There’s nothing to be discovered from the 2019 NHL playoffs

7:00 AM ET

Greg WyshynskiESPN

It seems that Antti Niemi by no means modified the world.

In 2010, the 26-year-old Finnish import performed 39 video games within the common season after which 22 within the postseason, the place he went 16-6 with a .910 save share and a 2.63 goals-against common because the Chicago Blackhawks received the Stanley Cup. He made $827,000 towards the wage cap, a lot lower than Cristobal Huet ($5.625 million) and Nikolai Khabibulin ($6.750 million), the 2 veteran goalies he rendered out of date.

That he beat Michael Leighton of the Philadelphia Flyers — who made $600,000 — within the Stanley Cup Last made some across the league overtly query whether or not funding within the goaltending place was actually price it. A free agent from Europe and a sixth-round decide confronted off for the Stanley Cup, and each made peanuts. Anybody may do that!

Nicely, probably not. After that season got here Tim Thomas, who made $5 million for the Boston Bruins, adopted by a parade of goalies who had been drafted and cultivated: Jonathan Fast, Corey Crawford, Matt Murray and Braden Holtby. The 2010 postseason was an anomaly. If it strengthened something, it is that you may have Chris Osgood you probably have Nicklas Lidstrom and Corridor of Fame defensive facilities, similar to you may have Antti Niemi you probably have Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews. At the very least for one postseason.

Additionally on this week’s Wysh Checklist: Week in Gritty | Jersey Fouls
We love ‘snackwards’ | Krueger Time | Puck Headlines

One of many everlasting truths of the NHL is that it is a copycat league, which is a well mannered manner of claiming that normal managers are primarily cowards who have to see one thing daring repay for another person earlier than adopting it as their very own technique. That goes for analytics or contract buildings or what sort of coach to rent and from the place.

However copying from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs is like copying from the dumbest child in your math class (aka “me”). It is an incongruity. It is a glitch. It will likely be remembered the identical manner we bear in mind the 2006 postseason, which is to say for its eccentricity fairly than its trendsetting.

2 Associated

Oh, they’re going to attempt to mine it for which means. Witness the Western Convention govt who famous to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic that no participant on the 4 convention finalists makes greater than the $eight million that Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks makes.

To state two fairly apparent issues right here: After all there’s an NHL govt noting a pattern that will encourage the stagnation of wages within the identify of championship competition; and, lest we neglect, three of the 4 groups within the convention closing spherical would have fortunately paid John Tavares greater than $eight million yearly, even when solely two of them (Boston and San Jose) have been invited to talk with him. (Higher luck subsequent mega free agent, St. Louis.)

To state one other: This “pattern” is not supported by latest historical past.

Of the gamers who helped their groups to the ultimate 4 within the preview two postseasons, eight of them made greater than $eight million: Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, P.Okay. Subban, Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Phil Kessel. Two extra of them signed offers price $eight million or extra per 12 months within the summers after their convention closing appearances: John Carlson and Ryan Johansen. After this postseason, a number of gamers may (or will) crest over that mark: Logan Couture, whose new contract pays him $eight million yearly, and free brokers Joe Pavelski, Erik Karlsson and Sebastian Aho.

So sure, as a rule, you are going to want these $eight million gamers. And if they do not make $eight million, they’ll, as you may find yourself doing what the Blackhawks and Kings did, and pay them $10 million for earlier accomplishments.

Then there’s the notion of the way to construct a workforce, relating to how this 12 months’s closing 4 have been constructed. As my Puck Soup colleague Sean McIndoe famous, solely the Carolina Hurricanes have a “latest” top-five decide, with Andrei Svechnikov touchdown at No. 2 total final summer time to the Canes. Anybody else chosen within the high 5 was chosen ages in the past, like Alex Pietrangelo in 2008 or Joe Thornton all the way in which again in 1997.

“After years of the Cup going to groups, just like the Penguins and Hawks, who have been constructed round high picks, this 12 months is a reminder that the lottery is not the one manner,” he writes.

I do not know. … Is it? The Blackhawks, Kings, Penguins and Capitals did not simply have foundational gamers who have been chosen within the high 5, they’d gamers who have been acquired by taking place that the majority nefarious path: stripping down the roster to amass a high draft alternative. Certain, in some circumstances the bonds did not mature till a number of years later (or within the Capitals’ case, 14 years), however that is nonetheless how the muse was set.

Miss a recreation from the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs? Need to expertise a recreation once more? Each playoff matchup is on the market for replay on ESPN+. Watch now »

These playoffs have been maybe probably the most unpredictable of my lifetime, what with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s first-round exit, the Hurricanes’ run to the Jap Convention closing and the Sharks and Blues — in no way groups on whom one assumes postseason success — as the ultimate two within the Western Convention. It has been nice for gratification, most likely not the perfect for blood strain and definitely not something that ought to shift the paradigm for workforce building. Which, come to consider it, has been the perfect recommendation for any overreaction to what occurs in a short-sprint event.

In 2010, Antti Niemi and Michael Leighton threatened to redefine the need for a franchise goalie. In 2019, Tuukka Rask — of the eight-year, $56 million contract — may observe Braden Holtby of the five-year, $30 million contract as Stanley Cup-winning goalies.

Overreact to the postseason at your personal danger.

The week in Gritty

The one factor retaining the Philadelphia Flyers related received a significant award this week. OK, Gritty really received the Webby Award for “Individuals’s Voice Award for Social: Athletes and Sports activities Groups (Social)” just a few weeks again, however he bodily picked up the award this week whereas carrying a go well with and firing a confetti cannon. He even gave a speech.

I proceed to amaze me. @TheWebbyAwards>#5WordSpeech> – Gritty (@GrittyNHL) Might 14, 2019

However the massive information for our orange nightmare is the obvious invitation he acquired to grow to be a “Not Prepared For Prime Time Participant,” as NHL Awards host Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night time Dwell” sang his praises.

“Depart it as much as Philly to give you a loopy mascot like that. Simply these eyes. I do not know man, he haunts lots of people’s goals, I do know that,” mentioned Thompson, earlier than suggesting that Gritty ought to go on “SNL” and could be “superior for a chilly open with Trump or one thing” like that.

#NHLAwards>@kenanthompson>@ArthurKade>@GrittyNHL,>@nbcsnl> – NHL (@NHL) Might 14, 2019

“Gritty, please, come to SNL. I will care for you. It is on me, belief me,” mentioned Thompson.

Thompson as David Ortiz meets Gritty on Weekend Replace. Scores file would fall.

On playoff officiating (once more)

There have been various officiating controversies within the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire

Earlier this week I counted down the varied officiating controversies within the postseason, and little did I do know that 48 hours after publication we found yet one more pleasant nuance of the rulebook.

The notion hand go that results in a objective, just like the one the Sharks scored on in Recreation three towards St. Louis on Wednesday evening, is not one way or the other reviewable — both by the officers that may have missed it, the Toronto Warfare Room that caught it or by a coach who can problem it — is palpably insane. We evaluate offside performs during which a skate is a pixel over the road or some dude is simply meandering on the bench. We evaluate goalie interference calls during which the attacking participant seems on the netminder the improper manner. What’s the sense of getting video evaluate if to not enable the on-ice officers each mechanism at their disposal to get the decision appropriate?

The subsequent normal managers assembly goes to make a UFC information convention sound like a gathering of librarians by comparability.

Jersey foul of the week

From Hoodie Joe:

@wyshynski> – Hoodie Joe (@bhawksfanJAmes) Might 10, 2019

Not solely is it a foul, however it’s a basic foul for the Carolina Hurricanes, one which’s been seen in Raleigh for years. Intelligent? Sure. However how dare this fan besmirch the great names of basic No. 5 bearers like Marek Malik and Noah Hanifin!

Krueger time

In 2015, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was on his fifth coach in 5 years with the Edmonton Oilers, a pattern that sadly hasn’t actually modified all that a lot 4 years later. However there was one coach on this disposable cycle of whom he was fairly fond, and lamented that he did not get extra time with the workforce.

That coach was Ralph Krueger.

“All of us actually appreciated Ralph,” he mentioned. “Tremendous clever man. Actually knew the way to deal with the gamers properly, and we solely had a brief season with him. It was powerful to lose him.”

Postgame evaluation and spotlight present airing every evening all through the season from Barry Melrose and Linda Cohn. Watch on ESPN+

Krueger was employed in 2012, coached 48 video games within the lockout-shortened season, after which was fired (over Skype!) by the workforce. In 2014, he turned director of Southampton of the Premier League and ultimately its chairman. However then, in a shock, he break up with the workforce and returned to the NHL this week as head coach of the Buffalo Sabres.

I am a Ralph Krueger fan. I respect his intelligence and I respect an outside-the-box rent. The jury’s out on what a Krueger workforce seems like within the NHL in 2020, however I am unable to wait to see it. Sabres followers are understandably skeptical. I would love nothing greater than to see Krueger show these fears unfounded. (And within the course of, save Jason Botterill’s job.)

Hearken to ESPN On Ice

Following Recreation three of the Jap Convention finals, we talked in regards to the rolling Bruins. Are they this good (four:30)? Emily Kaplan catches up with Finnish reporters Tommi Seppala and Sami Hoffrén to debate their protection of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (17:43). Former NHL goaltender and present broadcaster Darren Pang talks in regards to the Blues’ success, notably the play of goalie Jordan Binnington (37:13). Plus, “Phil Kessel Loves Sizzling Canine” options two victims this week (44:21). Catch it right here on iTunes.

Each workforce wants ‘Snackwards’

For all of its giggle-worthy antics, the Kiss-Cam is a problematic mess. However that does not imply all JumboTron candid digicam bits aren’t worthy of our consideration. In reality, one in every of them must be adopted by each workforce, in all places, instantly.

Behold, “Snackwards.”

If @cbnationals> – Serena Dalhamer (@SerenaDalhamer) January 10, 2018

That is an instance of the bit from a Dallas Stars recreation, the place video of followers consuming is reversed so it seems like their meals and drinks are reconstituting. One other instance:

Get pleasure from some Snackwards cam motion – Tanner Giles (@tannerlennon) February 1, 2017

The St. Louis Blues do that bit at their house video games, too, and let or not it’s mentioned I’ve not laughed more durable at something within the area that wasn’t mascot-related or the Nashville Predators’ energy play. Each workforce within the league ought to do that. It is so splendidly gross.

Puck headlines

Unhappy information from the minor leagues: The Manchester Monarchs aren’t any extra.

The dangerous boys of podcasting (aka DJ Bean and Peter Blackburn of “BRUNCH”) determined the Boston Bruins wanted a victory track. So that they stole “Gloria” from the St. Louis Blues, after which recorded one other “Gloria” for the Blues.

Stick-tap to Bud Gentle for an ingenious use of the “Gloria” factor for their very own promotional functions.

Meet the best hockey identify ever, T-Bone Codd.

James Mirtle goes one-on-one with Brendan Shanahan, who will get slightly too evasive about Mike Babcock’s relationship with Kyle Dubas. ($)

The Vegas Golden Knights wish to create extra ice within the desert.

“Hockey’s Subsequent Head-Harm Reckoning.”

Hockey tl;dr (too lengthy; did not learn)

SABRES GM Jason Botterill places his job on the road with out-of-the-box hiring of Ralph Krueger … and that is a very good factor. (Aspect be aware: Why does The Hockey Information do the all-caps headline factor?)

In case you missed this from your pals at ESPN

How the NHL commerce deadline formed the ultimate 4 playoff groups.

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