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mwagner468

The only teams that can win the cup

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They can make it interesting in the first couple of rounds, but they won't be cup contenders.

The best I can see them being is like the 09 Blackhawks. Lots of spunk and promise, but will eventually be beaten by a team that is more talented and with more playoff experience. Despite the 3-0 shutout win, I think San Jose, Detroit, and Vancouver can bump them off.

Maybe.

The jury is out on how the bulk of the Blues roster will fair in the playoffs.

They did bring in Arnott and Langenbrunner, who both have loads of playoff experience and a couple cups (main reason why they were brought here).

Halak has been to the conference finals.

MacDonald has won a cup.

Jackman is a vet who has been in his share of playoff games...along with a handful of other guys.

But a chunk of the driving force of this team...Backes, Oshie, Perron, Petro, Shattenkirk, etc... have little if any playoff experience.

Oh, and Hitchcock has won a cup. San Jose and Vancouver's coaches have not. Advantage? Possibly.

No playoff predictions from me...other than it shouldn't surprise anyone of the Blues win at least a couple rounds. The playoffs are crazy...anything can happen, and it usually does.

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I'm amazed the Preds aren't being mentioned. They have no stars up front, but the best pair of defencemen in the league and a world-class goalie. And a coach who constantly gets them playing above their abilities. I see both them and St. Louis as serious threats to come out of the west (along with the Wings and Canucks, moreso than the Sharks, Hawks and whoever else gets in) but if I had to pick between St. Louis and Nashville I'd say the Preds are likelier since they now have some playoff experience.

Aside from Fischer and Kostitsyn, has anyone else on the Preds had a deep playoff run?

Has anyone on their roster ever won a cup?

Trotz hasn't ever won anything.

With the addition of Arnott, Langenbrunner and Hitchcock (stanley cups) and with Halak having gone deeper into the playoffs than Rinne. I'd say the Blues have more playoff experience (and better) playoff experience than Nashville.

Not that that guarantees anything however.

Biased view...I know...but still.

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I'm amazed the Preds aren't being mentioned. They have no stars up front, but the best pair of defencemen in the league and a world-class goalie. And a coach who constantly gets them playing above their abilities. I see both them and St. Louis as serious threats to come out of the west (along with the Wings and Canucks, moreso than the Sharks, Hawks and whoever else gets in) but if I had to pick between St. Louis and Nashville I'd say the Preds are likelier since they now have some playoff experience.

I feel that teams like the Preds, Blues, Kings will be tough and might make some noise knocking off some of the bigger teams, but I don't see them making it to the Finals, let alone win the Cup.

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Chicago should definitely be included. They'll make some kind of significant move at the deadline.

Really, it's too early to tell with the deadline still weeks away. There have been a lot of big names mentioned in trade rumors over the last month or so.

The playoffs don't begin tomorrow.

Edited by GMRwings1983

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Alot of it depends on match-ups. Ideally, I'd like the Wings to play Minny in the first round if only for the shorter travelling. I know playing the Wild is mind numbing boring trap hockey. Last year the Wings swept Phoenix in the first round and lost to the Sharks the next round. The year before, they had to win a Game 7 against Phoenix and were eliminated by the Sharks in the 2nd round.

I think the Wings do have the talent to win the Cup but it will come down to how healthy their key players are. We really missed a healthy Mule against the Sharks and to me that was the difference in the series. I think we match-up better against the Canucks.

In the West I would say Detroit, Vancouver, San Jose, Chicago and Nashville all have a chance of coming out of the West. The Hawks look like crap now but we all know they will eventually turn it around. Guys like Toews, Sharp, Kane, Hossa, Bolland, Keith, Seabrook are too good not to. Goaltending will likely be their downfall as well as questionable depth. The Sharks have Joe Thornton and as long as he is there you can't like their chances too much. If someone can knock off Vancouver or Chicago for them then they could advance to the Cup Final. I think Nashville is a very dangerous team. They now have some playoff experience with solid coaching and 2 big studs on D and Rinne is one of the best goalies in the game. I think the Wings are better than them and would beat them. The Blues have a few vets who have been there but lack the experience overall to come out of the West. The Kings have all kinds of talent but no leadership.

In the East I still like the Bruins. That team is more built for the playoffs than any other team. Hunger will be their biggest test. Will they be willing to pay the price again after doing it last season? All the pieces are there. Horton has concussion issues but he was hurt in the SCF as well and they still won. When the refs put the whistles away, the Bruins beat teams up. Big Chara intimidates the B's opponents and his game is more valuable in the playoffs. The Rangers are really playing their defensive system very well right now. Their edge is in goal with Lundqvist. We can really see what he can do in the playoffs now that he will be rested and not worn out from playing every game. Richards is the #1 centre they really needed and Sather has done a very good job of developing his own young players. Callahan is one of my favourite players in the league. He goes out and does his job each night and works his ass off and leads by example. I see Gaborik not being very effective in the playoffs. His game is built on speed and there is not as much room on the ice in the playoffs. If the Pens get Crosby back healthy then that could put them over the top. Malkin is carrying this team on his back right now and even without Sid, they are a Cup threat.

My best educated guess is a repeat of last year. Bruins-Canucks BUT with the Canucks winning this time. I know Luongo is a choker and the Sedins were no shows versus Boston but it's a gut feeling. I just don't have much faith in the Wings road play to pick them in the playoffs. Hopefully I am wrong though!

Edited by Hatethedrake!

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The only teams that can win the Cup are the ones that make the playoffs.

Eklund, is that you?

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I'd rank St Louis ahead of Nashville.

Trotz gets his way like Hitchcock. Turns mid-grade average guys into overachievers. Nashville hasn't had anything of "star power" on their first 2 lines since Arnott and DuMont were rolling the 1st line. Sure, Erat shows some skill, but without Rinne/Weber/Suter/Lindback manning the defensive zone, Nashville would be just above Edmonton and Columbus. Nashville needs a GM that will get them what they need. Not a 7 mil per year goalie.

St Louis has a coach heading the team in the right direction, a solid ownership forthcoming, and some promising young stars ready to go. With Halak and Elliott holding the fort, that makes prospect Bishop tradeable. Face it cprice, if he's not out of Peoria next year, he'll be in an NHL barn somewhere. Tampa could sure use a #1 goalie prospect right about now, and St Louis could use more shooters...which Tampa has a s*** ton of....Ryan Malone and a pick for Bishop and a pick?

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I'd rank St Louis ahead of Nashville.

Trotz gets his way like Hitchcock. Turns mid-grade average guys into overachievers. Nashville hasn't had anything of "star power" on their first 2 lines since Arnott and DuMont were rolling the 1st line. Sure, Erat shows some skill, but without Rinne/Weber/Suter/Lindback manning the defensive zone, Nashville would be just above Edmonton and Columbus. Nashville needs a GM that will get them what they need. Not a 7 mil per year goalie.

St Louis has a coach heading the team in the right direction, a solid ownership forthcoming, and some promising young stars ready to go. With Halak and Elliott holding the fort, that makes prospect Bishop tradeable. Face it cprice, if he's not out of Peoria next year, he'll be in an NHL barn somewhere. Tampa could sure use a #1 goalie prospect right about now, and St Louis could use more shooters...which Tampa has a s*** ton of....Ryan Malone and a pick for Bishop and a pick?

Bishop is a free agent next year and will be moved before the deadline...I've been saying that for months. I don't think he'll want to resign here with the Blues currently owning the best goaltending in the NHL. There's just no room for him here, especially after Elliott recently signed an extension. And after Halak and Elliott's time expire here...Jake Allen will hopefully be the guy...they have high hopes for him...as they should.

Bishop will draw interest as anyone who has been paying attention understands that he is NHL ready right now. If I remember correctly, his number's were slightly better than Elliott's in training camp (many were shocked he wasn't Halak's backup when camp broke). And he recently won honors as the AHL All Star game MVP...and is having a very good season in Peoria.

Bishop alone won't get "the guy" that the Blues need though. He'd have to be part of a package deal...and moving key guys from this roster may not be the smart move, unless you are getting a heck of a player in return.

With the sale of the team in transition, they won't be taking on any large contracts at the deadline...unless an outstanding deal falls in their laps.

However...with Perron getting hot, Berglund starting to turn it on a bit now, the return of MacDonald last game (who looked great) and Steen's return right around the corner, they may not need to acquire a 30-goal sniper. They are very, very deep offensively...they just don't have that marquee guy...and they may not need him if they stay healthy the rest of the way.

We'll see what Bishop brings in. I'll be shocked if he isn't moved. If he isn't moved, we'll lose him for nothing. He'll at least bring in a pick or a depth guy. I would say he could help acquire a salary dump type of player, but again, the Blues aren't going to be taking on any large salaries until the sale of the team is complete. And after that, who knows.

Edited by cprice12

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San Jose?

Eh...I don't see that at all.

Not saying they can't...but I think if they have a deep run it will be a little surprising, and if they win the cup I'll be very surprised.

And it goes without saying I'll say St. Louis should be included in the conversation.

Technically, they do have the best pts. earned per game in the West...and are on pace for 111.8 pts., which is also best in the West (just a tick ahead of Detroit's 111.3 pace). St. Louis does have a few more road games than most teams down the stretch though.

The only thing they have working against them is their scoring isn't what it needs to be...but they just got MacDonald back...should be getting Steen back soon...so some help is on the way.

Most of these teams will probably make some sort of move at the deadline to improve...so that plays a factor. The Blues, however, probably won't do anything big at the deadline...aside from probably moving top goalie prospect, Ben Bishop.

Actually no St. Louis need not be included b/c they are just a bunch of overachievers and they can't score and they rely too heavily on goaltending and will be gone by round 2 if they manage to get that far. Heck St.Losers hasn't won a round since 2002 if I'm not mistaken.

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Any of 16+ teams right. At the end of the regular season....any of 16 teams. I would never go on a limb and say only a,b,c,x,y, or z are capable of winning it all. I've seen too many intances of teams I never thought had a chance in the past.

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Actually no St. Louis need not be included b/c they are just a bunch of overachievers and they can't score and they rely too heavily on goaltending and will be gone by round 2 if they manage to get that far. Heck St.Losers hasn't won a round since 2002 if I'm not mistaken.

Well...to be fair, this team was supposed to break out a year or two ago, and didn't really do so until Hitchcock was brought in this year. How quickly Hitchcock turned it around is a bit surprising, so you could say it just shows how ready this team was to move to the next level.

So...how I like to look at it is...they underachieved the last couple years and are finally coming around.

They rely heavily on defense and goaltending.

Seemed to work quite well for New Jersey for years.

But does it matter? Winning is winning.

And I fail to see what the '01-'02 team, or the years since, has to do with this year's team.

St. Losers eh?

Uh...ok. If you say so.

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Well...to be fair, this team was supposed to break out a year or two ago, and didn't really do so until Hitchcock was brought in this year. How quickly Hitchcock turned it around is a bit surprising, so you could say it just shows how ready this team was to move to the next level.

So...how I like to look at it is...they underachieved the last couple years and are finally coming around.

They rely heavily on defense and goaltending.

Seemed to work quite well for New Jersey for years.

But does it matter? Winning is winning.

And I fail to see what the '01-'02 team, or the years since, has to do with this year's team.

St. Losers eh?

Uh...ok. If you say so.

Yep St.Losers is right when your franchise has never won a Stanley Cup!

Detroit # 1 Fan likes this

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What I originally was saying is much like the NCAA tourney in college basketball, a team can upset the big dogs in the first couple of rounds. However, very rarely if ever does that team win it all.

I stand by my earlier post. I think there are only five teams that can win it all. If I am wrong I will eat my words.

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Barring any significant trades which drastically alter the teams, I'd add St. Louis and remove Chicago from the original list of Cup Contenders. Obviously Chicago is loaded up front but their defense and goaltending have been issues all season. I like St. Louis in the playoffs for a couple of reasons. As mentioned, Hitchcock, Arnott, and Langenbrunner are huge additions to any young team when it comes to playoff hockey, each is obviously proven out over time. Chances are this will be the last/best opportunity that either Arnott or Langenbrunner will have at another cup. Secondly, the remainder of the team are young (but not newbies by any stretch) and hungry. Plus, I think that every game they're growing more and more confident as they learn that they can play with anybody in the league. Finally, I like the way they win close games. When the playoffs start, and games become closer and tighter checking, a team that is used to scrapping out 1-0 or 2-1 games is very scary. Until proven otherwise, St. Louis is obviously a dark horse. Yet, a dark horse I'd hope to avoid at all costs, no matter what round it was.

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I think it's a safe bet to say, to win the Cup you need to finish in the top 4 in the Conference. If I remember correctly, the last team to win the Cup in the 5-8 seed was the 1995 NJ Devils (sorry to bring back bad memories). If the playoffs started today, the only teams I think could win are the Wings, Canucks, Rangers, Bruins, and Penguins.

Yes I know I left off the Sharks, if they haven't won yet, why would I think they have a shot now?

Also, nothing against St. Louis, but it's still to soon for them be picked.

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San Jose?

Eh...I don't see that at all.

Not saying they can't...but I think if they have a deep run it will be a little surprising, and if they win the cup I'll be very surprised.

And it goes without saying I'll say St. Louis should be included in the conversation.

Technically, they do have the best pts. earned per game in the West...and are on pace for 111.8 pts., which is also best in the West (just a tick ahead of Detroit's 111.3 pace). St. Louis does have a few more road games than most teams down the stretch though.

The only thing they have working against them is their scoring isn't what it needs to be...but they just got MacDonald back...should be getting Steen back soon...so some help is on the way.

Most of these teams will probably make some sort of move at the deadline to improve...so that plays a factor. The Blues, however, probably won't do anything big at the deadline...aside from probably moving top goalie prospect, Ben Bishop.

The Blues are 22nd in the league in scoring. Getting 2 guys back isn't going to change that. They also have a lack of playoff experience. Sorry, but your Blues are not in the conversation.

I'm amazed the Preds aren't being mentioned. They have no stars up front, but the best pair of defencemen in the league and a world-class goalie. And a coach who constantly gets them playing above their abilities. I see both them and St. Louis as serious threats to come out of the west (along with the Wings and Canucks, moreso than the Sharks, Hawks and whoever else gets in) but if I had to pick between St. Louis and Nashville I'd say the Preds are likelier since they now have some playoff experience.

The Preds are #12 in GFA and #12 in GAA, #2 in PP and #17 in PK. Those are not the stats of a Stanley Cup Team.

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I'm not sure how Pittsburgh does it without their franchise player but they are very much in this group. Their performance last year was impressive to say the least. The system they have in place that allows for them to stay competitive without their biggest talents is something every team should try to steal from a little.

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I'm not sure how Pittsburgh does it without their franchise player but they are very much in this group. Their performance last year was impressive to say the least. The system they have in place that allows for them to stay competitive without their biggest talents is something every team should try to steal from a little.

It's easy, their franchise player is Evgeni Malkin.

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well, you know what the previous coaching regime's motto was: Try to skate harder and faster than the other team every night. It showed each of the last 2 years when the march-april drive for the post season turned out to see the Blues (whichever ones weren't injured) completely out of gas and sucking air. I, and my Blues Fan cousin from Edwardsville both think that St Louis needs a top 6 forward....Bishop and a 1st for Martin St Louis? lol

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I forgot how annoying Blues fans can be with unrealistic expectations. They've been silent for a few seasons, but now they're back.

Honestly, it'd be bad for hockey to have a boring, defensive team with no stars going deep in the playoffs.

Hopefully, they tank in the first round.

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I forgot how annoying Blues fans can be with unrealistic expectations. They've been silent for a few seasons, but now they're back.

Honestly, it'd be bad for hockey to have a boring, defensive team with no stars going deep in the playoffs.

Hopefully, they tank in the first round.

Word. To me they are a slighly better version of Hitch's Columbus team that got completely smoked in round 1 by the Wings in 09. The only chance the Blues have in round 1 this year is if they draw Nashville and can somehow "out-bore" them. But they'll get shelled against Detroit, Vancouver, hell even San Jose. We'll see how "the best goaltending in the NHL" does when the pressure's on.

Also, mark my words, just like Columbus in 09/10, this Blues team tanks next year when they start tuning out Donut Man and Elliot goes back to being Ottawa Elliot.

Edited by rick zombo

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Word. To me they are a slighly better version of Hitch's Columbus team that got completely smoked in round 1 by the Wings in 09. The only chance the Blues have in round 1 this year is if they draw Nashville and can somehow "out-bore" them. But they'll get shelled against Detroit, Vancouver, hell even San Jose. We'll see how "the best goaltending in the NHL" does when the pressure's on.

Also, mark my words, just like Columbus in 09/10, this Blues team tanks next year when they start tuning out Donut Man and Elliot goes back to being Ottawa Elliot.

i could easily see the blues winning a round or more.

if they play DET/VAN/SJ, i doubt they "get shelled". they could take the series, actually.

Edited by stinky fish taco

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