Blaster86 wrote:Same things were said about the Mavericks in the NBA before they won it.
All it takes is getting hot at the right time. That said, we're almost through the window so if it doesn't happen next season or two then... well... 2021?
Just look back over the last hand full or so of playoffs.
2002: Carolina vs Detroit. The Hurricanes? They just turned it on come spring and were actually only 4 points better than the 8th seeded Habs. If they had played in any division other than the SE they probably would have missed completely.
2003: Anaheim vs Jersey. Anaheim? WTF! Giguere got hot and the rest of the team got hot and lucky.
2004: Calgary vs Tampa. The Flames got lucky and rode a hot goalie. They also worked their asses off.
2006: Edmonton vs Carolina. The Oilers were junk. Pure junk all year long and actually had fewer wins than the 9th and 10th place teams. Roloson found a horseshoe and the rest of the team did the same.
2007-2011: Good teams went all the way to the finals and were either skilled enough or stocked with goons and thugs. However in both 08 and 09 Pittsburgh ended up getting some very lucky goaltending from MAF at just the right moments.
2012: LA barely makes the playoffs and then goes on a roll. They didn't even get started on that roll until game one of the opening round. Before that they were barely staying in the hunt.....though they had made up some ground since Sutter took over. Quick stood on his head, the defense became even stronger and more cohesive, and low and behold the offense suddenly came to life. They have some serious talent on that team, but it sure didn't show up until April.
The playoffs aren't necessarily about which team is the "best". It's about which team gets the calls, the bounces, the horseshoes, and goes balls out. How many times have we seen games totally dominated by one team end in OT with a win for the other side? How many times do we see upsets? At least once or twice every spring because teams heat up and cool off.
If I looked at all the teams in the NHL and was dumb enough to think that the league was going to enforce fair officiating, then I would say that heading into 2012-13 the top 5 favorites, in no particular order, are......
1) Los Angeles
4) New York
5) St. Louis
But Winnipeg could play .550 hockey all year, go on a 7 or 8 game run in March, sneak in under the radar, and then ride Pavlec and some great team chemistry and fan support all the way to the big dance. Because that's hockey.