Down to the “great eight” so to speak, as there are four teams in each conference still battling it out for the race for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The greatest, and most difficult trophy in sports to win. It’s a grueling time of year, and this is when players need to find that extra gear, that extra bit of energy to lay it all on the line. Players have been known to play with some severe undisclosed injuries at this time. Why? They know that they may never get back, or that this may be their best chance at winning a championship. Did you know that when the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010 that Andrew Ladd was playing with a fractured shoulder? Don’t believe me, here’s proof. In this year’s playoff for the Panthers Kris Versteeg’s hip was not fully healed from an earlier injury, Tomas Fleischmann was playing with a broken finger, which caused him difficulty in holding the stick and taking shots. And Sean Bergeheim suffered a broken foot during the final game of the series against the New Jersey Devils.
Injuries can be an easy excuse for a team, but in all honesty everyone has them. That however won’t be why the New Jersey Devils won’t win the Stanley Cup this season. There are a host of other excuses you may think of such as:
* They’re from New Jersey.
* Martin Brodeur is too old.
* They have too many foreign players and not enough North Americans.
* They play the trap.
* They’re called Devils.
No, these aren’t the reasons why they won’t win. The New Jersey Devils won’t win the Stanley Cup because they have the most Ex-Panthers on their roster. Amazingly with only two players…. Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter to go along with head coach Peter DeBoer, the Devils have the most Ex-Panthers on their roster among the remaining eight teams in the playoffs.
Vancouver who seem to perennially shoot themselves in the foot, never had a chance last season as they had seven, including Roberto Luongo. That’s an extraordinarily high number, but they didn’t learn their lesson and finished this season with six. In 2010 they Canucks had five which tells me that they just don’t get it despite my warnings.
Back to this year however. The teams in the Western Conference are all void of Ex-Panthers except for Phoenix who has Ray Whitney. In the East it’s the Devils with the three I mentioned and the Rangers have Steve Eminger, and the Flyers have Andreas Lilja. Washington has Dennis Wideman and Tomas Vokoun, and most around here have no desire to see them winning anything, so by having those two their fate is most likely sealed.
It appears to me that with this theory, should it be successful will generate the champion from the Western Conference. Which is fine with me. Plus isn’t ironic that in the image above, DeBoer is coaching the Florida Panthers and David Clarkson of the New Jersey Devils is the one that’s going into the bench head first?
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