Page 273 of 273 FirstFirst ... 173 223 263 271 272 273
Results 4,081 to 4,091 of 4091

Thread: NHL and other ice hockey discussion

  1. #4081
    #DeSantis2024 Teh One Who Knocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    5280' Above Sea Level
    Posts
    254,069
    vCash
    4216
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Thanks
    23,312
    Thanked 111,958 Times in 59,310 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfather View Post
    Damn, Oilers too. Cup is never coming back to Canada is it
    It's only been since 1993



    Here's a great article about it from The Athletic, it was from last year, but still.


    Canadian teams stopped winning the Stanley Cup in 1993. Whatís going on?
    Sean McIndoe Jun. 10, 2022



    The Edmonton Oilers were eliminated from the NHL playoffs on Monday, ensuring that one of the strangest streaks in pro sports will continue for another year. No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since 1993. For almost three decades, the oldest trophy in North American professional sports, one that predates the NHL itself by a quarter-century, has resided in the United States. Itís all but the trophyís permanent home these days.

    Canadians are, to put it mildly, not thrilled about this.

    Oh, many of them are fine with the Oilers losing, just like theyíre fine with whichever rival has the longest run every year ultimately falling short. This isnít about the whole ďCanadaís TeamĒ debate, which was conclusively settled here. Many Canadian fans would never sell out for the Oilers, Habs, Leafs or any other team other than their own.

    But still Ö 28 seasons? Somebody canít step up and win one championship in all that time, if only so we donít have to hear about it anymore?

    On the surface, the odds are hard to fathom. There are seven Canadian franchises, nearly a full quarter of the NHLís 32 teams. Those numbers have changed over the years, but the ratio has been roughly consistent, meaning youíd expect a Canadian team to win a Cup every four or five years. Instead, nothing.

    Various attempts have been made over the years to calculate just how unlikely all this would be. We asked our own Dom Luszczyszyn to crunch the numbers, factoring in the quality of each seasonís Canadian entries. Hereís what he came up with, using odds data from SportsOddsHistory.com:



    Youíre reading that correctly. Since 1993, the numbers tell us that it would have been more likely for Canada to win 10 or more Stanley Cups than to win zero. And yet, here we are.

    Whatís going on?

    Thatís what weíre going to try to figure out today. Iíve put together a list of eight of the more common theories about whatís behind all of this. Some are more convincing than others, but weíll give them each a chance to make their case. Letís see if we can crack the code on Canadaís national Cup drought.

    Theory 1: Canadian fans are not demanding enough

    Weíll start here, because it might be the most common theory. And often, somewhat oddly, it comes from Canadian fans themselves.

    It goes something like this: Canadian fans prefer to see their teams win, but theyíll support them even if they donít. The sport is so ingrained in our national culture that the idea of tuning out a losing team is foreign to us. Weíll complain, weíll boo, weíll rant on Twitter or the local call-in show, but we wonít cancel our season tickets or make other plans for a Saturday night.

    Meanwhile, the American teams are dealing with more fickle fan bases that have no problem looking elsewhere for their entertainment. Canadian teams want to win, but American teams need to. So they do.

    Why it makes sense: As with a lot of these, we can point to the Maple Leafs as a prime example. The Leafs have a league-record Stanley Cup drought of 55 years and counting; they havenít even been to a final in all those years and havenít won a playoff round since 2004. But their building is full every night, even with some of the highest ticket prices in the league, and they consistently draw monster ratings on television. The franchise makes lots of money, even when theyíre losing. So why invest in winning?

    It makes a certain kind of intuitive sense in Toronto, as well as in other larger Canadian markets like Montreal and Vancouver.

    Why it doesnít: The theory kind of falls apart when you think about it.

    For one, the Maple Leafs spend a ton of money Ė not just on players, where the team is always up against the salary cap, but on facilities, the front office, coaches (and ex-coaches), you name it. So do most other Canadian teams. If the idea is to rack up profit by being cheap, theyíre doing it all wrong.

    Beyond that, this theory seems to be stuck in the 1980s, when cartoonishly evil Toronto owner Harold Ballard could ice a legitimately awful team and still sell out Maple Leaf Gardens. Back then, gameday revenue made up almost all of the bottom line. Today, teams have more revenue streams than ever, and many of those have nothing to do with selling tickets. The Leafs make money even when they miss the playoffs, but theyíd make so much more if they ever won a Stanley Cup. Think of the difference between the profitable Yankees of the í80s and early í90s, and the juggernaut theyíve been since the Jeter-era championships. The Leafs could be the NHLís version of that, if they ever actually won anything.

    There simply isnít a viable business model that sees any Canadian team making more profit as losers than as champions. If itís all about the bottom line and responding to financial incentives, the countryís teams should be winning all the time.

    Theyíre not, meaning we need something else. So letís flip our first theory around Ö

    Theory 2: Canadian fans are too demanding

    Does this theory directly contradict the first one? Yes. Do some fans and media use both interchangeably? Somehow, also yes.

    The NHL is the top game in town in every Canadian market. Toronto has MLB and the NBA, and thereís also MLS, the CFL and womenís hockey around the country. But the NHL is front page news everywhere, in a way that just isnít the case in any American market.

    That attention, the theory goes, works against Canadian teams. Every decision is micro-analyzed, every player is nitpicked and criticized, and every loss is a catastrophe. If things are bad, local media will create a crisis. If things are good, well, weíll get a crisis anyway, because somebody will have to play the contrarian and find the negative angle. Eventually, good players are driven away, management starts making short-sighted decisions, and nobody can stick to a plan because the fan base wonít let them.

    Why it makes sense: I mean, if youíve spent any time here, then a lot of this rings true.

    Itís great to live in a market where hockey is a big deal, but sometimes the noise that comes with it is exhausting. The media in Montreal is infamous for its constant spotlight, and even smaller markets like Winnipeg and Ottawa will ramp up the drama whenever possible. Imagine trying to make the long-term decisions necessary to build a winner in that kind of environment. You couldnít.



    Why it doesnít: First of all, this theory only works if you believe that Canada and/or hockey are somehow unique in pro sports. Canadian fans are demanding, sure, but so are Yankees fans, or Patriots fans, or Lakers fans, and theyíve all won plenty.

    It also seems like weíre casting too wide a net here. A demanding fan base doesnít suddenly make a goalie cough up a rebound, or a sniper go cold. They donít make a key prospect stagnate, or a star player get hurt, or a referee miss an obvious call. Fans donít have much influence over what happens on the ice, good or bad.

    But I do think thereís some truth to this one, so letís see if we can narrow it down into something a little more useful Ö

    Theory 3: Canadian teams wonít (or canít) bottom out

    The modern NHL is a league where teams aim for the extremes. Ideally, youíre contending for a Stanley Cup. But if not, you want to be at the bottom, collecting high draft picks that turn into the elite prospects that become the star players on cheap entry-level deals and, eventually, the needle-moving superstars that lead a team to a championship.

    But until recently, it was rare to see Canadian teams at the very bottom of the standings. Teams like Chicago or Pittsburgh or Tampa Bay could finish last or close to it for years at a time, drafting superstars with high picks. But Canadian teams rarely did that. The Calgary Flames have never picked higher than fourth in franchise history. The Vancouver Canucks have never had a first overall selection in 52 years of franchise history, and havenít picked higher than fifth since 1999. The Jets have picked in the top five once since returning to Winnipeg in 2011. The Habs will pick in the top-two this year for the first time since 1980, and even the moribund Leafs somehow went 26 years without using a top-five pick.

    The Senators picked high in their early expansion years and the Oilers had a memorable run of first overall picks that culminated in getting Connor McDavid, but theyíve been the exceptions. Maybe thereís something unique about Canada that pushes teams into the dreaded mushy middle.

    Why it makes sense: This is where we actually could see some realistic fan influence. Drafting high in the NHL requires being bad and then having some lottery luck. Many teams pursue those lottery odds for years, in what some would call a strategic retreat from a short-term focus on winning. Others would call it tanking. Yeah, letís go with tanking.

    Maybe Canadian teams canít tank, because itís just too hard to do when every loss is given crisis-level attention. You have a plan, you think everyone is on board, and next thing you know youíre in last place in December and everyone wants the coach fired, the star player is getting ripped apart every night on two sports networks, and the owner is panicking. So you abandon the long-term plan and go back to trying to squeeze into the playoffs.

    Meanwhile, teams in the States can finish last for years at a time, and their fans just shrug and watch the NBA until the hockey team is ready to win again.

    Why it doesnít: We could argue over whether teams like the mid-í90s Senators or 2010s Oilers were tanking or just incompetent. But more recently, there isnít much debate. The Maple Leafs tanked for a few years, and it paid off with Auston Matthews in 2016. This year, the Habs finished dead last. The Senators have also just come out of a full-scale teardown. Maybe that proves our theory is wrong. Or maybe it just means that weíre on to something, Canadian teams have figured it out too, and theyíre course-correcting.

    But wait, didnít we mention the draft lottery up above? If you need to win the lottery to get a star player, and Canadian teams havenít had much luck with the lottery, then that must mean Ö

    Theory 4: Itís all a conspiracy!

    Canada hasnít won a Stanley Cup since 1993. Do you know what else happened in 1993? Gary Bettman arrived as commissioner. Heís in his 28th full season on the job, and Canada is 0-for-28. Connect the dots, sheeple.

    Why it makes sense: Bettman is an American executive who came over from the NBA. He clearly prioritized American markets, including non-traditional ones in the South, and allowed two Canadian teams to move to the U.S. within years of taking the job. Heís been chasing a big U.S. television contract for decades, and now that heís finally back on ESPN, he needs big ratings. He and the NHL have all the incentive in the world to prioritize their American teams over Canada, where we already know the fans will tune in whether their teams win or not.

    So what would you do if you were Bettman? I donít know, maybe rig a few draft lotteries to make sure players like Sidney Crosby wound up in key American markets? Maybe let the referees know which way the wind was blowing, especially in the playoffs? Make sure that Canadian teams get hit with big suspensions in the Stanley Cup Final, or even have the video review guys ďforgetĒ to check on a few Cup-winning goals?

    Why it doesnít: Come on.

    I donít really have a rebuttal for all of this except that itís dumb. If the NHL was going to rig draft lotteries, thereís zero chance they would have let Connor McDavid wind up in Edmonton, a result that probably cost the league tens of millions of dollars. More recently, Toronto and Montreal have won the lottery too. Every Canadian team can point to a blown call or officiating controversy, but so can every American team. And while U.S. TV ratings matter to the league, their current Canadian deal is for comparable money, and itís the next one to expire. If anything, Bettman should be rigging things for Canada.

    But he wonít, because heís not rigging anything at all. Doing so would risk all of the leagueís credibility, not to mention Bettmanís career, for questionable gains. Itís a dumb theory, and Iím only including it here so I can ask you to stop mentioning it.

    On to something a little more reality-based Ö

    Theory 5: Itís the economics

    Before the cap, smaller Canadian teams were barely surviving, and were badly outspent by big American markets. The hard cap that was introduced in 2005 helps, but the playing field isnít even, and outside of Montreal and Toronto, the Canadian teams are still at a disadvantage. Even now, Ottawa and Winnipeg canít spend much, and the Flames have a nearly 40-year-old arena that theyíre still trying to upgrade (which has even been floated as an excuse for this yearís playoff loss). The Canadian dollar usually lags well behind Americaís. Maybe itís just the economy, stupid.

    Why it makes sense: The cap limits what teams can spend on their roster, but there are other ways to spend money on building a winner (and smart teams can find ways to outspend the cap if they want to). There isnít a direct correlation between what a team spends and how much they win, and in the pre-cap days it wasnít rare for big-spending teams like the Rangers to miss the playoffs. But having money sure doesnít hurt, and some Canadian teams donít have as much as their American counterparts.

    Why it doesnít: Itís not like the American teams that win Cups are always from the richest markets. Chicago and Detroit are big hockey towns, but Colorado was brand new when they won, Tampa and Los Angeles arenít exactly traditional markets, and the Devils were on the verge of relocating when they won their first Cup. Meanwhile, the big-money Rangers have one title in 82 years.

    More importantly, the economy theory ignores the long droughts in Montreal and (especially) Toronto, two markets that print money. Spending is a hurdle in Ottawa and Winnipeg, sure, and maybe occasionally in Edmonton or Calgary over the years. But it doesnít seem like it could be the only factor in play, or even a major one.

    Then again, you canít spend big on the best players if they wonít take your calls Ö

    Theory 6: The best players donít want to play here

    Whether due to media attention, higher taxes, cold weather or whatever else, many star players just prefer to play in the US.

    Why it makes sense: Playing in Canada means constant attention, much of it negative, not to mention lousy weather during most of hockey season and higher taxes. While every playerís priorities are different, itís not hard to see why someone might prefer to play down south, where they donít have to constantly hear about every little mistake and nobody recognizes them out in public except for the attendant at the golf course.

    Why it doesnít: Is there really much evidence that this has been an issue? Fans can point to Canadian star Steven Stamkos taking less with Tampa than what Toronto or Montreal were offering in 2016, but he was choosing to stay with the contender that had drafted him, so it wasnít all that surprising. Weíve heard about other players preferring America or having Canadian teams on their no-trade list, but weíve also seen guys like John Tavares accept big money to move up north, and players like Connor McDavid and Carey Price didnít hesitate to sign long-term extensions with Canadian teams. And while Canadian fans love to bring up tax rates as a significant disadvantage, an NHL agent has largely debunked that concern.

    More importantly, NHL players just donít have that much control over where they play. With few exceptions, theyíre bound to the team that drafts them for years, with unrestricted free agency and no-trade protection only becoming available after theyíre already past their prime. So even if thereís some occasional truth to this one with guys like Chris Pronger, the impact canít be huge.

    Theory 7: The Don Cherry factor

    Itís our game, and we know best. Except, what if we donít?

    Hockey has changed over the decades, but Canadians are set in their ways about how they expect the game to be played, so our teams adapt more slowly. Whether it was welcoming Russian and European stars in the early í90s or embracing skill over toughness today, Canada wants to watch good Canadian boys playing old-time hockey. Maybe thatís whatís holding our teams back.

    Why it makes sense: I call this the Don Cherry Factor, based on the legendary and controversial broadcaster who ruled Hockey Night in Canadaís intermission show for decades. Love him or hate him or somewhere in between, Cherry was the most influential voice for a generation of Canadian fans.

    The idea here isnít to blame one broadcaster for a 28-season Cup drought. But I do think his influence is hard to understate, and his views really did shape how the game was perceived across an entire country. They also werenít completely unique, so even without Cherry and his pulpit, there was just a certain style that Canadians are supposed to appreciate more than fans anywhere else in the world. Hard-hitting, nasty, tough, and played by Canadians.

    So when the league opened up to Soviet stars for the first time in the early í90s, it wasnít the Leafs or the Habs that reaped the benefits. Instead, it was the Red Wings and Devils who welcomed the new players and strategies, and won Stanley Cups as a result. And when the game shifted away from ďSlapshotĒ-style silliness toward more skill and speed, some of the Canadian teams were always a step behind. In a league with so much parity and such small margins, being even a little bit behind the times could be costly.

    Why it doesnít: This is my pet theory, but itís not perfect, in part because itís oversimplifying. There are millions of Canadian hockey fans, and weíre not some monolith that all want the same thing. Yes, we love Wendel Clark and Jarome Iginla and Ryan Smyth and Trevor Linden. We also love Mats Sundin and Teemu Selanne and Pavel Bure and Saku Koivu. Weíre complicated like that.

    But thereís a bigger issue here, and itís the same one you may have spotted with a few of our other theories: Canadaís NHL teams havenít actually been all that bad. They just donít win Cups. Letís look at Domís numbers again:



    That chart is based on how good Canadaís teams were during the regular season. If this was all the fault of Don Cherry, or economics, or stars not wanting to play in Canada, or fans that are either too demanding or not demanding enough, shouldnít that hurt teams during the season too? Shouldnít every year look like 1998 or 2014? Why is it that so much of all this only seems to rear its head in the playoffs?

    Maybe weíre back to conspiracy land, with Gary Bettman and his army of crooked referees waiting until the postseason starts to pull the rug out on those well-deserving Canadian teams. Or maybe itís something even more scary and nefarious Ö

    Theory 8: Maybe this is all just bad luck

    ďLuckĒ is the one four-letter word youíre not supposed to say near a hockey rink. But what if thatís it? What if this is just a long string of national bad luck, with lots of good and even a few great teams just continually having the fates plinko-chip them away from the big prize?

    Why it makes sense: More than any other theory, this one squares with all of Canadaís near-misses. Six Canadian teams have gone to the final during the drought, and four of those went to a Game 7. In total, Canadian teams have played six games where a win would have meant a Cup, and they lost them all. Those losses include the Canucks hitting the crossbar in 1994, the Flamesí controversial no-goal in 2004, and the Oilers losing their goalie to injury in 2006.

    Dom calculates the odds of this sort of drought happening just purely based on chance as roughly 1-in-142. Thatís less than 1 percent. But itís not zero percent, and again, Canada has come awfully close over the drought. If Martin Gelinasí goal counts and Dwayne Roloson doesnít get hurt, weíre talking about two Cups in 28 seasons, roughly a 10 percent chance, and nobody finds that especially unusual. The line between a national crisis and a shrug emoji is razor-thin. Maybe thatís all this is.

    (We should also point out that all of this Canadian Cup drought talk always involves playing with arbitrary end points; before the drought started, Canada won eight of 10 Stanley Cups, meaning theyíll have won eight of the last 39 counting this year, almost exactly what youíd expect given the ratio of teams in the league.)

    Why it doesnít: For one, itís super unsatisfying. All this hand-wringing over a fluke? There has to be something better than that to blame.

    And then we go back to the numbers. One last Dom chart:



    Iíll save you the math ó that adds up to between four and five Cups that Canadian teams should have won, again based on their regular-season performance. Itís a big drop all the way to zero. Could luck explain all of that away? Yeah, actually, it could. But itís certainly unlikely, and thereís no way to know for sure.

    And the winner is Ö

    Ö not Canada, for the 28th season in a row. But why?

    As youíve probably guessed, I donít think we can settle on one answer. Iíve given you the eight best theories that are out there, and none of them stands out as being unassailable. But that doesnít mean weíve come up empty. Most complicated problems have more than one cause, so we can pick and choose from our options here.

    Personally, put me down for a mix of theories 3 and 7, a little bit of theory 5, and a healthy dollop of theory 8. Your recipe might be different, and Iím open to hearing it, or any other theories you might want to share. Head down to the comments and let me know.

    No rush, though. Us Canadians have got a year to think about it. And up here, weíre used to that.

  2. #4082
    Take Box B DemonGeminiX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bum Fuck Egypt, East Jabip
    Posts
    64,366
    vCash
    27252
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Thanks
    44,605
    Thanked 16,712 Times in 11,844 Posts
    Keith Tkachuk must be smiling right now. His kid is unreal.


    Warning: The posts of this forum member may contain trigger language which may be considered offensive to some.

    Music was better when ugly people were allowed to make it.

  3. #4083
    Take Box B DemonGeminiX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bum Fuck Egypt, East Jabip
    Posts
    64,366
    vCash
    27252
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Thanks
    44,605
    Thanked 16,712 Times in 11,844 Posts
    For some odd reason, I really don't want Vegas to win this series.


    Warning: The posts of this forum member may contain trigger language which may be considered offensive to some.

    Music was better when ugly people were allowed to make it.

  4. #4084
    Basement Dweller Godfather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    16,578
    vCash
    13129
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Thanks
    4,192
    Thanked 6,546 Times in 3,875 Posts
    I'm with you, that's the one team I really dont want to win.

    Florida is 10-1 since going down 3-1 to the Bruins in the first round... wild surprise. Pulling for them. Bobrovsky has .978 SV% this series, 132/135 shots. Incredible.
    Last edited by Godfather; 05-23-2023 at 06:28 AM.

  5. #4085
    #DeSantis2024 Teh One Who Knocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    5280' Above Sea Level
    Posts
    254,069
    vCash
    4216
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Thanks
    23,312
    Thanked 111,958 Times in 59,310 Posts
    Looking like it will be a Vegas-Florida final for the Cup.

  6. #4086
    #DeSantis2024 Teh One Who Knocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    5280' Above Sea Level
    Posts
    254,069
    vCash
    4216
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Thanks
    23,312
    Thanked 111,958 Times in 59,310 Posts


    Now that the sting has faded a bit, I can now appreciate this as kinda funny. Also, it helps that Florida is just bullying everyone, so it's just apparent that Florida is a buzz saw this year in the east.

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Teh One Who Knocks For This Useful Post:

    DemonGeminiX (05-24-2023), Godfather (05-25-2023)

  8. #4087
    Basement Dweller Godfather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    16,578
    vCash
    13129
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Thanks
    4,192
    Thanked 6,546 Times in 3,875 Posts
    Aaaand they swept the Canes. That does have to make you feel better. They only got in because Chicago beat Pitt right at the end of the season too... nuts. Kinda reminds me of the Kings unexpected run in 2012, brushing aside the President's Trophy Canucks that year and going on to destroy everyone too. Makes you feel a bit better... but not really eh

  9. #4088
    Take Box B DemonGeminiX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Bum Fuck Egypt, East Jabip
    Posts
    64,366
    vCash
    27252
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Thanks
    44,605
    Thanked 16,712 Times in 11,844 Posts
    I like the Panthers. I'm still not liking the Knights.

    As an aside, Carolina's coached by Rod Brind'amour, former Philadelphia Flyers' center. There was a year pre-Lindros where Rod was the top scorer for the Flyers. I had no idea Rod went into coaching, and apparently, he's been coaching the Hurricanes for the past 5 or 6 years. Shows you how much I've been paying attention.


    Warning: The posts of this forum member may contain trigger language which may be considered offensive to some.

    Music was better when ugly people were allowed to make it.

  10. #4089
    Basement Dweller Godfather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    16,578
    vCash
    13129
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Thanks
    4,192
    Thanked 6,546 Times in 3,875 Posts
    Rod the Bod! Dude is still known around the league for being the fittest coach too. Honestly there's a lot to like about Florida. They built that roster somehow with only 3 players they drafted themselves which is just a weird stat. Really don't want Vegas to win, I can't get over them coming into the league so stacked, it's not right.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Godfather For This Useful Post:

    DemonGeminiX (05-26-2023)

  12. #4090
    #DeSantis2024 Teh One Who Knocks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    5280' Above Sea Level
    Posts
    254,069
    vCash
    4216
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Thanks
    23,312
    Thanked 111,958 Times in 59,310 Posts
    Just heard on a podcast that Carolina is now 0-12 in their last 12 Conference Finals games....they've been swept the last 3 times they've made it that far.

  13. #4091
    Basement Dweller Godfather's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    16,578
    vCash
    13129
    Mentioned
    26 Post(s)
    Thanks
    4,192
    Thanked 6,546 Times in 3,875 Posts
    That's fucking brutal Ouch

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •