Everywhere you look, people are giving predictions for each series. They’re looking at match-ups, season series, and historical data. Of course, in every series, it’s always about the marquee players, or is it?Ovechkin vs Lundqvist, Richards vs Miller, Chara vs Price, Fleury vs Stamkos, Sedin(s) vs Toews, Thornton vs Quick, Datsyuk vs Bryzgalov, and Perry vs Rinne. These of course, are some of the biggest names in he league, and the players expected to lead their teams to victory. Except that makes no logical sense at all.
Yes, these players play a big role for their teams. Without them, it’s hard to win. But they are not the end all, be all. They are not superhero’s. They may be a catalyst, but they are not bigger than the teams they play for. Look at it this way: Perry scored 50 goals this year, which is an average of .609 per game. Anaheim as a team scored 2.915 goals per game. That means the rest of the team average 2.306 goals without him. Do they need his offense? Of course! Is his offense the only thing that will help them advance? No!
Hockey is the ultimate team game. Top notch forwards average 25 minutes of ice time in the playoffs. That’s not even half a game. A player may take over a game, but taking over an entire series is nearly impossible. There is too much that is out of his control. Yes, goalies are out there for 60 minutes. But they’re not on offense. They can move the puck a little and do their part in the transition game, but they still don’t play that big of a role. the biggest players have to come up big, but the other guys need to do their part as well.
Last year, Toews and Kane did pretty much nothing in the Finals. Kane gets the glory for the clinching goal. But he was in that position thanks to the rest of the team picking up his slack and winning 3 games. Mike Richards didn’t do anything in the Finals either, yet his team was a goal away from forcing a decisive Game 7. It’s not about individuals. Players have shining moments, and some pile on points. But they’re not the only ones who deserve credit.
That’s why I hate when some “expert” looks at a pair of teams and picks a winner based on one superstar. The best player in the world can only do so much, he needs a good supporting cast. That’s why Ovi hasn’t won a Cup yet, and Crosby has. I’ll take a mixture of talent and depth over a superstar and some crack-filling spackle any day.
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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Anaheim Ducks Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Carey Price Chicago Blackhawks Corey Perry Daniel Sedin Detroit Red Wings Henrik Lundqvist Henrik Sedin Ilya Bryzgalov Joe Thornton Jonathan Quick Jonathan Toews Los Angeles Kings Marc Andre Fleury Mike Richards Montreal Canadiens Nashville Predators New York Rangers Patrick Kane Pavel Datsyuk Pekka Rinne Philadelphia Flyers Phoenix Coyotes Pittsburgh Penguins Ryan Miller San Jose Sharks Sidney Crosby Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Teamwork Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals Zdeno Chara