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Old 04-23-2018, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
6,681 posts, read 6,760,439 times
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Originally Posted by 7express View Post
Alright: Time for the annual "who would you rather play in the playoffs" question. Barring something completely unforeseen they will be back in the playoffs after a 1 year absence. They aren't winning the division as the Golden Knights if they haven't clinched it officially will be the Pacific division winner and probably aren't catching the Sharks for 2nd place meaning they will be road warriors in the playoffs. Which leaves them 3 spots they can end up: Wildcard #1, Wildcard #2, or pacific division #3. Wildcard #1 will end up playing the VGK, Wildcard #2 will end up playing the Preds and Pacific #3 will probably end up playing the Sharks. Normally I'd say bring on the Sharks, the perennial choke artist, but the last time they played the Sharks in the playoffs (16) they took the Kings behind the woodshed, gave them a good ole-fashioned ass kicking and completely embarrassed them. Plus, with the head coach and culture change the last 3 years or so in San Jose they aren't an easy out like they used to be, so I'll pass on them. I want no part of Wildcard #2 and the Preds. It's debatable who's the best in hockey between them (the Preds), the Bruins and the Lightning as it seems like it's changed weekly, but what's not debatable however is to avoid playing them till as late as possible which in their case is the Western Conference Finals, so I'll pass on them to. So that leaves WC #1 and the VGK by default. Don't get me wrong the Golden Knights have had a great year, but this is still an expansion franchise who's roster consists either of: players teams didn't want anymore and discarded to the curb with the other trash or rookies and other younger players with minimal NHL experience. Fleury is a 3 time Stanley Cup winner (and back-to-back Cup winner) but he barely played in the playoffs last year, and when he did play he wasn't that effective. James Neal played in the finals with the Preds last year and while a great player doesn't scare you like a Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin or Steven Stamkos does. I don't see the Kings getting intimindated by the VGK, and the Knights could feel some pressure while the Kings would have none. Of the 3 that's who I'd take as my playoff opponent for the Kings. Will I purposely root against them to end up as the Wildcard #1?? Hell no, but if that's where they end up I wouldn't be too disappointed. Of course I said the same thing back in 2016 where I wanted the Kings to finish 2nd in the division and play the Preds in the first round than win the division and play the Sharks while PDF wanted the opposite (Kings win division and play the Preds) and we all know how that turned out, so take it for what's it worth.

BTW, if the Sharks end up falling out of 2nd, give me the matchup with the Ducks in the Pacific 2/3 game. When's the last time this core group of Ducks players won an important game, or hell beat the Kings in an important game??
No disrespect, I'm sure it's tough your team got swept, but your facts aren't quite accurate with last year. Fleury last year had a great save percentage in the playoffs, he was fantastic, he played the first two rounds and recorded I believe a .924 in the playoffs. Sure, that's not Quick's .949 circa first championship run or anything, but it's very good work. I believe the average Stanley Cup winning goaltender has around a .929 they were saying, somewhere in there, so if you're in that .920 to .930 range you got a good chance if your team can score an average or above average number of goals.

The Kings were the team that I expected them to be in the playoffs -- gritty, tough, great defense, fantastic goaltending, horrible offense. I had a lot of Kings fans talking trash to me before the playoffs began about how they would sweep the Knights. I always gave the Kings the respect they deserved, which is the respect of a wild card team that had a major weakness but a few major strengths (NHL's #1 in goals allowed). The simple fact is that Kings offense is terrible. It's one line of star players and a bunch of garbage after that, almost completely unable to score. The Knights defense is probably somewhere between "pretty good" and average. Maybe I'm underrating it (I hope I am, trust me, because it HAS been getting better all season), but it's nothing real special. It's the weaker part of the team, with the goaltending being elite, offense elite, defense solid but unspectacular.

The Kings did an incredible job on defense and goaltending. I said before the series Quick is a stud and the Kings defense is great. I changed my mind. After the series, Quick is a LEGEND not a stud, and the Kings defense is superhuman. It seemed like there were always like 3 extra Kings on the ice no matter what in the defensive zone. What they couldn't get done is cross into the offensive zone and retain the puck very long or very well, which was their downfall. It's not that the Kings couldn't get shots off, because they did actually for the series I believe outshoot the Knights 131-130 but they didn't seem high danger most of the time and they didn't seem sustained, besides a few great stretches (start of Game 3 comes to mind).

I gained a lot of respect for how dangerous that Kings team could be, though, if you just could throw in a few more solid scorers. Nobody spectacular but maybe you add two guys who can put up 15-20 goals and dish out some assists, you have a Stanley Cup team, mainly because when your goaltender is named Jonathan Quick, you ALWAYS have a chance. In Game 2 that might be the greatest performance I've ever seen from a losing goaltender. I was simply in awe.

I don't even like the Kings but I was geeking out over the Wikipedia articles looking back over their two Stanley Cup runs. I still find it absolutely amazing (such a great story) that a team goes into the playoffs as an 8th seed and manages to take a 3-0 lead in every series of the playoffs, beat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd seeds in that order, and win it all. The Knights story is also incredible this year, but that Kings first championship story is truly incredible and the craziest part is that it's almost exceeded by the 2014 championship run, which was done the opposite way -- with 7 straight elimination wins in a row and one of the only 0-3 comebacks in sports history (well, one of 5, I'd call that one of the only!).
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
7,198 posts, read 4,993,854 times
Reputation: 2781
The preseason was terrible, gave up a ton of goals but are 1-0-1 so far this early campaign. We'll check up on them again around Thanksgiving to see what they are doing. Interested to see what, if anything Ilya Kolvachuck has left after playing in Russia the last handful of seasons.
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Old 11-04-2018, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
7,198 posts, read 4,993,854 times
Reputation: 2781
Welp, that didn't last long as John Stevens was fired Sunday as coach of the Kings a little more than a year on a job replacing Darryl Sutter. Ex-Canucks coach Willie Desjardins has been named the interim coach.

Kings fire John Stevens, name Willie Desjardins as interim coach - Los Angeles Times

I know hindsight is 20/20, but that's why, imo, they should've kept Sutter around for last year. Much easier to replace the coach in the offseason when you have more available choices at your disposal. Lombardi HAD to go after 16-17, but no reason Sutter had to follow him out there door. Sure, it might have gotten stale, but he won 2 cups, and it's not his fault Lombo in 17 got him two top talent goal tenders but no one that could actually put the puck in the net, so as a coach you make due with what you have, but can only play the hands dealt to you.
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
7,198 posts, read 4,993,854 times
Reputation: 2781
Well this year has been a disaster. The season started slow, never recovered, and they've been on the bottom of the West and overall NHL standings for quite a while, pretty much the whole season, but Ottawa has raced out to the lead in the "#1 pick department." My goal for the rest of this season is to finish above the Ducks and NOT finish last in the division/conference and that is entirely possibly, 1 point back with 17 games to play. Looks like Calgary/San Jose will finish 1/2 in some order with the VGK 6 points up on the 'Yotes for 3rd in the division ('Yotes are 1 point back of final Wild Card), and the 'Yotes are 6 points clear of Edmonton for 4th. So it looks like it's 2 teams for 1 spot in the division. Overall in the West: Dallas, Minnesota, 'Yotes and Avs are all separated by 4 points, each with 17 games to play, so it's looking like 4 teams out of that pack for 2 spots.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Trumbull/Danbury
7,198 posts, read 4,993,854 times
Reputation: 2781
Default 2019-20: 0-0

On the eve of the '19 season opener @ the Oilers tomorrow evening, I hope they can at least be competitive and stay in the race until maybe the last 5 or 10 games. They are on their 4th coach in 4 years with ex-Sharks and Oilers coach Todd McClellan replacing the interim Willie Desjardines who was absolutely horrendous to replace the fired John Stevens to end last season. Aside from the coaching change behind the bench most of the core from the last couple seasons is still around, but unfortunately that's another year older for the Doughty's, Quick's, Jeff Carter's, Dustin Brown's, Kopitar's of the world. Overall, I don't think they are much of a threat to win the Stanley Cup because they have basically the same core around that struggled all season last year and yes the coach sucked but the players weren't very good. In the division, the Flames, Sharks and VGK all look far superior on paper so I figure the best they could end up finishing is 4th and a potential Wildcard where they'll fight it out with the 'Yotes who made good strides last year and should improve, Oilers and Canucks maybe better, Ducks are going through a rebuild and than the bubble Central teams (Jets, Wild, Blackhawks). As I said if they get to March in the 60 point range about 8th or 9th in the Western Conference I'll take that as a successful season because I don't think this is a playoff team and probably more closer to a 11th or 12th place team in the Conference.
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