The following are the Tampa Bay LightningCelebrate their second straight Stanley Cup championship last summerMy eyes were drawn to one player, a defenseman David Savard.
He had previously played 597 NHL regular-season and 37 playoff games. Columbus Blue JacketsHe was traded to the Lightning shortly before the deadline. He walked into a locker filled with 2020 Stanley Cup rings. It was the first time he had ever played for one.
After game 5 against Montreal Steven StamkosThe commissioner gave the Stanley Cup to me and I took it. Victor HedmanHedman then presented it to Savard. Hedman did it out of tradition. The Cup is usually given to the oldest-serving veteran, who has not yet raised the Cup. Because he was a skilled player in an extremely difficult sport that allowed him to reach this moment. Because he envisioned it every day, from the backyard net to the local arena. Because it is now over.
The Stanley Cup celebrations are never the same. It's always someone's first cup of coffee. There will be many players who are eager to take their first sip from the Cup in the 2022 NHL postseason. Some are legends, others are in their prime.
Here are my tiered rankings on the Cup-less wonders that will be part of the upcoming playoffs.
(And if there are names that you feel are missing from their tiers you may want to skip to …)
Claude Giroux, Florida Panthers(34 years old).
Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars (37)
Ryan Suter, Dallas Stars (37)
Joe Thornton, Florida Panthers (42)
Beard doesn't lie: Thornton played 1,712 regular season games to lead all active player and 186 playoff games, which ranks second to Zdeno CharaHe is one of the active players. He is a former Stanley Cup player. San Jose Sharks2016 Pavelski was part of that team and ran it again with the Stars in 2020 bubble playoffs to get a second chance at the Cup. Both times, he failed. His Stars teammate, Suter, has not advanced beyond the second round of playoffs despite having played in 1,277 regular season games.
Giroux was last seen in the wild 2010 series against the French. Chicago BlackhawksChris Pronger, who stole pucks and is forever etched in our collective memory. Patrick KaneCup-winning goal puck potentially suffering the same fate.
Even though we acknowledge that it is uncontrollable and should not be considered the ultimate career validation, winning the Stanley Cup still qualifies you for your career.
Thornton doesn’t require one to be validated. Thornton is going in the Hall of Fame to be recognized as one of the most important players in NHL history. However, a ring will be added to his other three legacy.
The story of Giroux helping the Panthers win their first Cup in a trade deadline coup is legendary. Pavelski ended up with a Stanley Cup as well as three trips to Finals. He was also the fourth-leading active postseason goalscorer, behind some men named Ovechkin, Crosby Malkin— would cement his reputation as Captain Clutch.
The ‘old guy with no Cup' tier
Derick Brassard, Edmonton Oilers(34 years old).
Andrew Cogliano, Colorado Avalanche (34)
Alexander Edler, Los Angeles Kings (35)
Nick Foligno, Boston Bruins (34)
Jack Johnson, Colorado Avalanche (35)
Ryan Reaves, New York Rangers (35)
Kris RussellEdmonton Oilers (35 May 2)
Mike SmithEdmonton Oilers (40).
Mats Zuccarello, Minnesota Wild (34)
(Yes, Zuccarello will turn 35 in September. To be fair, that's young for a Hobbit.)
Sean McIndoe's “old guy with no Cup” is a term that Smith uses to refer to himself. It's usually closer than Smith's age bracket than some 34-year olds. These are veteran players not yet at the legendary level but still highly regarded. Imagine a 40-year old Kimmo TimonenFor example, winning in 2015 with the Blackhawks
Each of these players have had the kinda career that could bring back years of sacrifice and grunt for their respective teams. Russell blocks shots with ferocity. Reaves is a fearless taker and defender. Cogliano's streak of consecutive games. Brassard has walked around 10 different franchises. Johnson… Well, Johnson is Jack Johnson.
One name is missing from this list: 34-yearold St. Louis BluesForward James Neal, last seen getting called out by Shooter McGavin while with the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds.
Tier ‘we're afraid of what happens if they don’t win'
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers
There are many reasons why I would like to see the Colorado Avalanche win Stanley Cup. Nazem Kadri‘s day with the Cup in Ontario would look like — the most prominent one is not having to witness a MacKinnon post-playoff-elimination news conference.
Granted, last season's edition was a bit spicy! It's not a joy to see one of the NHL's most intense opponents vacillating between sadness and simmering anger. It's almost like an emo child whose parents won’t pay for My Chemical Romance tickets. I want to see the superstar feel accomplished! Then, I want to see him enjoy a Mountain Dew with a side of Oreos and celebrate by drinking a Mountain Dew.
McDavid is not immune to frustration from a lackluster season. McDavid has stated that “I'm sick” and “the regular-season doesn't mean anything” about the Oilers' postseason defeats. McDavid is under more pressure this postseason than McDavid, but McDavid could go through a second year of losing without a series win.
The tier of aging stars
Jamie BennDallas Stars (32 Years Old)
Matt Duchene, Nashville Predators (31)
Taylor Hall, Boston Bruins (30)
Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers (30)
Only Benn has ever played in this group for the Stanley Cup, having previously done so with Dallas during the 2020 bubble playoffs. Panarin arrived in Chicago following the dynasty. Hall, who has 25 playoff game experience, is just behind Duchene with 28.
Duchene gets a special mention here. He was the player Nashville fans had hoped to see. Seattle KrakenMight be able to take their team's roster off, and have the first 40-goal season in his 13-year NHL history. This is an increase of 28 goals over last year. In times like these, I wish there was an NHL award for the best comeback player. Although I understand that the Masterton Trophy does not cover this category, I would rather see Duchene compete against other statistical turnarounds than with someone who has overcome a career-threatening injury.
Prime stars that ‘win now’ tier
Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes
Leon DraisaitlEdmonton Oilers
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
This group is determined to win the Stanley Cup for a variety of reasons, even though they are all younger than 30.
It's Gaudreau's pending free agency. Pastrnak sees it as the final window to this iteration for the Bruins. Aho views it as the pressure for the East to finally crack through. Landeskog Rantanen, Draisaitl and McKinnon are all in the same boat, though under less intense scrutiny.
The top stars in the ‘they have time' tier
Aleksander BarkovFlorida Panthers
Jonathan HuberdeauFlorida Panthers
Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
Matthew TkachukCalgary Flames
Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers
Tkachuk, Kaprizov, and Tkachuk are both young stars that have many more playoff adventures ahead. The Panthers' and Rangers' upward trajectory should last beyond this season.
A Stanley Cup win would be incredible. They have time.
The Norris candidate tier
Aaron EkbladFlorida Panthers
Adam Fox, New York Rangers
Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins
A basic template is needed to be a Stanley Cup champion. You will need two excellent centers. If necessary, one can also play a shut-down role. You need a skilled goalie. They don’t have to score a goal, but they shouldn’t be costing you any games. A two-way elite defenseman is essential, such as those listed here.
These blueliners come from a variety of backgrounds. Josi and Heiskanen have both played for the Stanley Cup in the past. Fox, on the other hand, was part of the expanded playoff qualification round for 2020 and played in three games before winning the Norris Trophy for 2021.
Other defensemen are available right below this elite level — Justin Faulk Torey KrugBlues Devon ToewsThe Avalanche Mattias EkholmThe Predators and Noah HanifinThe Flames are one example. But these are the best to fit the template. They all deserve the Cup.
The Vezina candidate Tier
Frederik AndersenCarolina Hurricanes
Sergei BobrovskyFlorida Panthers
Darcy Kuemper, Colorado Avalanche
Jacob MarkstromCalgary Flames
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
While I already mentioned that the Stanley Cup champion goalie doesn't have to be able to steal series, it doesn't hurt at all to have one.
All goalies can be the X factor during a series. Andersen might be ridiculed for his playoff history. But let's not forget that Andersen is now out of Toronto. Bobrovsky's inclusion might be ridiculed by some, but it's impossible not to include him when he was. an architect for one of the biggest first-round upsets in NHL history.
This postseason, we are most intrigued by Kuemper and Shesterkin. Kuemper has been an outstanding goalie in the NHL from January and has the weight and ambitions of the Avalanche on his shoulders. Saros missed Tuesday's game with an injury. His listing here, however, is our last hope that he'll be back in time for the postseason.
You might have noticed names that are missing from the previous tiers, as we mentioned at the top.
There is a reason.
All of them.
Well except for Jake Muzzin Kyle Clifford. They are proud to own their Stanley Cup rings. Nobody else has their Stanley Cup rings.
Jason SpezzaNinth among active scorers (994), is a non-scorer. “Old man without a Cup” candidates are also not eligible. Mark Giordano(38) Wayne Simmonds (33). Aging star John Tavares (894 career points) does not, nor do current stars Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly T.J. Brodie.
Technically, the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise does not qualify for any of these Tiers. It is only for the tiers. FeelsThis is how it goes. They have won 13 Stanley Cup championships. The last was in 1966-67. The Predators, Wild and Panthers are a team. [checks math]No Stanley Cup championships. Toronto is experiencing a drought, although it's not as severe as it was in the past.
This being said, Joe Thornton is a Leafs legend. However, there are no other guys whose Cup lifting would cause more seismic activity that the 2021-22 Toronto Maple Leafs.
Yes, it would be getting past the first round. Yes, it would require you to survive four rounds of Toronto media treating every win like a world juniors gold medal and every loss as a cause for relegation. We are all relieved of these “plan the Parade” jokes for decades and the same skipping record every postseason.
We would be able to shed a tear for this tier and we will all be happier.
Jersey Foul of Week
This Electrical Tape Edit Fol comes to you from Tommy Sullivan. He is from Boston.
As far as jersey fouls are concerned, this was not half-bad. What do YOU think? @NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/8zraBAhW9y
— Tommy Sullivan (@tomsa592) April 25, 2022
This is a next-level concept. Dougie HamiltonThe No. 27 for the Bruins between 2013-14 and 2014-15. Boston traded Hampus Lindholmat the deadline, and gave him No. 27. Tommy now adds two and seven to create a “HAM” jersey. He uses Dougie's lastname to do this. Ingenuity.
Video of Week
Teemu delivers that @HondaThe Captain in Style! pic.twitter.com/r5F0oiH2lJ
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) April 25, 2022
I love retirement evenings. This is especially true for players who have stayed with one team their whole careers. Because it's rare in the NHL, it is a great honor for players to be able to play only for one team in their NHL career.
That is what it takes to be able to do that and live your life on your own terms. Ryan GetzlafAnd the Anaheim Ducks.
Joseph Kosinski didn't shoot during Getzlaf’s retirement night, but the Ducks captured more footage than Joseph Kosinski. the making of “Top Gun: Maverick” … which was 800 hours, incidentally.There was Getzlaf arriving at the arenaBeing greeted by Make-A-Wish fans, Make-A-Wish children and Anaheim's owners. Getzlaf seeing all the towels on the seatsin the arena; messages from Ducks fans former teammatesYou can also find out more about a rather funny J.S. Giguere; and a cute clip involving his children. who made a “dad to-do list”That included fighting a Dragon. It was quite an experience!
The video above from the Getzlaf retirement ceremonies is the best. Teemu SelanneRides out in an armoured assault Honda four-wheeler with Ducks colors. Getzlaf presents Getzlaf with this wonderful parting gift.
These guys typically get a silverstick, some painting, or even a couple of bottles wine. Getzlaf sees this like a child getting a drone for Christmas: with surprise, appreciation, and anticipation of mischief.
It's a shame that the sidecar isn't available for when it's needed. Corey Perry retires.
The week's winners and losers
Winner: Marc-Andre Fleury
Fleury will start as the goaltender in the Minnesota WildNext week, they will open the playoffs against the St. Louis Blues. His former team was the Vegas Golden KnightsYou will be able to see that game on TV, if you are so inclined. To create cap space, the Knights traded Fleury in order to acquire additional veterans from outside of the organization. They also did so because they were determined to have Robin Lehneras their primary goaltender.
Multiple injuries prevented Lehner from finishing the season. The Golden Knights continued to be plagued by salary-cap headaches. Fleury will once again start in Game 1 of Stanley Cup playoffs.
Loser: Jack Eichel
Jack is not my favorite player. The city of Buffalo will take care of all the schadenfreude over Eichel's trade to a Stanley Cup hopeful that missed the playoffs. His 33 games were his first since March 2021. The adjustment to a brand new team in a different conference is something we must remember. Jack scored 10 points in nine games between March 24 and April 14.
We also need to recognize that he only had one secondary power play assist in Knights' six last games. He missed three shootout attempts and then served up a turnover which directly led to a win. Caleb JonesChicago's goal in the elimination game. It's the same as when he was with Sabres.
Winner: Logan Thompson
In crushing disappointment, the 25 year-old Golden Knights goalie was seen lying face down in his crease for two consecutive games. In two shootouts, he gave up the goal scoring because his team couldn’t grab the bag in precarious games late in the season. Following an emergency, he gave his all in the face of unimaginable circumstances. Robin LehnerHis season was ended by his decision to have shoulder surgery.
There are many reasons Vegas fell down the stretch. Logan Thompson wasn’t one of those reasons.
Loser in the shootout
Do I intend to use this opportunity to rail against the shootout again? What about playoff berths not being decided by a single pass or a defenseman performing their position? A skills competition decides the fate of a regular-season season. It is the moment that determines the fate of a regular season. This competition is so far removed from actual team play that it has been in existence for 17 years, without anyone trying to bring it to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Yes, I believe that I will.
Timely Kings is the winner
The Los Angeles KingsThe might not win the Edmonton Oilersin their playoff series, without Drew DoughtyIn the lineup. It is an achievement to get to the playoffs. Kudos to GM Rob BlakeSmartly adding Phillip Danault Viktor ArvidssonThey finished third and fourth in team scoring in the offseason.
His team defeated Pacific Division rivals to win the No. The deal was sealed with five wins and six losses in the final games. The playoff race and the playoff series are going to pay off with their young players who will benefit from this experience.
Untimely injuries inflicted on a loser
Will we have to bubble wrap goalies in the playoffs? The Penguins hope Tristan JarryReady to go. They are concerned that they might not have. Juuse SarosFor the first round. The Hurricanes Frederik AndersenExpected to miss the first few series games. It's fitting that we have a lot of goalie absents in the playoffs, in a season where more NHL goalies appeared than ever.
Winner: Brad Marchand
Brad Marchand's unique talents are unmatched by any other compliment. winning the NHL Player PollHis peers dislike him as a skater but want him to be a teammate.
It brings back memories of a conversation I had with someone from the Flyers during Chris Pronger's trade there. Pronger was at the time the Tom WilsonPronger was a leader in his day, when it came to suspension-worthy offenses and general bludgeoning. Based on his reputation for being an injurious miscreant, I asked the Flyer why Pronger would be on their team. Pronger did those kinds of things so they wouldn’t have to. (It probably helped too, being a Hall of Fame talent was also helpful. Marchand is slowly building that case for his own.
The NHLPA Players Poll has been so benign since when? The poll was conducted in 2017-18 and asked questions about the NHL standings format as well as which arena had the most ice. In 2018, the poll asked questions about who the best and most trash-talking players were. Marchand naturally won both categories. The poll also asked if the NHL should give their jerseys nicknames. The Player Poll should be more specific about NHL rules, and less soft criticism from their peers.
The headlines for Puck
Really good piece by Peter BaughOn Colorado AvalancheForward Nazem Kadri. “I know Naz wants to do his best for the team and wants Colorado to win this year's Cup. He truly feels like the Avs and Toronto are his friends. Joe Sakic [Jared]Bednar gave him another chance.”
When the President is of the United States mistakenly refers to the commissioner of the NHL as “Batman,”Giggling is acceptable. Victor Hedman.
It is just a lovely column by Shireen AhmedGuy Lafleur died in December 2009. This is how he made hockey fans during his playing career. “Lafleur's generosity and kindness attracted people. Many of them stayed because of it. It is rare to find players that had such an impact on fans or opposing teams.
Brandon SutterIt opens up about long COVID-19He has been sidelined for the season because of this. It's just immune system stuff. Many people have also had it. It's not fun.
Why are the Canucks so shortsighted postponed gamesThey might have been out of the playoffs.
A data-driven follow-upTo our story on the goal-scoring boom. It is important to note that young offensive players have an impact on more than their offensive output. We also noted in our report that it is the NHL's lack of defensive prowess, which previously would have kept them out of the minors.
ICYMI, my conversation with new PHF commissioner Reagan Carey. I wish I could share her optimism about the future collaboration with PWHPA.
Our favorite cross-sports moment, last week, is as follows: Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah ParsonsHe was invited to drop the ceremonial puck at a Hershey Bears match… but no one remembers to tell him how it was supposed to work.
Thank you for your attendance last night. @MicahhParsons11!
We are sorry we did not explain how a puck is dropped. This one is on us. Our fault. pic.twitter.com/WESn2ahUkd
— x – Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) April 25, 2022
From your friends at ESPN
Climate change and Pond hockey in a great article by Dan Murphy. “All of us want the same thing. We all want clean air, clean drinking water, and a safe environment for our children. Although we may need to agree on how to get there each person wants the same thing. Sports can play a part in bringing everyone back to the same place, and I believe that that's an important role.