In the NHL playoffs, a Canadian split between winners and losers

In the NHL playoffs, a Canadian split between winners and losers

Toronto — Here, in the part of Canada that likes to think of itself as the center of the country — and as the center of ice hockey — the NHL playoffs faded quickly and predictably. But hockey is raging like wild roses in Alberta, on its way west.

Round two of the post-season begins on Tuesday, and Canada, which had three teams early in the season, is down to two.

In Toronto, the Maple Leafs lost Match 7 to Stanley Cup holders Tampa Bay Lightning, extending the record of many shameful records. The Leafs, for example, became The first team in history The NHL, NBA, and Major League Baseball have lost a elimination game in the opening round of the playoffs in five consecutive seasons.

In Alberta, both Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames won Game 7s to advance deliciously, and they will meet in the playoffs for the first time since 1991.

Lubricants Center Conor McDavid, Widely regarded as the best player in the game, he scored after a tireless effort on Saturday when his side ditched the Los Angeles Kings. Then, on Sunday, Johnny Goudrothe left winger who led the Flames with 115 points in the regular season, and scored a goal to beat the Dallas Stars in overtime to book the Battle of Alberta.

(The Battle of Alberta is like a subway series between the Yankees and Mets—only instead of taking the Seven and Four trains, you make a three-hour drive that goes north-south on Highway 2 through the prairie. And sometimes you get a goalkeeper fight.)

The biggest stars scored the most goals when in these qualifiers it was the most important thing. In New York, the Rangers eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins after star winger Artemi Panarin scored in overtime in Game 7.

But not in Toronto. In nine consecutive attempts to win a game that would have eliminated their opponent in the first round of the playoff series, dating back to 2004, the Maple Leafs lost. They haven’t won the Stanley Cup since the 1966-67 season, and on Saturday night, they got past the Rangers’ 54-year championship drought from 1940 to 1994. They’ve been in the playoffs for six straight seasons, failing to advance each time.

At a press conference after Toronto’s loss at Game 7 to Lightning, the Toronto players were sad with a low voice and red-eyed.

“It’s hard to explain,” said captain John Tavares, a former Islanders star who was born in a Toronto suburb and signed a $77 million seven-year contract with the club best known for his adoration as a child in 2018, out of a loss. “It hurts. It is disappointing. We are trying to go all the way, and we have not been able to get past this hurdle.”

“We are very disappointed,” said Auston Matthews, the American quarterback who scored the top 60 goals in the league in the regular season.

“We are sick and tired of feeling this way,” said Mitch Marner, a winger who grew up in a Toronto suburb.

After a few hours in Edmonton, MacDavid was playing in as poky style as ever, putting his team on his back. He leads all skaters in the playoffs with 14 points.

Unlike the Leafs’ lower-talk papers, Leon Draisaitl was talking about his teammate McDavid. “He’s the best player in the world,” said Driesitl, who scored 55 goals in second place after Matthews. “He showed it in the last two matches. It’s not a skill. I mean, there’s a lot of skill obviously with him, and that’s taken for granted. It’s the will. It can be seen in his eyes. You can feel it in every shift that he’s there. He’s determined. He wasn’t there. Any way he or we would be denied. He led the way. It was amazing.”

The Leafs failed to get a stage performance worthy of Game 7 from Matthews or any of their other stars on Saturday. Over the past eighteen years, failing early in qualifying or missing them altogether has become to be expected.

Breakups are numerous, and it is difficult to choose the worst, but two storms in the mind. In 2013, the Leafs led the Bruins, 4-1, into the third period of Game 7 before giving up three organizational goals – two in the last minute – and conceding Patrice Bergeron’s overtime goal. Last season, the Leafs advanced three-to-one over Montreal Canadiens and lost Game 7 on the ice at home, and the Canadians went to the Stanley Cup Finals.

This year’s winner lost to Lightning, winner of the last two tournaments, the score to Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe.

“It’s hard because I really feel like we’re a lot closer than it seems,” Keefe said.

As the years go by, the teams in the Stanley Cup that each list a dozen teams are removed for display in the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame to make room for new champions. The next squad will be removed in 2031, sending the winners from the 1965-66 to 1977-1978 seasons permanently into the hall. If the Leafs haven’t won by then, they’ll be gone.

Don’t feel too bad for Toronto. Hockey has always been at its heart, but the city’s multicultural spirit has felt intermittent joy since 1967 than other sports. The Toronto Raptors won the NBA title in 2019. The Toronto Raptors won the NBA title in 2017 (and reached the Finals in 2016 and 2019). It’s been a while, but the Blue Jays won the world titles in 1992 and 1993, and post-season hopes are legitimately high this season. Toronto would be fine even if the Maple Leafs weren’t.

There are calls to blow up the team and its close cadre of well-paid stars. There are calls to “restart it”. do not worry. Look west, as playoff hockey is going to be wild, ensuring Canada has a team in the last four. And at least two next week, maybe longer. A Canadian team has not won a Stanley Cup since Montreal won in 1993. The battle for Alberta begins in Calgary on Wednesday.

Flames’ head coach Daryl Sutter and one of six siblings who play in the NHL and four to coach in the league, grew up in Viking, Alberta, a population of 1,083, 85 miles southeast of Edmonton.

“Fortunately two Canadian teams are still playing, from Alberta,” Sutter said in his post-match press conference. “Very unique.”

2022-05-17 04:01:08

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