrong" fans out of their buildings. Stop restricting your own commerce. Don't tell hockey fans you won't take their money.

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I think for public relations purposes if nothing else, the NHL needs to step in and tell teams to knock this crap off with not taking out-of-state credit cards to keep Blackhawks fans out. It looks so Hooterville to have these teams trying to keep the "wrong" fans out of their buildings. Stop restricting your own commerce. Don't tell hockey fans you won't take their money.

This wouldn't be such a big deal if it happened in other sports, but as far as I'm aware it's only this. If I'm in the fan base that has this kind of attendance paranoia, I'm embarrassed.

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It was cool when we had the series with Minnesota and there was none of this crap. There was a decent contingent of Hawks fans at the game but no one really cared that much. Looks like Minnesota beats the South in the hospitality department again.

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Blackhawks fans scraping the bottom of the complaint barrel again.

Tampa is starting the game at 8 pm so you'll have ample time to get home from work.

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Blackhawks fans scraping the bottom of the complaint barrel again.

Tampa is starting the game at 8 pm so you'll have ample time to get home from work.

I'm guessing they're starting the game at 8 EST because that's the earliest time any sport starts weeknight games which are unopposed on a national stage. Can you think of a single time a respectable league (or even the NHL) started a Conference Final or Final series at 7EST?

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