Discussion in 'National Hockey League Talk' started by MrSnrub, Sep 7, 2019.
I miss those years.
Agreed. Watching the Sedins are there peak was a treat.
The other Canucks thing I think of was the first round series against LA & how great Luongo was. The goal line save in OT, huge breakaway save on Frolov, rolling glove save on Smyth. The team had no chance against Chicago though, that Hawks team was too deep.
I remember being pissed when Luongo had the puck covered & Byfuglien just shovelled Lu into the net & somehow it counted. I was at the game. No chance that would stand today, crazy how much its changed.
It was a good playoffs. Halak was a hell of a story. Then I jumped on the Philly bandwagon, in part cause I hated Chicago but I also loved watching Chris Pronger. That was an entertaining final.
Of course the big thing was the Olympics. Never forget where I was for the US tying goal & the golden goal.
One of my favorite seasons.
The year the regular season meant nothing when a 7-8 East Finals between two teams below .500 took place
Somewhat forgettable year for the Red Wings...
A lot of guys from the Cup and Finals runs in the previous 2 seasons needed to be paid and they lost some good pieces in the cap crunch. Most notable was Hossa, then Samuelsson, Conklin, Hudler and less notably Kopecky.
The Hudler KHL contract vs. NHL arbitration ruling tied Hollands hands in being able to replace some of the offence lost as well as Conklin until a ruling was made. Once the league/IIHF made their ruling later in the summer, Holland had to dip into the UFA bargain bin for reclamation projects and/or re-treads in Todd Bertuzzi, Jason Williams and Patrick Eaves. Ville Leino was also expected to be a contributor on offense. There was also excitement about Helm as he would finally be a full time regular on the team, and Justin Abdelkader and Jonathan Ericsson after they played well filling in for injured guys the previous season/playoffs.
The Red Wings couldn't afford to re-sign previous regular season savior Ty Conklin or a worthwhile replacement on the UFA market, so they chose to pencil in Jimmy Howard as Chris Osgood's back up since he would now be waiver eligible and had a super low cap hit. I remember this not going over well with the fanbase.
IIRC, the sentiment was that the Wings could struggle in goal with Osgood terrible the previous RS and an unproven Howard, would go through some growing pains up front but eventually get some offensive output out of their new reclamation projects (Bertuzzi, Williams and Eaves) and some young guys that were expected to get more traction in the NHL (Helm, Abdelkader and Leino), but would have their solid D to keep them near the top of the league with Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall and Stuart as the top 4 and a at the time promising Ericsson also in the mix now that Chelios was gone and Lilja was still hurt.
It kind of ended up the opposite... Bertuzzi was really the only new forward that was productive. Williams started out OK, then missed a big chunk of the season hurt and was a non factor when he returned. Eaves and Helm settled in as decent bottom 6 guys. Abdelkader ended up finishing the RS in GR before coming up for the playoffs, and Leino completely bombed before becoming a cap casualty because the Wings didn't even have enough space to carry a 23 man roster or Leino's $800k cap hit once guys started to return from injuries. The whole "Holland chose Franzen over Hossa" debate really ignited after Franzen missed most of the regular season. I also kinda remember this being the first year the fanbase started to sour on Dan Cleary.
The D was OK, but I definitely remember the fanbase turning on Rafalski this season as well as Stuart and Ericsson.
Unexpectedly, Howard ended up being the big surprise. The hope was that Osgood would continue to play like his 2009 playoff run that gave him Smythe considerations and make the 2008-09 regular season a blip on the radar, while Howard would fill the gap and get the odd start here and there until they could get a worthwhile replacement. However, Osgood started 09-10 in similar fashion to the previous RS. Howard wasn't notable in the first month or so, but strung a couple of wins together in November and quickly took over the starting job with Osgood getting only 4 starts for the rest of the year after the first week of December. It's hard to forget that Howard's peak with the Red Wings fan base that year (and probably his entire career) was a win down the stretch against the hated Pens at the Joe where the game ended with him mixing it up and putting his glove in the face of hated nemesis Sidney Crosby. Howard would go through a sophomore slump the next season, where the Red Wings tried to replace him with Evgeni Nabokov and the fanbase started to throw around nicknames like Jimmy 5-hole and memes with a beach ball in the net behind him that have never subsided.
The Red Wings ended up going down 3-0 to the Sharks in the 2nd round, before Johan Franzen puts up 4 goals and 6 points in a 7-1 game 4 win followed by the team losing in game 5.
Surprised this doesn't get brought up more. OV had to eat his words.
That Slovak team was a treat to watch in Vancouver.
Some great players in their prime (Halak, Chara, Visnovsky, Gaborik, Hossa (Marian), Handzus) and some slightly-past-their-prime (Satan, Palffy, Stumpel, Zednik).
And Demitra. Always brings a tear to my eyes. Got tix for the Russia/Slovak game, against the stacked Russian team. Vis was tasked with shutting down Ovi. What a performance. If you ever want to teach a D how to defend while gapping-up/transitioning in the neutral zone, show them this game. Halak was stellar, shot after shot, getting just enough to deflect out of danger into the corners.
And OT then shootout. Finally ended with Demitra going deep into the corner, then cutting all the way across. He was a Canuck at the time. We went wild.
One memory that sticks out is Chris Pronger stealing all the pucks after each game in the final.
Not a rags or a Flyers fan, but the shootout to make the playoffs was a legendary moment.
Then they got Umbergered.
I miss Chris Pronger stealing pucks and Pronger physics.
I never even knew this existed until someone replied to me. I know he trash-talked King Henrik back in 2015, but never this.
Boston being up 3-0 in series and game 7, then losing.
Halak's Cinderella story.
Big Buff the wrecking ball.
It's kind of sad now... but Leino's playoffs run is what got me following NHL. I missed Selanne's phenomenal rookie year and since then, in between, there wasn't such a big story to capture my attention. Always watched the NT but that was it for overseas games.
And then, such high hopes for him and what a downer of a story it ended up... That big contract a year later that eventually went completely down the toilet. I remember some grapevine about the weird physiological issues he was having: headaches, balance problems, shaky vision, whatever. Never found out if it was that or work ethics issues. Such a disappointing story.
But man he was dope in those POs.
Great description. However, what I think I'll remember most is the post-olympics run they went on.
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