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Closest calls for all time great teams

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04-25-2014, 01:08 AM
  #1
SnowblindNYR
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Closest calls for all time great teams

I'd prefer dynasty or all time great teams, because frankly the 06 Canes being down in the 3rd period in game 3 of the first round after going down 0-2 in the series against Montreal is not that interesting.

82 Islanders were down 3-1 in game 5 with just minutes left in the first round if I'm remembering what I heard correctly (didn't watch the game), and won it in OT. Was it the 79 Habs that scored late on a too many men penalty in a game 7 against the Bruins?

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04-25-2014, 01:40 AM
  #2
Trottier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
I'd prefer dynasty or all time great teams, because frankly the 06 Canes being down in the 3rd period in game 3 of the first round after going down 0-2 in the series against Montreal is not that interesting.

82 Islanders were down 3-1 in game 5 with just minutes left in the first round if I'm remembering what I heard correctly (didn't watch the game), and won it in OT. Was it the 79 Habs that scored late on a too many men penalty in a game 7 against the Bruins?
You are correct about the '82 Isles (which was the best of the NYI dynasty teams, BTW). They went up 2-0 in the first round best-of-five, then somehow a Pens team that finished light years behind them in the standings won the next two and were on the verge of winning Game Five on Long Island with the infamous Michel Dion in net. Still remember a hard Mike McEwen dump in, Randy Carlyle (yes, that Randy Carlyle) turning to retrieve it, the puck hitting a part of the corner end boards where a door jutted out just a inch or so...and careening directly back out front to the stick of John Tonelli who tied it up. Good times.

After pulling that series out, NYI lost the first game of the next series vs. NYR.

They then woke up and won 12 out of the next 13 games they played en route to Cup #3.

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04-25-2014, 02:06 AM
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SnowblindNYR
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Originally Posted by Trottier View Post
You are correct about the '82 Isles (which was the best of the NYI dynasty teams, BTW). They went up 2-0 in the first round best-of-five, then somehow a Pens team that finished light years behind them in the standings won the next two and were on the verge of winning Game Five on Long Island with the infamous Michel Dion in net. Still remember a hard Mike McEwen dump in, Randy Carlyle (yes, that Randy Carlyle) turning to retrieve it, the puck hitting a part of the corner end boards where a door jutted out just a inch or so...and careening directly back out front to the stick of John Tonelli who tied it up. Good times.

After pulling that series out, NYI lost the first game of the next series vs. NYR.

They then woke up and won 12 out of the next 13 games they played en route to Cup #3.
Yeah I just saw a clip of this. I remember seeing an interview with the guy in your handle and he said "and then we said c'mon we're much better than this team and then came back and won it". It's a beautiful narrative, but as your post shows that's not 100% how it was, there was a lot of luck involved. This is why I get annoyed when people pretend like the better team always wins, while in this case clearly the Islanders were better that same bad bounce could have done against them. There's a lot of luck involved but that makes people uncomfortable.

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04-25-2014, 02:22 AM
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Hammer Time
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1994 Rangers, down 3-2 to the Devils and 2-0 in Game 6 before the Rangers top line took over (Messier 3G, Kovalev 1G+2A)

1992 Pens, down 3-1 to the Caps in the first round and 2-1 in the second period of Game 5.

The 1984 Oilers were down 4-3 halfway through Game 7 against the Flames, but came back to win 7-4.

1950 Red Wings were down 4-3 in the third period of Game 6 of the SCF, facing elimination, saved by Lindsay and Abel's goals, and then won Game 7 in double OT.

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04-25-2014, 07:32 AM
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blogofmike
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Edmonton also trailed 3 games to 1 to Winnipeg in the first round in 1990. Flames and Pens also struggled in first round when they won the Cup in 89, 91, and 92, needing 7 games to beat Vancouver, New Jersey, and Washington. Calgary arguably should have lost to Vancouver, depending on a goal/no-goal call.

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04-25-2014, 08:51 AM
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SnowblindNYR
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Originally Posted by blogofmike View Post
Edmonton also trailed 3 games to 1 to Winnipeg in the first round in 1990. Flames and Pens also struggled in first round when they won the Cup in 89, 91, and 92, needing 7 games to beat Vancouver, New Jersey, and Washington. Calgary arguably should have lost to Vancouver, depending on a goal/no-goal call.
Came full circle in 04.

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04-25-2014, 08:52 AM
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Referring to the finals, not the Vancouver series. But they also beat Vancouver in the first round that year.

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04-25-2014, 03:02 PM
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Cursed Lemon
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Vancouver was beating Detroit two games to none in the first round of '02, before Detroit came back to win the next four.

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04-25-2014, 08:12 PM
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Vancouver was beating Detroit two games to none in the first round of '02, before Detroit came back to win the next four.
I'm pretty sure it was in Game 3 that Lidstrom scored on Cloutier from center ice which turned the series around

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04-25-2014, 10:32 PM
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SidGenoMario
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I wouldn't call them an all time great team by any measure but the 09 Pens were:

a) Out of the playoffs by a wide margin, and forced to fire their coach 2/3rds of the way in.

b) Down 3-0 in game 6 of the 1st round, on the verge of allowing a game 7 against a good Flyers team, after once being up 3-1 in the series.

c) Down 2-0 in the 2nd round against the rival Capitals, back when Ovie was still the best player in the world and the Caps had all the potential in the world.

d) Down 2-0 in the Cup finals against the dominant Wings, the exact same situation they were in the prior year.

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04-25-2014, 10:34 PM
  #11
SidGenoMario
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Looking at that, the Pens had NO business winning the Cup.

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04-25-2014, 11:19 PM
  #12
Trottier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowblindNYR View Post
Yeah I just saw a clip of this. I remember seeing an interview with the guy in your handle and he said "and then we said c'mon we're much better than this team and then came back and won it". It's a beautiful narrative, but as your post shows that's not 100% how it was, there was a lot of luck involved. This is why I get annoyed when people pretend like the better team always wins, while in this case clearly the Islanders were better that same bad bounce could have done against them. There's a lot of luck involved but that makes people uncomfortable.
Since you brought up the "L" word, I'll give you my take.

Undoubtedly, lucky breaks play a part in success. However, being given a lucky break and taking advantage of it are two different things. Isles got handed a huge lucky break on that odd carom. But the game was only tied after that. They could have just as easily lost in OT. But they didn't. A lesser team might have. Likewise, all teams get challenged with unfortunate breaks (bad calls, bad bounces) during a playoff season. Good teams overcome them more often than not. Lesser teams don't.

Only thing that drives me nuts is whenever some has the audacity to suggest that a Cup winner - any Cup winner - is a fluke and their run was lucky. (<<< Adding: To avoid any misunderstanding, not suggesting that is you Snowblind, at all! ) While Cup teams undoubtedly got lucky breaks along the way, winning four best of seven in a row is neither lucky nor fluky.


Last edited by Trottier: 04-26-2014 at 01:21 PM.
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04-26-2014, 01:00 AM
  #13
Sticks and Pucks
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Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
c) Down 2-0 in the 2nd round against the rival Capitals, back when Ovie was still the best player in the world and the Caps had all the potential in the world.
Don't forget that game 3 went into OT. Had Letang not scored that goal and the Pens lost, that series would have been pretty much sealed. The Pens would still be Cupless, people would still be asking about Crosby and Malkin's ability to win today, and Fleury would have been run out of Pittsburgh by now. For that reason I would argue that Letang scored the biggest goal in the NHL history-wise, post-lockout. I am not even a Pens fan.

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04-26-2014, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by SidGenoMario View Post
Looking at that, the Pens had NO business winning the Cup.
No business? On the contrary, that was one resilient team. Their problem today is they cant play young underdogs anymore, and has aquired mental knots for each passing year since the Cup.

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04-26-2014, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sticks and Pucks View Post
Don't forget that game 3 went into OT. Had Letang not scored that goal and the Pens lost, that series would have been pretty much sealed. The Pens would still be Cupless, people would still be asking about Crosby and Malkin's ability to win today, and Fleury would have been run out of Pittsburgh by now. For that reason I would argue that Letang scored the biggest goal in the NHL history-wise, post-lockout. I am not even a Pens fan.
So...Letang's goal might have cost them a couple of Cups by now...

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04-26-2014, 11:00 AM
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tony d
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Last year the Blackhawks where down 3-1 to Detroit in Round 2.

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04-26-2014, 05:55 PM
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Last year the Blackhawks where down 3-1 to Detroit in Round 2.
Right. I believe in 2010 they were also down 2-0 to the Canucks in the third period of Game 2 (which they eventually came back and won). They had already lost Game 1. If they had lost Game 2 as well, they would be going to Vancouver with an 0-2 deficit. Probably don't win the series in that case.

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04-26-2014, 06:16 PM
  #18
Big Phil
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Originally Posted by Sticks and Pucks View Post
Don't forget that game 3 went into OT. Had Letang not scored that goal and the Pens lost, that series would have been pretty much sealed. The Pens would still be Cupless, people would still be asking about Crosby and Malkin's ability to win today, and Fleury would have been run out of Pittsburgh by now. For that reason I would argue that Letang scored the biggest goal in the NHL history-wise, post-lockout. I am not even a Pens fan.
I totally agree. That is a goal often forgotten. I'd say it is pretty much "curtains" for the Pens in 2009 if the Caps score in overtime. The Captials did manage to lose 4 out of the last 5 games in that series but in my opinion there is no way a possessed Ovechkin lets his team lose 4 in a row with two home games.

Anyway, kudos to Trottier for bringing up the 1982 Isles. First team I thought about to be honest. The 1982 Isles are what happens when a truly great team catches a break and doesn't let it come anywhere near close to that again. That's a dynasty folks.

They had the guys on that team to play in those big games. Tonelli is a guy who should never have to buy another drink in New York. He scored the tying goal and then the overtime winner. Billy Smith made as clutch of a save as possible in overtime against Paul Gardner (?) which was reminiscent of the save off of Bob Brooke in 1984 against the Rangers just before Morrow scored. The Islanders always seemed to find a way to win those tight overtime games. What were they, 11-2 in overtime during their dynasty? That's impressive.

The 1975 Flyers can be named here. The Islanders had just become the 2nd NHL team in history in the previous round to come back from a 3-0 series deficit and they almost did it against Philly the next round. Game 7 Philly won 4-1 and if I remember correctly they were so paranoid that they specifically had their lady luck charm Kate Smith sing "God Bless America" just to ensure the deal.

Of course the 1979 Habs are another team with a close call against Boston in Game 7. Lots of opportunities for the Bruins to win but that game is a game that will tell you all you need to know about the greatness of Guy Lafleur. In the 4 straight Cup years that was the only time they really faced adversity.

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04-26-2014, 07:13 PM
  #19
Sadekuuro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
They had the guys on that team to play in those big games. Tonelli is a guy who should never have to buy another drink in New York. He scored the tying goal and then the overtime winner. Billy Smith made as clutch of a save as possible in overtime against Paul Gardner (?) which was reminiscent of the save off of Bob Brooke in 1984 against the Rangers just before Morrow scored. The Islanders always seemed to find a way to win those tight overtime games. What were they, 11-2 in overtime during their dynasty? That's impressive.
The Isles have always been great in OT. Even having gone 0-6 in OT since the David Volek goal, that leaves them at 29-13 in franchise history, easily the best winning percentage (.690) in the NHL... unless you count Columbus at 2-0, of course.

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