Once you get into the playoffs, you have to do a few things differently than you did in the regular season. One, you have the same opponent for up to seven games. You know their tendencies. You know their strengths and their weaknesses. No more four-on-four for five minutes and then a shootout if you end regulation tied. You finish your checks. You expect the opposition to finish their checks as well. You stop shaving and grow a beard. Fans stop shaving and grow their playoff beards. If you are OEL, you wear a button saying you are growing a beard, you just don’t have the facial hair yet. Ah, to be twenty years old again. Shave once a week, be in college, getting ready for spring break. Or, like OEL, playing in the NHL and dominating. Being compared to your idol Nic Lindstrom. Going to Lake Havasu versus being a starting defensemen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The decisions, the decisions.
Every year, it seems the Cup is won by two things. A goalie who gets hot and stays that way. And a role player comes out, makes a few great plays a game and lifts the team to victory. A goalie can make or break your season. Once the playoffs start, it is a new season. You put away the stats and the highlights that got you there. You allow the team to make new ones. Doan face after scoring against Detroit two years ago. The agony Shane showed after losing last year. NBC Sports did a great interview with Shane before the game last night and showed the video. Shane bent over as the time ticks off the clock. Slowly skating to his own end of the ice. The pain is evident. Tears are flowing down his cheeks.
When asked about it, Shane talked about how hard it is to lose. Talked about not wanting the season to end. It is our turn now.
Here are the last thirteen SC finals.
Year Winner Winning Coach Losing Team Losing Coach Game Winning Goal and Time
As you look at that list, a couple things stick out.
- No Canadians teams have lifted the Cup since 1993
- The game winning goal has been scored by the team superstar only a couple of times (Patrick Kane, Brett Hull-no goal, he was in the crease). The rest was a role player. Talbot, playing with Malkin and Crosby. Zetterberg played with Datsyuk, Lindstrom, Holmstrom, Sammuelsson, Ralfalski).
- Hot goalies rule. Chris Osgood taking over for Hasek in 2008. Tim Thomas dominating Vancouver last year. Antii Niemi coming out of nowhere for Chicago. J. S. Giguere leading Anaheim in 2007 after being inserted for a Russian goalie.
- The best playoff series in all of sports in the NHL Stanley Cup run.
Now, let’s not sit back and watch this happen. Buy your ticket to go to Jobing.com and cheer on the boys. Let’s not let the home arena be overrun by the opposition. Occupy Jobing.com.