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02-23-2013, 02:39 AM
  #71
quoipourquoi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
I would venture to guess that they had the worst goal differential of the cup winners since the lockout too. Or close to it. I looked at the scores of their games and for the most part they weren't that much different from the mediocre scores of the Rangers last year, when they only scored more than 3 once. They won game 5 of the SC Finals 6-2, so people don't remember that that team had trouble scoring in the playoffs. They're overrated IMO because they're physical and fans love their physicality. I'd rank them 3rd after the Wings and Hawks post-lockout. Which is not an insult, but it seems most fans rank them first.
Not even close. Their differential was +50. The Kings were +15. And they didn't struggle to score in the playoffs; in the Western Conference playoffs, they were matched up against the 1st, 4th, and 5th best defensive teams in the league (GA). By comparison, Carolina/Detroit/Pittsburgh/Chicago didn't play any team in the top five, and Boston played just one. The Kings saw two top five teams and two more in the top ten, and similarly scored 57 in 20 to Anaheim's 58 in 21.

The goalies they shot against ranked 1st, 4th, 7th, and 8th in ES save percentage, so it's a bit of a stretch to say that they had "trouble" when they only had one series go longer than 5 games because nine skaters had double-digit points.

Anaheim had 15 regulars playing 10+ minutes to Chicago's 16 (protecting Thornton, May, DiPenta vs. Eager, Hendry, Burish), but Giguere/Bryzgalov vs. Niemi/Huet isn't too debatable, given their respective statuses at the time. Beginning a playoff without the starting goaltender is typically a death sentence, but Anaheim took a 3-1 lead with their backup in net. Chicago may be deeper at forward (especially because of the versatility of Byfuglien), but their goaltending was relatively poor - and at no point did we see Anaheim switching their lines around because the chemistry was never lost between its players.

Ranking them behind the Blackhawks in terms of talent/performance has been a losing argument on this forum every time it has come up since 2010, because you're basically taking the player responsible for Toews' and Byfuglien's struggles in the Finals (Pronger) and giving him the best defensive line between lockouts (Moen-Pahlsson-Niedermayer), a fast defenseman to take on the adjustments Quenneville made to exploit a speed game (Niedermayer), and placing them in front of a much better goaltender (Giguere).

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