By definition, a team that wins in the playoffs is better than a team that doesn’t.
Teams that lose games do not get to say they’re the better team because they were leading after two periods. The point of the game is not to win the first 40 minutes. The point of the game is to win the game. Does that make the first 40 minutes meaningless? I mean, why not just play the third period? Why not just start every game in OT? If you’re the most dominant team in creation, it’s fine to win the game 40-0, but you earn the same two points as you would have had you gone into the third period behind 1-2 and finished the game winning 3-2. At the very least, the job of a good team is to still be in the game in the third period, with a chance to win.
The Stanley Cup playoffs are the same way. It’s fine to go 82-0-0 and win the Presidents Trophy. But if you go out in the first round, you’re not the best team in the league anymore. Because the Stanley Cup goes to the winner of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It does not go to the team that earned the most points in the regular season, any more than it goes to the team with the highest payroll, or the team that scores the most goals, or the team with the biggest media market, or the team who has won the most cups in the past.
If you get 98 points (and maybe two or three less) you are allowed to continue. If not, not. The reason it’s better, in theory, to have 120 points than 98 points is that you get to play, in theory, a lesser opponent in the opening round. And you get to start at home. Those are the benefits you’re playing for.
But if you can’t finish — if you can’t win in the playoffs — then you haven’t proven anything. Otherwise, they would have given the gold medal to that skier who fell during her premature celebration and lost the race.
Congratulations, everybody! We have the worst Stanley Cup final in more than 20 years!
That’s only technically speaking, of course, as New Jersey and Los Angeles should be solid entertainment.
But when the Devils beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in overtime on Friday night to set up a date with the Kings, it meant the ninth and 13th overall teams from the regular season will battle it out for the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s mug.
New Jersey was ninth overall and the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Kings were 13th overall and eighth in the Western Conference. Their regular-season placings total 22. The only higher sum was in 1991, when the No. 7 Pittsburgh Penguins beat the No. 16 Minnesota North Stars.
Yes, and — oh my god — prior to 1967, the highest sum was SEVEN! There are more teams now, you ****ing idiot. The Kings were two points out of 3rd. The Devils had more than 100 points. One of those two teams will get to say they were the best this year, and the other 29 can make up whatever excuses they want.