Every Cup winning team (and most teams that made the Finals: will have to check later) has had two things:
--Elite goaltending (from 1 of three sources: an elite goaltender, a decent goaltender who got hot, or an excellent defense that is making a goaltender look good), and;
--Production from cheap ass contracts.
We have Ward, who has a habit of getting hot in the playoffs. And we have Skinner, Faulk and Murphy (when his season ends) on ELC's, as well as Tlusty on a current steal of a second contract.
The only thing I am concerned about is our first line is peaking right now. I hope that they can continue this pace, but they could slow down, and the result is us limping into the playoffs for a 1-and-done.
The reason the Kings won as an 8th seed is because they came into the playoffs red hot, from fighting for their seeding. I think we're peaking right now, so the team can hopefully continue this streak for the next two months.
Also, we'll need Montreal to draw Boston in the playoffs so one will eliminate the other.
Pittsburgh's defense that year wasn't anything to sneeze at. Scuderi, Orpik, Gill, Bissonette, and Letang provided a pretty well built blueline for Pittsburgh.
While I agree with your overall premise, including Biz Nasty as a piece of a "well built" defense is a little suspect. My guess is you meant someone else (Boucher maybe?). Either way, that defense was better than this Hurricanes D as currently constructed. Certainly more physical.
Asterisks? LOL. Every team has an asterisk from the people who hate them most. Doesn't matter in the slightest. I dare you to go up to Rod Brind'Amour and tell him his Stanley Cup ring comes with an asterisk.
Unless he goes deep, he'll probably play in the AHL anyway.
If that is the case, would that burn the year off of his ELC?
yes unless he specifically signs an ATO for Charlotte after the season. But that said if he comes up during the AHL playoffs, that DOESN'T count towards games played IIRC. Same if he is with us for the playoffs.
and honestly not sure he's allowed to sign an ATO while he's under contract. Though I know players like Bowman got away with it during the lockout, but that was because of the lockout and they obviously expired once the lockout ended.
Another thing another Cup run would do is elevate the visibility of the franchise.
I mean sure the Cook-Out in Anderson VA has a big Canes clock on the wall, but before you start thinking Canes country has expanded, the pimply teenage clerk at the Asheboro MVP Sports store nearly laughed me out of the building when I asked why he had no Hurricanes stuff.
Id be ammazed if they thought we had ANY pro sports teams in NC at all. Some towns like that are really behind the times.
Nah they probably think their CPL team, the Asheboro Copperheads, are pro. The really sad thing is that when my wife was growing up in Montgomery County, Asheboro was where they went to do something fun!