As we continue to enjoy the 1st round of glorious playoff hockey, we must not forget the teams left behind, 8 teams moved on, while 8 were left behind, some it was for the best.
NEW YORK RANGERS: This was expected, a young team making the postseason earlier than expected, gets smacked around by a talented, better team. it was obvious from game 1 that NYR was in over their heads, not even swapping gout Henrik for Igor was going to help this squad, Carolina was just better. The good news is they won the draft lottery, Laferine with the bread man, Mika Z and Kappo, add in a young Russian goalie and they could be a force for the next decade, maybe. FLORIDA PANTHERS: This was also expected, an organization with no vision, getting beaten by the Eggman Barry Trotz, Bob will be the victim of this loss but I think it goes deeper than that. The Panthers have young talent, it's there, I have seen it in Springfield the past 2 years, Own Tippett should be a starter next season, Anthony Greco should be a starter by now, Bob was getting beaten for his job by not 1 but 2 AHL goalies. I just don't know what this team's style of play is, are they young and fast or defensive structured, I don't know and I don't think they do either, Good luck Quenneville! PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: Go read my article "The Musings of a Salty Yinzer" for my in-depth thoughts of this disappointing squad. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Tampa Bay Lightning of Canada, a talented team that underachieves each and every year, the Leafs seem to be at a crossroads right now. Almost at a "What Now" moment, they fired Mike Babcock, brought up the Sheldon Keefe from the Marlies in an attempt to replicate the Blues last year except that didn't happen. John Tavares disappeared in Game 5, and speaking of him, the Islanders seem better off without him. They got over 48 Mil invested in 4 players, a defense that is a liability at best and question marks at goal, so again, What Now? WINNIPEG JETS: When Patrick Laine, Mark Scheifele, Mathieu Perrault, Mason Appleton, Bryan Little went down, their fate was sealed, Connor Hellyabuck tried to will this team to a series win but it wasn't enough, the Jets crashed and burned. It was a MASH unit out there, trying to get a series win but in all likelihood, they would have gotten smoked in the 1st round anyway. Rest and Reload, see you in December Winnipeg. NASHVILLE PREDATORS: In all honestly, Nashville didn't deserve to be there, after firing their head coach just after the Winter Classic, showed me this team had no direction moved forward. This was a punt year for the Preds, find a new HC and redo the roster, they got some names coming off the books (Craig Smith, Grunland, Dan Hamhuis) and a really rich farm system in Milwaukee. They will be fine, but not the dominate squad from a few years ago, as least we didn't have those annoying chants.
MINNESOTA WILD: Its always a shame to see a smokehouse fold, when BBQ Bruce was fired, Minnesota would soon start the tailspin into cap hell this team has been long overdue for. This playoff run has delayed that for another year (annoyed grunt) I got nothing against the Wild, I love their unis and fan base, but when the story of the spring was you trying to move Zach Parise and nearly pulling it off, there are problems. Eric Staal's contract, your goaltending, the horrible GM you had, trading Jason Zucker, among others. Its time to blow it up Minnesota, the sooner the better! EDMONTON OILERS: The only team getting picked on more than my beloved Penguins are these bastards, I was right about this squad, its nothing more than Connor McDavid, Drastail, Ryan Nugent Hopkins and maybe James Neal, but the rest are a bunch of spare parts. the defense and Goaltending completely checked out in Game 1, hell Mcdavid nearly did it all in Game 2. It was the Blackhawks depth that showed up and made a difference: Slater Koekkoek, Olli Matta, Old Man Sadd, and Hubalik. When in Game 4 when normal paced game returned the Oilers had nothing beyond their Big 3. Edmonton has a lot of soul searching to do, best start your fall reading: The Book of Connor McJesus. We say to all of you: https://youtu.be/RiLQbORTTK8?t=14 Well that does it for me, tune in next time as we say Game Over to the 1st rounders Follow me on twitter @RBloss64 That's my opinion