Winners and losers of the Stanley Cup playoffs | Forum

Topic location: Forum home » General » General Chat
lucky Jun 15
Marc-Andre Fleury: Even as he skated around Manti Te'o Youth Jersey the ice with the Stanley Cup in his hands, it was difficult not to sympathize with veteran goaltender. After years of serving as the Penguins' franchise goalie, Fleury sat last spring after suffering a concussion and watched as rookie Matt Murray took over the crease. The novice netminder went on to backstop the Penguins to their first title in seven years. When Murray got hurt before Game 1 of the 2017 playoffs, Fleury stepped in and was outstanding during the first two rounds, even inspiring some discussion that the 32-year-old was a potential Conn Smythe candidate. Fleury was exceptional through the first two rounds of the playoffs, posting a 29-save shutout in Pittsburgh's Game 7 victory over the Washington Capitals. But Murray earned the starting nod again after Fleury allowed four goals on nine shots in a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa William Perry Youth Jersey Senators, a setback that put the Penguins in a 2-1 hole in the Eastern Conference final. If the Penguins actually did persuade Fleury to waive his no-movement clause, he'll be left exposed in the upcoming expansion draft, which would be a serious change (both geographically and competitively) for the three-time champion. Washington Capitals: This was supposed to be the year for a team that posted the league's best regular-season record, a feat that earned the squad its second straight Presidents' Trophy. But the Caps were also eliminated by the eventual-champion Penguins for the second consecutive year. This year's second-round Game 7 loss was especially devastating for a club that appeared poised to get over the hump, especially after acquiring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues at the trade deadline. With so much talent across their roster, the Capitals could conceivably lose a star player to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan also has a number of key free agents to contend with this offseason, including Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams and Karl Alzner. Restricted free agent Evgeny Kuznetsov is also owed a considerable raise. Bruce Boudreau: No coach in the league has a greater disparity between his teams' results in the regular season compared with the playoffs. During Boudreau's four full seasons behind the Anaheim Ducks' bench, his teams won more games during the regular season than any other squad. That success was ultimately overshadowed, however, by the team's four consecutive losses in Game 7s during that span -- all of which were played on home ice. Boudreau's inability to take his teams the distance in Anaheim echoed his preceding Norichika Aoki #8 Womens jersey tenure with the Capitals, where he failed to reach the conference finals. In his first season coaching the Minnesota Wild, Boudreau's club appeared unstoppable at times this season, establishing a franchise record with 106 points. Despite talent and depth across its roster, Minnesota bowed out in five games in a first-round series against the St. Louis Blues. With trade deadline pickup Martin Hanzal entering free agency and the expansion draft looming, the Wild could lose key roster components in the coming months. The pressure will no doubt be on Boudreau and his team to rebound next season. NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The day after a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final ended the Nashville Predators' thrilling run through the 2017 playoffs, things were slowly returning to normal around the city. The sea of Predators hats and jerseys had subsided, and traffic was once again running along Broadway in downtown Nashville. The only evidence of the Predators' epic run remaining outside Bridgestone Arena might have been the beat-up Penguins "Smash Car," a vehicle reduced to a gnarled collection of metal after absorbing hundreds upon hundreds of blows from sledgehammer-wielding Predators fans. The madness surrounding the team that had taken over the city over the past two months had mostly faded, but there was still plenty of pride around Music City about its hockey team. And maybe just a little chatter about the second-period goal in Game 6 that was nullified by a premature whistle.