Is Repeating as Stanley Cup Champ Possible? Well…

The grind, she makes it a difficult trek to repeat at Stanley Cup champions… or does she? Can the Colorado Avalanche do it? Can it be done at all?

That’s Gabriel Landeskog, “Landy” as it were (all hockey players have a nickname with a ‘y’ on the end). He’s already hurt. It’s a knee and he’s out for 12 weeks.

Is it really that difficult? Perhaps the days of free agency and cap restrictions, maybe? Or is it just a matter of knowing how to control that cap.
The Blackhawks did fine in the 2010’s – they won 3 and hadn’t won since 1961 before that – but inevitably collapsed under the weight. They also have never repeated. Ever.

I am going to ignore the cap. Yeah, I said it – ignore it. Not going to go back into the days of the Original 6 and marvel at their successes. That’d be stupid. For the most part it’s not that great. Here are the Original 6 and their overall Stanley Cup records.

Boston Bruins – 20 appearances, 6 victories (ouch) last appearance 2019

Chicago Blackhawks – 13 appearances, 6 victories (oof) last victory 2015

Detroit Red Wings – 24 appearances (wow!), 11 victories (meh) last appearance 2009

Montreal Canadians – 35 appearances (oh Canada!), 24 victories (amazing) last victory in 1993

New York Rangers – 11 appearances (sad), 4 victories the last one in 1994

Toronto Maple Leafs – 21 appearances, 13 victories… but the last time they appeared was when they won in 1967. It’s a sad state of affairs wearing the blue and white.

With all that history, I am going to back to what the NHL called the “Modern Era” even if said era is more than 50 years ago. Hey, that’s hockey. Stick with the past like a Bears fan. Sometimes that’s all you got.

Continue reading “Is Repeating as Stanley Cup Champ Possible? Well…”

The NHL Report at the All-Star Break

The NHL in the first ‘half’ (we are beyond the halfway point but the All-Star Break is a reasonable spot to be considered halfway), we saw the league do some good things. One, they pulled their players from participating in the Olympics. Frankly, just preventing the players from being exhausted for the stretch run it would have made sense. Protecting them from possibly being more exposed than they already are to COVID is another. Two, COVID protocols have seemed to work. There have been times when teams have had to take time off because their ranks have been decimated by the virus, but that lay-off doesn’t really seem to affect good teams. And bad teams are, by definition, bad so who fucking cares.

Regarding good teams, let’s slip on some skates and glide around with my favorite team, the Colorado Avalanche. They played Trashville on December 16th and got their ass handed to them, losing 5-2. Due to COVID, they didn’t play again until January 2nd. Basically, they got a public-school Christmas Break. A long layoff ought to make a team pretty rusty, right? Umm, large no on that one. They won their return game, roasting the Ducks 4-2, then proceeded to go 14-1 for January, vaulting themselves into first place in the Western Conference. They’re 8 points above the Trashville Sabre Cats (Yes I know they are the Nashville Predators, but look at their dumb-ass logo) with two games in hand.

Nazem Kadri of the Avalanche is having a hell of a season. Here’s hoping he keeps his head on straight and doesn’t do anything stupid to get suspended like her did for the playoffs last year. Photo via The Hockey News shot by Jeff Curry – USA Today Sports

What does two games in hand mean? I’ll get to that. Tighten the laces on your skates and let’s continue.

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The NHL Report: Halftime

The Avalanche finally reached the 50% mark, actually a game over as they dominated the Wild yesterday afternoon with a 6-0 victory. Yes it is half the season – even if the Stars have only played 26 games and a few teams are at game 34. The Stars are in Dallas which is in Texas which believes COVID is a Democratic conspiracy done in conjunction with China.

Halftime. You sure? Those of who are observant of hockey, there is no halftime in a game. I once took a date to a Blackhawks game and at the end of the first period, she asked me “Is it halftime?” In hindsight it would have been easy to explain to her the game is divided up in thirds, but I just stared at her. Thusly the conversation went as such:
“Is this halftime?”

(silent stare)

“It is, right? Let’s go get snacks.”

“Actually, it’s the end of the first period. There is no halftime in hockey.”

“You’re an asshole.”

Couldn’t blame her. The stare was a little harsh. But the date was not going well anyway. Let’s move along, much as I did after that date.

The Avalanche and Wild don’t like each other much. Then again, the Avalanche don’t really like anybody.
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