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Rite of Spring 2019: The Chase for the Stanley Cup

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6 minutes ago, Seadragon76 said:

Because so many people have made fun of the teams that I like for so long that sometimes, the only joy I get is through schadenfreude.

 

Sorry, but that dawg don't hunt. Along with being a Jackets fan, I'm a Cleveland Browns fan, a Packers fan, an Ohio State fan, and a Cleveland Indians fan. People are always making jokes about two of my teams and hating the other two with an irrational passion. I never saw any of that as a reason to enjoy the misery of others. Hell, if anything, it helps me understand both sides of the "coin" as it were. 

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3 minutes ago, Bucfan56 said:

yay woot glee awesome. 

 

Vegas is gonna win the cup this year because this whole thing is still just an absolute joke of sideshow masquerading as a sport. 

 

Oh, just shut up already.

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7 minutes ago, habsfan1 said:

I heard that it's a record for the President's Trophy winner to not win a playoff game. Any legitimacy to this?

 

 

 

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That's why I apologized. Hell, even I realize that all I have are excuses that are extremely flimsy at best and at worst... well.. paper thin would be right.

 

Now comes the million dollar question for Tampa Bay: What the hell do you do now? Your team won 62 games only to crash and burn in the worst way possible: getting swept in the 1st round against a team that, before today, hasn't won a playoff series in franchise history.

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5 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

I’m not a Jackets fan

 

Not yet anyway...B)

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17 minutes ago, habsfan1 said:

 

Halak single-handedly carried an average Habs team to 7 games against the 2010 Caps for the win.

 

Don't remind me of that, I still have repressed memories about that series.

 

Halak is my NHL repressed memory equivalent of Patrick Crayton.

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Just now, infrared41 said:

 

Not yet anyway...B)

Hey. If the Leafs can get the Bruins monkey off their back they’re playing the Jackets. You’ll be The Enemy :P 

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ALL ABOARD!

tR0HaO1.png

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Just now, Seadragon76 said:

That's why I apologized. Hell, even I realize that all I have are excuses that are extremely flimsy at best and at worst... well.. paper thin would be right.

 

Now comes the million dollar question for Tampa Bay: What the hell do you do now? Your team won 62 games only to crash and burn in the worst way possible: getting swept in the 1st round against a team that, before today, hasn't won a playoff series in franchise history.

 

Apology accepted.

 

To answer your question, I think @Ice_Cap nailed it. The Bolts need a new coach. The problem is they just gave Cooper an extension. Whacking him after this disaster is the right move, but I don't know if the TB front office is willing to eat all that money. Not to mention, there's always the "we're bound to get it right one of these years" thing. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Mockba said:

 

Oh, just shut up already.

 

NEVER.

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1 minute ago, Dalcowboyfan92 said:

 

Don't remind me of that, I still have repressed memories about that series.

 

Halak is my NHL repressed memory equivalent of Patrick Crayton.

 

Np. But me too I have some tough Halak memories, but for other reasons.

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2 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Hey. If the Leafs can get the Bruins monkey off their back they’re playing the Jackets. You’ll be The Enemy :P 

 

Could make for some interesting BASS episodes. I'm sure Zach will be thrilled. 

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5 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

 

Apology accepted.

 

To answer your question, I think @Ice_Cap nailed it. The Bolts need a new coach. The problem is they just gave Cooper an extension. Whacking him after this disaster is the right move, but I don't know if the TB front office is willing to eat all that money. Not to mention, there's always the "we're bound to get it right one of these years" thing. 

 

 

As much as I detest Cooper and detested that extension, surely they never imagined this in a million years when they gave him it.

 

But, you know what? The unexpected happens all the time, and you have to react to it. There's absolutely no way you can go on with him as head coach after something like this happens. He's had six full seasons and five postseasons in Tampa, and with the best team he had, he had his worst result (well, tied for worst result - sure is neat to be swept in the 1st round [with home ice!] twice with him as head coach) with them. It has to be game over for him. Rip the band-aid right off; he's not good enough to win a Cup with and there's more than enough evidence of this now, so there's nothing to gain by keeping him around. Will the next coach be worse? Maybe! I don't care. Sometimes even a good coach is no longer a good fit with their current employer; :censored: , Tampa Bay should know that well enough from Tony Dungy, a wonderful head coach who simply had run his course with the Buccaneers way back in the day. A far better head coach in his sport than Cooper is in his, for that matter.

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Before I forget...

 

Hey, Victor Hedman. You can :censored: right off. What was that you were saying after game two? Something to the effect of "you guys are good at taking a two game lead and then blowing it." I suppose that's true. You know what else it turns out that the Jackets are pretty good at? Sweeping the President's Trophy winner in the first round. Play to your strengths, I guess. 

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BTW, where do I pick up my replica "Second Round Playoff Participant" banner? 

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3 minutes ago, infrared41 said:

Victor Hedman

I would laugh but I think he illustrates the problem this team has. Jon Cooper showed it too with some of his post-game press conferences. There was an expectation that they would turn it around and come back in the series. They just assumed it would happen because they won 62 games.

 

Guess what, schmucks? The previous Blackhawks dynasty could “turn it on” because they were a well-coached team with on-ice leaders who knew how to respond to pressure. They didn’t just expect to turn around games and series they were down in, they went out and made those games and series turn around.

 

Meanwhile the Lightning are coached by a guy who looks lost any time the other coach manages to successfully counter his line formations and are captained by a guy who pisses himself at the thought of being recognized in a Toronto-area Loblaws. 

 

Everything about this Lightning team reeked of entitlement. They just assumed they would pull it out, and it never happened.

It never happened because they have guys like Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and Jon Cooper leading them instead of guys like Jonathan Towes, Duncan Keith, and Joel Quenneville. 

 

Sorry if I seem like I’m beating a dead horse with some of these points but I’ve had to deal with arrogant Lightning fans all year. So this is kind of great :D 

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42 minutes ago, RyanMcD29 said:

From the doom and gloom of July 1st to GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS AND SWEEPING THE PITTSBURGH PENGUINS.

 

Folks,, I am indeed HOOTING and HOLLERING

I have no voice left after tonight.  The only other team I'd love to sweep more is the Rangers.  Can't believe this happened, looking forward to the second round.  In Trotz we trust!!!  LGI!!!!!

 

spacer.png

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Now we need the Trotz vs. Caps second round match.

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50 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

The only other collapse this compares with is the President's Trophy winning Washington Capitals losing to the Habs in 2010. That went seven though, and the Canadiens probably wouldn't have pulled it out if it wasn't for Halák going beast mode. Here we have the President's Trophy winners going out in a sweep to a team that utterly dominated them in all aspects of the game.

 

The '96 Wings lost in the Conference Finals. The '07 Patriots and '16 Warriors made it to their respective finals before blowing it. Tampa though? First round sweep. An utter embarrassment. Cooper needs to go and they need to seriously consider moving the captaincy off of Stamkos.

Best comparison I can think of is the 2011 Packers or 2007 Cowboys. 

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15 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

Sorry if I seem like I’m beating a dead horse with some of these points but I’ve had to deal with arrogant Lightning fans all year. So this is kind of great :D 

 

I really hate to do the "Only Sane Man" act, but, jeez, the ones you were dealing with...I mean, arrogance is something you have to earn. What have the Lightning done to allow their fans to be arrogant?

 

They won 50+ games this year (I don't count 3v3 OT and SO wins) and I don't remember saying a damn word about it in the regular season thread because, you know, who cares about regular season accolades when your last two postseason trips ended with blowing 3-2 leads in the Conference Finals? Good thing, too; no juicy quotes to make fun of me with now. In any case, I'm pretty terrible at getting out and, you know, "meeting" people in real life so maybe I'm just extremely insulated from nonsense, but this is something I can't understand.

 

And, on that note, that's really what has kept me from getting too pissed off over this; I was taking a "all anyone cares about is the playoffs" approach the entire season, so I didn't really build myself up during the regular season, no matter how good it was. Since I didn't get too built up, I didn't exactly have too far to fall. Trust me, I was a hell of a lot more beat up in 2016 and 2018 than I am tonight; I had pretty much accepted this was going to be what happened (maybe not a sweep, but a defeat) midway through Game 2.

 

Frankly, I remember the playoffs in 2017, when the Lightning had last missed out (another feather in Cooper's hat, btw; I know there were some injuries but imagine missing the playoffs with the team he's had), and with the exception of the Bruins, I didn't really care too much who won or who lost. I could watch the hockey to watch, well, the hockey. Strangely liberating experience. I'm looking forward to that once again. Frankly, I've been shamelessly looking for any excuse to descend into fan apathy for some time now (and this isn't a Lightning-specific thing, mind you, this is an all-sports thing), and this is about as good an excuse for it as I'm ever going to get. Definitely spending more time next hockey season either not watching hockey, or at least watching other games that interest me. If you're telling me a 128-point team could lay this much of an egg in the playoffs (it is literally the biggest egg they could've laid), then what significance can I possibly find in next regular season? It's impossible. 

 

I'll just end this with a brief review of something I'm going to elaborate on more at some point in the future - maybe during an off-day between series or something when there's not much to tak about - but I made a half-troll/half-dead-serious thread on HFBoards when Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th goal in the NHL. Not his 700th regular season goal (it was only #639), but his 700th between the regular season and playoffs. Some people caught my drift; others wondered "gee whiz, why's he lumping the two together?". Well, the playoffs are where we put people either on pedestals or toss them down the river, right? Stamkos might have some 385 or whatever career regular season goals, but he's been a playoff no-show his entire career. His team trophy case serves as proof of that. The point being, we want to write the stories on these people based on their playoff successes or failures, but for some reason only seem to count their regular season statistics when talking about them in an overarching, career sense. I dunno, doesn't make sense to me, but, clearly, plenty of things make sense to me that sound like nonsense to other people so I guess that's just one of the many things that keeps the world spinning 'round.

 

5 minutes ago, AustinFomBoston said:

Best comparison I can think of is the 2011 Packers or 2007 Cowboys. 

 

Both those teams bailed out big-time by the Giants winning the Super Bowl in both cases. Same with the 2012 Canucks, which was one comparison I heard. I suppose it's possible the Jackets could go all the way as well, but obviously that's yet to be determined. 

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