Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Winners and losers from the 2012 NHL playoffs

"Wait. When coach said my ice time would
need to be much lower, maybe he meant..."
The Devils and Kings were at it again last night, with the Kings finally ending the series and claiming the first championship in franchise history. But while the Kings will understandably be dominating the league's headlines in the coming days, they're not the only team that's been busy over the past few months.

Between the three prior rounds of postseason play and all of the intrigue among teams that are already in off-season mode, there's been no shortage of news around the league since the season ended. After all, everyone wants to someday find themselves in the same spot the Kings and Devils were in last night, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Of course, not every move turns out to be the right one. Here's a look at the some of the names that have been making news over the past two months, both positive and negative.

Winner: Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh Penguins - His new job as the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury is a perfect fit for an aging veteran coming off of an injury, since it means he won't have to play in any playoff games until six or seven minutes in.

Loser: Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers - Had hoped to use this season to finally establish himself as a top-tier playoff goaltender, so will probably be devastated when someone eventually gets around to telling him that the Flyers were eliminated four weeks ago.

Winner: Tampa Bay Lightning - Their Norfolk Admirals farm team won the AHL's Calder Cup while gaining invaluable experience, such as figuring out how to pause the game, access the options and menu and turn offsides off.

Loser: Brendan Shanahan - Showed poor taste by having a fake Raffi Torres head mounted on the wall of his office, although you have to admit it's pretty neat how it occasionally blinks and whispers "please help me" in that oddly realistic way.

Winner: Bryan Murray, Ottawa Senators - The global economy continues to spiral towards an unprecedented collapse that could devastate vulnerable nations and wipe out entire currencies, which is starting to make Erik Karlsson's free agency negotiation starting point of "all the money in the entire world times ten" seem manageable.

Loser: Brent Sutter - Lost his head coaching job in Calgary, and will no doubt now fade into obscurity like every Sutter the Flames part ways with.

Winner: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks - After years of being labeled as a player who fails to get it done during long playoff runs, finally showed his critics that he's actually quite capable of not getting it done in short playoff runs too.

Loser: Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers - The surgery on his torn labrum had to be performed without any type of local anesthesia, since every time the nurse tried to give him a shot a Rangers' defenseman would dive in and block it.

Winner: Roberto Luongo - Critics who had accused him of having a slow glove hand this season have been proven completely wrong, based on how quickly he uses it to swat the cell phone out of Mike Gillis's hand every time he hears him say "Hi Burkie".

Loser: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings - Announced his retirement from the NHL, which immediately dropped his chances of winning the 2013 Norris Trophy down to like 50% or 60%, tops.

Winner: Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets - The defenceman seems to be in the best shape of his life, according to neighbors who've seen him hurl his big screen TV across three yards and into their swimming pool after every Kings' win.

Loser: Tim Thomas, Bruins - Has once again revealed himself to be embarrassingly out of touch with the modern world, in the sense that he apparently still uses Facebook.

Winner: Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes - Established himself as a clutch goaltender who could single-handedly steal games for his team, and it was a nice change of pace to read stories that included the phrase "Phoenix Coyotes" and "absolute robbery" but not "Glendale taxpayers".


  1. There's a few editorial errors in this, just FYI.

  2. Winner: The Flyers Organization - For finding a way to use Columbus as a sneaky filtering system to provide players for the Western component from the Eastern one.

    1. Winner: The Flyers Organization - traded away a Stanley Cup but kept a lineup full of unskilled goons.

    2. Do you mean the same "un-skilled goons" that knocked the flightless birds out in the first round??.....SOUR GRAPES TASTE GOOD, DON'T THEY??

    3. It would have been more challenging if the Pens had managed to get a goaltender in front of the net, but they seemed to love having their goaltenders pulled all the time but forgot to put that sixth player on the ice. Still, Giroux might make it to the cover of NHL 13 which is much better than winning the Art Ross, the Richard, or the Hart trophies! As a Kings fan I'm sure it must burn the rest of the team to know they're stuck with contracts living in that disgusting city while Richards and Carter have 9 year contracts and get to live in Manhattan Beach. Maybe some more Flyers fans can go beat up some off duty cops because they choked in what amounts to an exhibition game. Here in LA the fruits of "Not having a lobotomized GM" taste pretty damned good.

      So, Winner: The Flyers Organization - Their fans and players have another postseason failure to embellish their insecurities. Cheers!

    4. It would have been much more challenging had the Flyers had some goaltending all year long as well but we still managed to break 100pts and get the 5 seed with one of the youngest teams in the league. No ones saying being on the cover of NHL 13 is better than any of those things but Giroux will definitely being battling for all of those trophies. Heck look how long it took another guy to beat his 17 playoff points in only 10 games with 2 bad wrists.
      As for the long contract situation you seem to think is a really good thing for your Kings I have 2 things: 1. They signed those lifetime contracts in that very "disgusting" city you're talking about because they loved it here. You don't sign a 10+ year contract at a discount if you don't enjoy the place. 2. Holmgren decided the team needed a change and he had a small window to make it happen. The team got younger and went in a new direction. It's actually a pretty exciting team to watch.
      It's funny how you barely squeeze into the playoffs, finally get it together and make a damn good playoff run riding a hot goaltender, win the stanley cup and all of the sudden the coaches, Gm, and whole organization is god like. You were literally a few losses away from having a complete failure of a season. Congrats on winning the cup, if you had any clue you would know everyone in Philly is happy for our former players. So I'm not sure why you're taking such personal shots at us.
      PS- We enjoyed using Simmonds the right way and watching his career year, looking forward to another. And oh that little Schenn fella could be another Giroux, looking very forward. Best wishes

    5. Kings 30. Pens 30. the amount of goals both teams gave up during the 2012 playoffs which oddly enough seemed to be about a month or so shorter for the pens. ;)

    6. Just about everybody in Philadelphia was pulling for Richards, Carter, and Gagne, et al, to win the Stanley Cup, bittersweet though it was for Flyers fans. Thanks for being equally classy and ripping on the Flyers organization. I won't launch into a lengthy defense of Paul Holmgren's moves, but just know that there's no way the Flyers (or any of their fans) would take back the Richards or Carter trades.

    7. Yeh.. Philly was rooting for a team called the LA Flyers.. I still can't figure that one out since everybody on the team was a King. And i saw now orange in their uniforms or celebration. The last piece was a crown, which is not the standard flying people.. If you called them the flyers I ask that you rescind your love for the Philadelphia team and assign yourself a new team. I the kings

  3. Loser: NBC's coverage. It seems their hockey coverage is just an excuse to advertise their other "sports". Or when something exciting happens they go to a stupid Geico commercial.
    Big fight in front of the net, here is a Geico commercial instead.

  4. Your best post in a while in my opinion. Absolutely loved it.

  5. Odd that you didn't put a team name after Luongo.....

  6. Winner: US fans. Despite NBC's shortcomings, amazing coverage of ALL playoff games across NBC platform.

  7. "Winner: Tampa Bay Lightning - Their Norfolk Admirals farm team won the AHL's Calder Cup while gaining invaluable experience, such as figuring out how to pause the game, access the options and menu and turn offsides off."

    finally! :D
    not that it would have changed much. but still.

  8. The whole game lost: http://thebarnstormer.com/hockeys-worst-year/

  9. When a team loses only 3 games out of their final 47, I think they may be messing with more options than just turning offsides off.