Stanley Cup Playoffs


When you look at the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs, very few young teams are able to win the Cup on their first attempt.  Tampa, Nashville, San Jose and Vegas are all recent examples of teams that went all the way to the finals only to lose to a team that had been there before.  There was an exception from 2010 - 2012 where both teams that made it to the finals hadn’t been there before so obviously a new team would end up winning it all.  But for the most part, it seems like one of the teams in the finals has been there recently and the other team is in the finals for the first time. The team that has been there before almost always ends up winning.  This year is shaping up to be one of those rare years where neither team in the finals has been there before. When that happens, it is anybody's cup and it usually signals the end of an era for a few teams and the dawn of a contender era for a few others. look for some new teams to win the cup in the next few years, let's hope the Leafs are one of them.
I believe the Leaf have a decent chance of beating any team in a 7 game series this year, anything can happen in the playoffs and it’s a mistake to underestimate this team’s heart.  I don’t believe this year is our best chance to win the Cup. I believe our best chance to win the cup is 2-5 years away. In 2 years Bergeron will be 38, Chara will be retired, Stamkos will be slowing down, Ovie and Crosby will be passed their prime and maybe Vasilevsky gets injured that year and the core of this Leaf team will be entering their prime with 6 years of playoff experience under their belts.  For all the fans crying because they don’t think we are tough enough to beat the Bruins….you may be right this year, but then again the Bruins might have trouble keeping up to our speed. The earliest we might play them is round 3, Boston is scarey in round one, not so scarey in round three, especially if they play Washington in round one.
This year is different. We have the easiest path we are ever going to have to get us to the semi finals. It's not going to be easy, but it should be easier. If we make it to round three we could face, Boston, Tampa, Washington, Florida, Pittsburgh, Carolina or even Vegas or Colorado but only one of those teams. Other years we might have to go through three of the above mentioned teams to get to the finals, but this year, just one. And whatever team we do face in round three should be fairly spent from the battles they went through to get there. I am not saying our route is easy, but I do think it is easier than the route our opponent will have taken.
I am not usually one to make predictions but I would not be surprised if the Leafs lose in the finals this year and I hope our city can handle it if we do. I don't like our chances against Colorado or Vegas but because of the new playoff format, we might have to play one of them in round three and then face an eastern conference team in the finals.
Anything can happen and I believe that works in our favour.
Whatever happens, I hope the fans show some class, but I am not gonna count on it.




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