Thursday, June 2, 2022

Down Goes Brown: Building the roster for the playoff disappointment team

We’re into the third round of what’s so far been one of the best postseasons ever, and even cranky old sportswriters are writing glowing puff pieces about how great everything has been.

You know what that means: It’s time to spend an entire post being negative about the players who’ve disappointed us.

Yes, it’s the annual all-disappointment team, where we build a 21-man roster out of all the so-called stars who let us down this spring. These aren’t the worst players from the 2022 playoffs, because that would just be a list of fourth-liners who barely played. No, we’re going to focus on players who are notable because our expectations were high. Too high, in some cases? Sure, probably, but that’s half the fun. Your team would have won if you’d just scored a dozen more goals or so, you fraud.

(By the way, Connor McDavid was on last year’s team. Is that the sole reason that he’s dominating this year? I’m not saying that, but I’m not denying it either.)

We’ll go with three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards, with at least one representative from each of the eliminated teams but nobody getting more than two, because I like to make things more complicated than they need to be. And to really add an element of risk, I’m also going to include one player from each of the four teams that are still alive. I’m sure that won’t come back to bite me at all.

As always, when you’re celebrating failure, you build from the net out. We’ll go with three goalies, since the way this year has gone we’ll probably need them.


Jacob Markstrom, Flames
We don’t often get our starting goalie from a team that won a round, let alone a seven-game goaltending battle that saw him post a .943 save percentage. But Markstrom isn’t here because of what he did against Dallas. Instead, it’s all about the Battle of Alberta, in which the “sea of red” referred to the lights behind Markstrom’s back.

Facing the team he shunned in free agency two years ago, Markstrom got shelled to tune of an .852 save percentage and 24 goals allowed. While we applaud him for getting into the whole 1980s spirit of the rivalry, his ill-timed cold streak wiped out any chance the Flames had of keeping up with the Oilers’ offence.

Marc-Andre Fleury, Wild
Fleury wasn’t exactly bad for Minnesota. He couldn’t do much in Game 1 when his team was shut out, and he gave up just three goals over the next two to get them back into the series lead. It’s not even that Games 4 or 5 were on him. He was fine.

But fine isn’t what you’re looking for when you make a guy your big deadline acquisition. Fleury was meant to be the last piece that would get the Wild over the hump, or at least into the conversation as a legitimate threat to the Avalanche. Instead, Fleury was on the bench by the end of the series, watching Cam Talbot start Game 6. If anything, you could make the case that the trade ended up hurting the Wild, because now Fleury is a pending UFA and Talbot is unhappy with how everything was handled. No guts no glory, but we have the benefit of hindsight on this team.

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