June 8 — King Clancy, an Oilers Obit & Cups Following Sweeps

Yesterday’s NHL Score

Last Night’s News 📰

P.K. CLANCY: New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban won his first King Clancy Memorial Trophy on Tuesday. Subban was a finalist for the past three seasons for his contributions to racial and social justice, underserved youth, COVID-19 relief, and youth hockey. He will receive a $25,000 donation from the NHL Foundation for the charity/charities of his choice.

POULIN DOUBLE DUTY: The Montreal Canadiens have hired women’s hockey mega-star Marie-Philip Poulin as a part-time player development consultant. Poulin’s role with the Habs, which will see her work with players on the ice and through video sessions, will allow her to remain active with the Canadian national team, where she has won three Olympic gold medals.

DRIEDGER DOWN: Seattle Kraken goaltender Chris Driedger will miss the first three months of next season after having surgery to repair a torn ACL on Monday. He suffered the injury on May 29 while playing for Canada in the final of the 2022 IIHF World Championship, which the team lost 4-3 in overtime to Finland.

RESTRICTED RE-SIGNINGS: On Tuesday, potential restricted free agents re-signed deals with their teams. Jack Roslovic agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, while Denis Gurianov signed a one-year, $2.9 million extension with the Dallas Stars. 

BOLTS BEWILDER BLUESHIRTS: Ondřej Palát recorded a goal and two assists, as Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves to help the Tampa Bay Lightning even the Eastern Conference Final with a 4-1 Game 4 victory over the New York Rangers. Nikita Kucherov netted the eventual game-winner, finishing a breakaway at 6:53 of the second period.

Who Said It

1) “I view the King Clancy Memorial Trophy as a lifetime achievement award of sorts, and him winning this year is totally reflective of what he has done on the ice, but equally, if not more importantly, what he’s done off the ice in our community.”

A. Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin on Matt Dumba
B. Nashville Predators GM David Poile on Pekka Rinne
C. New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald on P.K. Subban

2) “I think the NHL and all the teams do such a great job, things that are forgotten during the season. Coming here, from day one, the big thing has been to be involved in the community. Go out to schools and hospitals and get involved. That’s something to take a lot of pride in.”

A. Daniel Sedin
B. Jarome Iginla
C. Ethan Moreau

3) “I know that whenever you do charity work—when you do work in your community—you don’t do it for these types of accolades. But when I look back at all the finalists and the players who have won this award it’s a pretty special group. I think when you have a platform in the NHL, I’ve been very lucky to have one, when you use it the right way you can have an impact.”

A. Jason Zucker
B. Patrice Bergeron
C. P.K. Subban

Answers can be found at the bottom of the email.

Sweeping Into Stanley

Colorado completed the sweep of the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, coming back from down two goals to win 6-5 in overtime and advance to the Stanley Cup Final. The Avalanche, who also swept the Nashville Predators in the opening round, will have to wait to see who they will play, as the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning will play at least two more games.

Understandably, sweeps don’t occur all that often in the conference finals, but they happen. Here is a look at the last five teams before the Avs that won their semifinal round via sweep and how they fared in the Stanley Cup Final.

2019 Boston Bruins

Bruce Cassidy and the 2019 Bruins swept the conference finals but went to seven games in two other rounds, including the final (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

In 2019, the Bruins squeaked by the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games before defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets in six games. They then played the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Final, outscoring them by a combined score of 17-5 in the four-game series. Boston faced the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final, where the two teams traded victories in the first six games before the Bruins fell at home in Game 7, losing 4-1.

2013 Boston Bruins

Like the 2019 Bruins, the 2013 Bruins edged the Maple Leafs in seven games to begin their playoff run. Boston then handled the Rangers in five games before sweeping the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins to advance to the Final. In another parallel to how the team would fare in the postseason six years later, the Bruins couldn’t finish the job, losing the Stanley Cup to the Chicago Blackhawks, that season’s Presidents’ Trophy winners, in six games.

2010 Chicago Blackhawks

Dave Bolland and the 2010 Blackhawks followed up a conference finals sweep with a Stanley Cup title (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

Speaking of the Blackhawks, they advanced past the first two rounds of the 2010 Playoffs, winning each series in six games. Chicago then swept the San Jose Sharks, the top seed in the Western Conference, to advance to the Final. Unlike the Bruins in 2013 and 2019, the Blackhawks were able to keep that momentum going, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games to win the Stanley Cup.

2009 Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh began the 2009 Postseason by defeating the Flyers in six games and followed that up by squeezing by the Washington Capitals in seven. That Eastern Conference Final was much less stressful, as the Penguins swept the Hurricanes, outscoring them by a combined score of 20-9. After dropping the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final to the Detroit Red Wings, the Pens came back to win the next two games. Following a loss in Game 5, they won two consecutive games to take the series in seven.

2003 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim

Steve Thomas and the 2003 Mighty Ducks followed a similar path through the first three rounds of the playoffs to the 2022 Avalanche (Tom Pidgeon/Getty Images/NHLI)

Three years before Anaheim changed its name, the Mighty Ducks had a postseason mirroring the 2022 Avalanche’s, as they swept the first round, won in six games in Round 2, and swept the Western Conference Final. That set up a date with the New Jersey Devils in the Stanley Cup Final. Although the Mighty Ducks came back to tie the series after dropping the first two games and taking the series the distance, Anaheim lost to the Devils 3-0 in Game 7.

What Went Wrong

Only a week and a half ago, the Edmonton Oilers were flying high. They had just knocked off their arch-rival Calgary Flames in the Battle of Alberta and embarked upon the first Western Conference Final of the Connor McDavid era. Then, they ran into the Colorado Avalanche, whose team name probably felt all too familiar amidst a stunning four-game sweep. So, what went wrong?

Edmonton Oilers

Bottom Six

Franchise cornerstones McDavid and Leon Draisaitl gave everything they had over the playoff run, combining for an astonishing 65 points over Edmonton’s 16 games. A resilient Evander Kane, Zach Hyman, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had their moments. Further down, however, Jesse Puljujärvi lost minutes as the postseason went on, and Josh Archibald and Warren Foegele failed to produce much of anything.

Inflated Expectations

Duncan Keith is no stranger to logging big minutes, serving as a workhorse on the Chicago Blackhawks’ blue line for many years. But it’s fair to wonder whether the 38-year-old should still be on the ice for nearly 20 minutes of postseason play per night. Likewise, Edmonton leaned heavily on the 40-year-old Mike Smith to be the guy between the pipes, albeit with mixed results. Shoring up defensive and goaltending depth will go a long way towards asking less of two players on the downside of their careers.

Lead Protection

The Western Conference Final wasn’t quite the one-sided mismatch that the 4-0 series scoreline would indicate. In truth, Edmonton held leads in three of the four games, including a pair of two-goal advantages in Game 4 on Monday night, further highlighting the need for defensive depth this offseason. And if some Oilers forwards can further hone their two-way play, that would also be a significant boost.

Who Said It Answers

  1. Nashville Predators GM David Poile on Pekka Rinne
  2. Daniel Sedin
  3. P.K. Subban

Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket

Stanley Cup Playoffs Leading Scorers