Now it affects the Toronto Maple Leafs, hand wringing over the NHL’s playoff format can truly begin.
How is it fair that Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and *checks notes* Ron Hainsey should be forced to slog through 82 games of hockey only to suffer another city crushing loss to Boston in the first round?
Why didn’t anyone raises concerns previously that the current NHL playoff format risked eliminating good teams early on?
Other than those people who did raise concerns, no-one said a word. How could we have known?
It’s hard to believe a league that has changed it’s playoff format 26 times over the course of 100 years would struggle with this stuff, let alone keep a straight face when they tell us the current format isn’t changing anytime soon – but let’s assume for a moment that is the case, what do we do? Won’t somebody think of the children?
If the current playoff format is simply devaluing the regular season, but isn’t going to change, then there’s only one solution – change the regular season.
Head coach Pete Russell has named a 28-man squad for Great Britain’s training camp next month and matches against Italy and Hungary.
The roster will then be cut to 25 for back-to-back games against KHL side Torpedo and this squad will go on to represent GB at the World Championship in Slovakia in May.
The New York Yankees will face the Boston Red Sox on June 29th and 30th in London, England.
It is still (arguably) Major League Baseball’s biggest rivalry, and the MLB is sending it overseas; meanwhile the NHL has given us Winnipeg vs Florida and Colorado vs Ottawa over the past two seasons.
The last time the NHL scheduled a match-up even close to rivalry territory was Detroit vs. St. Louis in 2009, when the Red Wings were still in the Central Division.
In reality you’d have to go back to 2007 to find an NHL game with any real, true heat to it being scheduled over seasons – when Anaheim, fresh off the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, faced Los Angeles in London.
Isn’t it about time the NHL got a little more creative here?
The 2019 NHL Trade Deadline was always likely to be painful for Ottawa Senators fans. The franchise was all but guaranteed to lose it’s best two forwards, a third that was having a career year, and possibly a defenceman in the shape of the oft maligned Cody Ceci.
As the weekend unfolded Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel were moved to Columbus in separate deals, while Mark Stone was traded to Vegas minutes before the deadline passed.
Stone’s departure seemed like a kind of symbolic low point for the franchise on the ice, with a husk of a team now left to finish out the 2018/19 season.
The already strained fan base then received another body blow when the proposed move to LeBreton Flats fell through on Wednesday.
Surely it can only get better?
The Columbus Blue Jackets were perceived to have two possible courses of action heading in to the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline – shoot their shot (cannon ball?), or cash-in and come back next year.
General Manager Jarmo Kekäläinen not only embraced the idea of taking a shot at success, but stocked up on further ammunition by acquiring pending UFAs Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingle from Ottawa, before later adding defenceman Adam McQuaid as well as goaltender Keith Kinkaid.
It was the proverbial ‘all-in’ from Kekäläinen, mortgaging multiple draft picks in order to maximise the Blue Jackets chances of not only making the post season, but also securing the first playoff round win in franchise history.
So what now? And what comes next?
On a busy Trade Deadline Day, I joined Clare Freeman, Jolon Kemp Walker and Steven Edwards to record an ‘as-live’ episode of the NHL Fans From Afar podcast – delivering instant reaction to the deals that broke during the final hour of the day as Winnipeg, Nashville and Vegas loaded up while Columbus went all in!
Listen now on…
Anchor – https://bit.ly/2GcF3hZ
Spotify – https://spoti.fi/2Tl0pNW
Apple Podcasts – https://apple.co/2BdHspm
It’s entirely possible you’d never heard of Emory University before this week. Nor that the American college, based in Atlanta, Georgia, had a Marketing Analytics Center.
Describing itself as “one of the world’s leading research universities”, it outlines its mission as one to “create, preserve, teach and apply knowledge in the service of humanity”.
It would be fair to say that, at no point, did it set out to upset hockey fans. But that’s what’s happened this week – apparently because some people don’t understand how education works sometimes…