Wednesday, June 23, 2021

We’re not mad just disappointed with the 2021 playoff underperformer team

The NHL playoffs are an endless grind of grief and disappointment, a joyless slog filled with underperforming stars and unfair outcomes that serve no purpose beyond sapping whatever remaining traces of happiness might still exist in the deep crevices of our exhausted brains. Nobody enjoys any of it, and there is growing consensus that postseason hockey should be banned. The maddening spiral of pointless cruelty and abject misery serves only to foster a sense of deep foreboding as we crawl towards our inevitable…

(Checks earpiece.)

Huh. I’m being told that all of that might only apply to Leaf fans. Apparently other teams occasionally win in the postseason? Some fans get to be… happy? That sounds weird to me but I guess I’ll take your word for it.

But yeah… disappointment. Let’s celebrate it. As we close in on the end of the third round of this year’s postseason, it’s time to build out our annual team of playoff underperformers. We’ll go with a full 20-man roster, with at least one rep from each of the eliminated teams. Keep in mind that this won’t necessarily be the postseason’s worst performers, since that would include a bunch of fourth-liners who nobody expects to contribute. Instead, we’re going for disappointment, which factors in the higher expectations that some stars carry.

Have you practiced your weary sighs and sad head-shaking? Good, let’s get started…


Tristan Jarry, Penguins

Every Penguins fan knew he’d be here, and they probably would have shown up at my house in protest if he wasn’t. We could mention the .888 save percentage, or the 3.18 goals against. We could focus on the 16 goals against in the last four games of the series. Or we could just remember this moment, which was probably the turning point of the Penguins’ postseason.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers

I feel like Jarry would be the consensus pick for the starter on this team, but his numbers were actually significantly better than Bobrosvky’s .841 and 5.33, which would be enough to get you benched in the mid-80s Norris Division. It was enough in 2021 too, as the league’s second highest-paid goaltender lost his job not once but twice, and to two different guys. That’s generally a sign that a series isn’t going well.

First pair

John Carlson, Capitals

Like a lot of players on this roster (and pretty much everyone who takes the ice in the playoffs), Carlson was playing through injury, in his case a bad knee. Still, a guy with a reputation as one of the league’s top offensive blueliners managed just a pair of assists against Boston, both on the powerplay, and his underlying numbers were awful. You could make a strong case that Dmitry Orlov was even worse, but Orlov wasn’t the Norris runner-up last year, so Carlson takes the disappointment crown.

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1 comment:

  1. I put a lot on this game but lost. I brought many problems to my family. I was offered to find out the talkspace therapy cost and I decided that this is my way out, to hire a specialist who can help me for not expensive