Archive for the ‘Postseason’ Category

Nicklas Lidstrom does not need an introduction. If anything, people are likely running out of superlatives to describe him with.

Put together on one sheet of paper, everything he’s achieved is nothing short of remarkable. Four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Memorial Trophies, one Conne Smythe award, 12 All-Star Game inductions and one Olympic gold medal place him amongst the legends of the sport.

The Calder Trophy was one of the few awards he failed to claim, but that was because his competition was one of the most electrifying players of all time in Pavel Bure. In a dual between a natural scorer and an unflappable defenseman, the scorer was voted as top rookie. It just goes to show you, even a performer with the pedigree of Lidstrom can’t win them all.

Steve Yzerman’s introduction signaled the start of something special in Detroit and Lidstrom is a huge factor in its continuity. Two decades have flown by since the veteran was first positioned into the line-up, during which the Red Wings are yet to come up short of reaching the postseason. Few matters are automatic in this day and age, like someone being fairly suspended by Brendan Shanahan for intolerable violations. One thing you can count on though is that Lidstrom’s name is synonymous with success. (more…)

If the National Hockey League’s 1999 Entry Draft became a ship, it would be the Titanic. Leading role would go to Patrik Stefan as the protagonist, not Leonardo DiCaprio. The first round is our iceberg, and…well you get the idea.

There’s little doubt that this class played with the emotions of clubs, as there was so much promise from the talent pool, yet how much was solidified? Stefan, the first overall pick, garnered a huge amount of press attention for his shortcomings, and put the exclamation point on his career by blundering an empty net break-away.

For anyone who purchased his hockey cards in the hopes that they’d be worth a substantial amount of money in the future like myself, you might as well treat it as toilet paper because they are estimated to be that expensive today. (more…)

Few men have enjoyed the illustrious playing career that Steve Yzerman hollowed out. Even less have shown equal brains in the front office so quickly. It’s one thing to to say you’ve played professional hockey and worked in coherence with management, it’s another to claim you’ve been extremely successful in both. Tampa Bay had a lot of changing to do in the summer of 2010, but their first order of business was drawing someone to take care of the business.

After three seasons of turmoil that saw them finish 15th, 14th, and 12th in the Eastern Conference, the club’s brass found the right man to seize control at last. While the Detroit Red Wings’ legend shuffled the deck in the off-season, his agenda in January involved two more subtle transactions to put them over the top.

First, he traded for the rights of Dwayne Roloson, an aging veteran who had playoff pedigree and fighting spirit. He ticked all of the boxes for Tampa Bay and the birth date mattered little, as he still moved well with the New York Islanders. If Roloson was a gamble, Mike Smith (.899 save percentage, 2.90 goals against average) and Dan Ellis (.889 save percentage, 2.93 goals against average) were drugged horses in the Kentucky Derby—and not the performance enhancing kind of drugged. Look at those statistics. Did either of them want the starting goaltender position? (more…)