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Homeartturi lehkonenMontreal Canadiens gain first Stanley Cup Finals since 1993 with OT win...

Montreal Canadiens gain first Stanley Cup Finals since 1993 with OT win over Vegas

You see children, in life there are winners and losers ...

You see children, in life there are winners and losers …
Picture: Getty Images

It’s no secret that Las Vegas is built on losers. They don’t build a new hotel every week because everyone is going there and hitting the blackjack tables. It is a city with a foundation on loss. You lose, they win.

So it’s extremely kind of the Vegas Golden Knights to give residents a taste of defeat that probably provides them with jobs, and if not jobs, then the basis for everything they do in Vegas, aside from sweating and watching their skin become football-consistent. August. .

This is the third consecutive inexplicable playoff loss for the Knights. Two years ago they gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead, including a 3-0 lead in Game 7’s third period, because they were too busy getting wet on a penalty appeal. major, then allowed four goals on said power play. They even managed to equalize again after that but coughed up a hairball in overtime.

Last year in the Bubble, they lost in five games to the Dallas Stars, who were missing their No.1 goalie and also couldn’t score three goals in a game if you swung all of their loved ones over the top. ‘a volcano.

And now this year, after knocking down a Colorado Avalanche team that put metric heads like me on tilt, the Knights have faced off against Montreal, a team so underpowered that they will almost certainly be used in Communist propaganda films. And if they have any top talent, he was playing college hockey four months ago. It’s great work. It was the Knights’ Cup up for grabs, and after getting over the biggest hurdle on this side of Tampa Bay, they forgot to count their steps and not only stumbled on the next one, but ended up digesting some of it as well. .

How did the knights end up here? Hockey can be haphazard and cruel. And the Canadians are full of defensively responsible forwards who are also very quick – like Phillip Danault, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Artturi Lehkonen to name a few. And Carey Price may be playing as well as he’s ever been, which doesn’t help the Knights’ cause.

But sometimes hockey can be pretty straightforward. Let’s go back to last year’s five-game technicolor yawn against Dallas:

  • William Karlsson: 1 goal
  • Jonathan Marchessault: 0 goals
  • Reilly Smith: 1 goal
  • Mark Stone: 1 goal
  • Max Pacioretty: 0 goals

And now we’re waiting for this year’s screams against their shoes:

  • William Karlsson: 0 goals
  • Jonathan Marchessault: 0 goals
  • Reilly Smith: 1 goal
  • Mark Stone: nada
  • Max Pacioretty: 1 goal

Thus, in two conference finals, in eleven games, the Knights have scored five goals in their first division. Hockey “experts” will tell you that you need your depth to pass, but no one’s depth is going to overcome their stars turning transparent for a whole series. Compare that to what Brayden Point or Mathew Barzal have been doing throughout the playoffs. Oh, and that first Habs forward, the one who was at the University of Wisconsin barrel-making just a few months ago? He has doubled them all in the goals of this series with four.

The Knights will almost certainly be back here in a year or two. Or they would do better, because all of their important players are over 30 years old. They will be able to return to the Pacific Division next year, which has next to nothing in competition for them. Maybe once they dance again after round two, which there would be no excuse not to do, one of their mainstays might bother to show up.

But hey, it’s an entire city built on shattered dreams. Should their teams really be different?

Far from this rule

On a day off for the Euro, UEFA decided to make a major change in their club competitions by eliminating the away goal rule. It’s after 56 years, which is no small feat.

The knockout matches in the Champions League and Europa League which were tied after 180 minutes used away goals as a tiebreaker, to avoid extra time and penalties. Without it, more two-legged affairs are likely heading for an extra half hour and the flip-cup that is the penalty.

The away goals rule had been tricky lately, as it had seen the home teams, especially in the first leg of the round of 16, take things real carefully, so as not to give up an outside goal. Second, when games went into overtime it was seen as a big advantage for the away team in the second leg as they had an extra half hour to score a goal that was essentially worth double. This is how Porto went through Juventus last spring.

Removing away goals will only give the home team a slight advantage when things go into overtime, however, as they will be in front of their own home crowd. Perhaps the best idea would have been to thread the needle and do away with the away goals rule in overtime.

It could also be a player welfare issue, as more overtime games mean more work for players who already have too much to do. It seems yet another blow to appease the bigger teams, who have eaten it up lately thanks to away goals. Like the aforementioned Juve. At least in the round of 16, when the big clubs tend to be seeded and play the second leg at home.

But don’t worry, if Juventus lose another lane next spring, maybe they’ll change the rules again.

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