Most mediocre playoffs in history?

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by Adversary, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Adversary

    Adversary Registered User

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    You know what I mean. Oresident's trophy winner goes out in the conference finals, the #3 or #4 seed wins the cup. No major story lines or incredible feats etc. No records set, nothing really standing out whatsoever.

    Anyone have anything they can remember like that?
     
  2. agentblack

    agentblack Registered User

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    2003 takes the cake
    1993 comes close, save only for Roy's performance.
     
  3. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    2003 I agree. You'd never believe a Stanley Cup final that would go 7 games would be boring but it was. Then again, that was Devils hockey.

    But 1993? This is commonly remembered as a great playoff year. Not only did a record (still?) of 24 games go into overtime but the Habs won 10 in a row. Plus there was the Leafs/Wings series, the Pens getting upset by the Isles and the LA/Tor series. There's also "May Day", Gretzky's dominance and since the Pens had won two Cups in a row with high octane offense the NHL had one of it's highest scoring seasons in history with copycat teams trying to keep up.
     
  4. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Lol, Phil. The Devils had the same coach in 2003 as the Leafs in 1993.
     
  5. cynicism

    cynicism Registered User

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    Thank you for your indepth and insightful analysis
     
  6. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    You're welcome. Just needed to point out how boring Leafs hockey was in those two playoff runs :)
     
  7. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    Even though Burns coached those teams as well, those Leafs were more built around Gilmour's exploits. There was plenty of high octane hockey played by Toronto those years.

    On the other hand, even though you are a Devils fan you know as much as I do that while those Devils championships were good teams it was still painful hockey to watch that was bad for the game. The 1995, 2000 and 2003 final would be at the top of most lists as the most boring finals in history. New Jersey won give them credit, but they also were about as fun to watch as paint dry
     
  8. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    The Robinson-era Devils (2000 Cup, 2001 finals) are always unfairly lumped in with the Lemaire and Burns-era teams. I really enjoyed their hard-nosed, tough approach. And people forget that they were one of the highest scoring teams in the league those years as well. They played two great series against the Leafs in both those years, and a classic final with Colorado.

    2003 I pretty much agree. The Devils playoff run was hardly thrilling that year, and the final against Anaheim was pretty weak for a 7-gamer. Still, the three games in Anaheim were high drama. Two won in OT as the Ducks fought back unexpectedly to tie the series, and Game 6 with the Kariya-Stevens hit.
     
  9. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Do you even remember the 2000 finals? After game 1, ESPN was gushing over NJ's young skilled talent like the A Line and Gomez-Mogilny and talking about how they "weren't your father's Devils" and were now an exciting team. Dallas was the trapping team in 2000, not NJ. But even then, it's hard for me to call a team with Mike Modano on it totally boring. By 2003, the Devils were back to "all-defense.". The 2003 finals were objectively boring, but that was Anaheim's fault at least as much as NJ's - Scott Niedermayer was the most "exciting" player in those finals.

    To the extent that the 1995 finals were boring, I think it had more to do with the fact that Detroit played like scared little girls than anything.
     
  10. iamjs

    iamjs Unregistered User

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    before I even read your quote, I stopped in to vote for the '95 Cup. Strike-shortened season, the start rise of the trap being used league-wide, and the team who used it the most effectively ended up winning the Cup that year
     
  11. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Thanks, Kyle. Sometimes I wonder how much most of the people who post here actually followed hockey 10 years ago.
     
  12. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I'm obviously biased, but I thought 1995 was an objectively great playoffs until the finals. Both Conference finals were intriguing matchups that were very intense and well-played.
     
  13. vadim sharifijanov

    vadim sharifijanov ugh

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    i always found it strange that the '95 devils were supposedly the most boring team of all time, but almost exactly the same team, with the same coach, produced what many people consider one of the classic series of the decade against the rangers in '94. or maybe i just lived in new york for too long.
     
  14. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I think it's one of those memory quirks where people remember how boring the trap era was and then retroactively attribute that to the playoffs that started the chain leading to the trap era.

    The Devils themselves went from defense-first to defense-only in 95-96, after Larry Robinson (Lemaire's "offensive conscience") left ad assistant coach after the 95 playoffs.
     
  15. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    I'm also throwing in a vote for "Larry Robinson's Devils were the ****."

    Pretty much my favourite stretch of playoff hockey I've ever watched that doesn't involve my bias towards the Leafs or Red Wings, was the minute or so of 3 on 3 that happened in the 2001 finals. Being able to throw out Sakic/Hejduk/Bourque against Gomez/Mogilny/Niedermayer (I'm not sure if those were the exact lines, but it would have been something like that), with Roy and Brodeur in net...that's something a 10 year old dreams up when they're shooting at their garage door.

    But I think the 1995 playoffs qualify as perfectly mediocre: All home-ice seeds in the conference final, 3 token upsets in the first round, all of whom got stomped in round 2, the Presidents Trophy winner lost in the finals...pretty much everything you'd expect to happen, happened.
     
  16. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I used to wish hard for 4-on-4s with the Robinson Devils.

    You're incorrect about one detail in 1995 - the Devils were actually a 5th seed who didn't have home advantage in any round of the playoffs. They slumped to start the 94-95 season, and didn't have time in a 48 game season to then get higher than 5th.
     
  17. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    Hm, could have sworn they were 4th.
     
  18. Nalens Oga

    Nalens Oga Registered User

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    2003 can't be the worst because the Ducks who were I think 7th or 8th overall upset the Wings in the first round (I think it was a sweep) and they even played Minnesota in the conference finals which most didn't expect.

    Plus, Giguere put up one of the best playoff performances I've seen. They almost pulled off an upset over NJ so for that alone, I'm sure 03 wasn't that bad, from what I remember anyways.

    Also, isn't that the playoffs where that Paul Kariya history never stays down or something ad comes from from the recent campaign?
     
  19. Kyle McMahon

    Kyle McMahon Registered User

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    People only remember the Devils run in 2003 and the Ducks-Wild series that had about 5 goals and forget how great the early part of those playoffs were.

    The Ducks shocking sweep of the defending champ Red Wings with Giguere putting in a performance for the ages.

    Dallas and Edmonton played several nail-biters in their 6th meeting in the last seven years.

    Canucks came from down 3-1 to beat the Blues in 7 after the flu crippled St. Louis.

    Wild pull off not one, but two 3-1 comebacks. Thrilling second round series with the Canucks that sparked an instant rivalry.

    Ducks and Stars play one of the longest games in history to open their series, another big upset for Anaheim.

    Leafs and Flyers play an OT-filled seven-gamer. Flyers crush them in Game 7, but that shouldn't diminish a great first six games. (And Game 7 was great too if you didn't like Toronto :laugh:)

    Lightning return to the playoffs for the first time in ages and rattle off four straight versus the Caps after dropping the first two at home. St. Louis with a triple-OT series winner on Easter (Washington eliminated in a marathon OT on Easter, where did we see that before?).

    There's no chance that this was the worst playoffs ever. I'm just going from memory here, so I've probably left out some other great moments as well.
     
  20. Mr Forever

    Mr Forever The Oilers :(

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    Anaheim run in 2003 was sick, what are you talking about? Maybe the eastern conference side was lame, but even Toronto and Ottawa, (or Philly maybe?) Had a good series. The west was full of upsets, Detroit and Colorado getting knocked off by Minnesota and Anaheim, the Oilers taking Dallas to game 6. It was a great playoffs. The finals sucked though.
     
  21. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    Anaheim and Minnesota might have had great series in the first two rounds in 2003, but Minnesota laid an egg in the Conference finals and barely got any scoring chances.

    NJ had 2 easy wins to open the playoffs, but the ECFs were epic - the winning goal was scored with 2:14 left in game 7.
     
  22. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    The Robinson era was better for sure, it was much more "watchable" Devils hockey those years but when you compare them to the Leafs or the Avs or other elite teams they definitely took a back seat when it came to entertainment value

    You have to remember, Modano wasn't used the way you'd think by Ken Hitchcock. A reporter once asked Modano if he thought Hitchcock made him a better player. Modano paused and refused to answer jokingly saying he'd "get a lot of players on his team mad at him" if he answered truthfully. Modano is one of those players who makes you wonder how much better he could have been. He could have still been responsible defensively while playing a higher octane style of offense. With his skating, that probably should have happened.

    Anyway, the Stars did not play very exciting hockey either back then. The 2000 finals by all rights should be a classic but it isn't. I mean, a 6 game series with the last two games being triple and double overtimes should be revered, but it isn't. It was the type of brand of hockey those two teams played that made it anti-climactic. I do remember Game 5 in overtime and while I knew full well a Cup could be won with a flick of a stick there just weren't the chances and the two future HHOF goalies in net didn't have to make a lot of big saves. Watch it again if you'd like.

    Now look, it isn't to say New Jersey wasn't a good team at what they did. And I for one am a guy who praises Scott Stevens for how he played and scared the other team during those days but in my heart I call a spade a spade and say it was not entertaining hockey to watch.
     
  23. TheDevilMadeMe

    TheDevilMadeMe Registered User

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    I guess 2000 could be boring if you hated goalie duals. Best goalie dual in the finals I ever saw.
     
  24. Big Phil

    Big Phil Registered User

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    No I don't hate goalie duels. The only problem is that some of them age better than they should. The 2000 final is an example. Brodeur and Belfour are two of the greats but they didn't see a lot of quality action in the overtimes. Another overrated example is Roy vs. Hasek in the 1998 Olympics. That game didn't heat up until late in the game and neither goalie stood on his head either. Even the shootout had Canada's players looking terrible. Nieuwendyk misses the net, Shanahan looked scared the whole way down the ice, etc.

    When I think of classic goalie duels I think of ones where there was lots of quality scoring chances and goalies had to come up big. Off the top of my head:

    Cujo/Potvin - 1993 Game 1&2
    Mason/Hrudey - 1987 Game 7
    Roy/Beezer - 1996 Game 4
    Vernon/McLean - 1989 Game 7
    Fuhr/Belosheikin - 1987 Canada Cup final Game 2
    Richter/Brodeur in 1994 (although Richter saw less action I thought)
    Wregget/Kolzig - Game 4 1996


    All of these games had seemingly lock cinch goals snatched away from the goalies and there are a lot of memorable saves we can recite. There was action, there were chances and in many cases both teams were going for it. To me, this beats the Brodeur/Belfour 2000 final. It seemed like more of a case of which team would screw up first and make a mistake. That's admirable and all, but it hardly left you on the edge of your seat
     

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