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NHL 2018 Stanley Cup Reaction: Alex Ovechkin Becomes a Legend

On June 7th, 2018 Washington Capitals Alex Ovechkin earned his place amongst the greatest to ever play the game by winning the NHL Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy.

Yes, Alex Ovechkin was already an NHL legend. He was already a top 100 player. But he didn’t have that one thing that truly defines a players greatest; he didn’t win the NHL Stanley Cup.

For 13 years it’s eluded him. Through 607 goals and 1122 career NHL points in 1003 NHL regular season games. Through seven Rocket Richard trophies as the league’s top scorer and three other NHL MVP awards. The Stanley Cup eluded Ovechkin.

It’s the one thing that stands in the way of a players greatness. We never talk about Marcel Dionne and his remarkable 1771 NHL points because he never won a cup. He’s a truly great player but he’s never won a cup.

Whether that’s a fair indictment of a players career or not doesn’t matter. That’s the reality of the situation. Without a cup, were you truly a legend?

By winning the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe trophy Alex Ovechkin did just that. He’s now become the legend he already was.

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Vegas Golden Knights Deserve an Apology

By going to the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Finals, we all owe the Vegas Golden Knights a sincere apology for doubting them.

None of us like admitting when we’ve done something wrong. None of us like to admit a mistake. But in doubting the Vegas Golden Knights we did just that. And for it, we’re sorry.

At the start of the 2017-18 NHL season, no one thought that the Vegas Golden Knights would exceed 100 points. They did it with a 51-24-7 record for 109 points. They also made the playoffs with that record. Something no one thought they could do in year number one. And something 30 other franchises are extremely jealous of.

And then when they got to the playoffs everyone thought it would be a cute story and be over in four games. No one thought the Vegas Golden Knights could get by the Los Angeles Kings.

They did. In fact, they swept the Kings in four straight games. And the doubting didn’t end.

The Golden Knights took on an established San Jose Sharks team in round two, and everyone thought they couldn’t make it. They were wrong.  The Knights won in six games.

Then came the second best team in the Western Conference, the high flying Winnipeg Jets. The Knights downed them in five.

So here we are, in the Stanley Cup finals, and the Vegas Golden Knights are at least four games away from winning the Stanley Cup in year one of their existence. It’s a remarkable story and one we’re frankly sorry we got so very wrong.

…Although to be fair. There’s no way they beat the Capitals in the finals.

NHL Free Agent Update: Evander Kane Signs and John Carlson Update

NHL Free Agent’s Evander Kane and John Carlson are at the center of our discussion. Was Kane’s deal worth it and where is Carlson going in July?

It isn’t the NHL free agent period yet, but we’re already seeing movement amongst some of them. Evander Kane has signed a seven-year $49 million deal with the San Jose Sharks. Is it worth it?

After scoring 54 points between the Buffalo Sabres and the San Jose Sharks Kane had his second most productive season. Add five points in nine playoff games, and it seems like the Sharks got a good deal.

But then you remember that two years ago Kane put up 35 points in 65 games played. Sure some years he can be productive, but some years he doesn’t. Hopefully, the Sharks don’t get any of those years out of Kane.

Carlson to Toronto

The two other guys on the show think that John Carlson stays with the Washington Capitals. I think he leaves. And the Toronto Maple Leafs is the top destination, in my mind.

They have a ton of cap space and all we’ve heard is that the Maple Leafs are a number one defender away from being true contenders. John Carlson is that guy.

NHL Playoffs: Marc-Andre Fleury Winning Conn Smythe

Could Vegas Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury win the NHL Playoffs MVP even if his team loses the cup finals? Yes.

The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the NHL Playoffs Stanley Cup final. In their first year. And the biggest reason for it is the man between the pipes; Marc-Andre Fleury.

With his 0.947 SV% and 1.68 GAA, Fleury is absolutely killing it in the postseason for the expansion Knights. But the question is, could he win if the Knights still lose in the finals?

Glenn Hall was in the exact same situation as Fleury was back in 1968. Hall led the expansion St. Louis Blues to the cup finals where they were swept by the powerhouse Canadiens.

In 1968 Hall put up a .916 SV% and 2.44 GAA in 18 playoff games for the expansion Blues. And he was awarded the Conn Smythe, regardless of being swept in the finals.

That’s precedence holmes.

Even if the Vegas Golden Knights lose the Stanley Cup finals, Marc-Andre Fleury can win the Conn Smythe. Something he was never going to do in Pittsburgh under the shadow of Sidney Crosby.

 

NHL Relegation: It’s the Best Way To End Tanking

Can a Soccer like relegation system work in the NHL? If it prevented tanking would you consider it?

We all hate tanking in the NHL. It feels cheap and it doesn’t seem to do the sport justice losing “on-purpose” just can’t happen. While there isn’t a rule in place today to prevent tanking, what if the NHL added one; like relegation.

For those that watch soccer you already know what we’re talking about. We’re talking about a few teams at the bottom of the league get demoted to the lower league. Could it actually work in the NHL?

This season in the British Premier League, Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City were all relegated. All had been mainstays in the premier league for years. Stoke has been in the top flight for ten years, West Brom for 12 and Swansea for seven.

They all changed their managers to try and push their teams up the table to avoid the drop. And all spent big money on players. West Brom spent nearly 47 million while Swansea, thanks to a 44 million move for Icelandic Gylfi Sigurdsson actually made some money.

The idea here, is that all three tried to remain competitive and still got the drop. Imagine where the Arizona Coyotes would be if they got the drop after a stinking season. Or where the Buffalo Sabres would be after they blatantly tanked to get McDavid (and failed). Or how about the heralded Maple Leafs?