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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:26 pm 
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BEST: https://theathletic.com/1481755/2019/12 ... he-decade/

WORST: https://theathletic.com/1495077/2019/12 ... he-decade/

MEH: https://theathletic.com/1502529/2020/01 ... he-decade/

If anyone's curious I'll put the lists on here later.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:28 pm 
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A must-read from Jon Bois, THE 10 LEAST CONSEQUENTIAL ATHLETES OF THE DECADE

https://www.sbnation.com/2019/12/30/210 ... the-decade

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:01 pm 
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Bosc wrote:
A must-read from Jon Bois, THE 10 LEAST CONSEQUENTIAL ATHLETES OF THE DECADE

https://www.sbnation.com/2019/12/30/210 ... the-decade


Wait...what? Mike Trout? :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:55 pm 
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Pokecheque wrote:
Bosc wrote:
A must-read from Jon Bois, THE 10 LEAST CONSEQUENTIAL ATHLETES OF THE DECADE

https://www.sbnation.com/2019/12/30/210 ... the-decade


Wait...what? Mike Trout? :lol:


Did you read his entire section?

Just made me immediately think of hockey's equivalent to Trout - Marcel Dionne.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:33 pm 
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Bosc wrote:
Did you read his entire section?

Just made me immediately think of hockey's equivalent to Trout - Marcel Dionne.


Yeah, I did, it was spot-on. :lol: I can kinda see why Manfred, clueless as that guy is, might be a bit frustrated.

And yeah, Dionne kinda came to mind when I read that.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:00 pm 
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Pokecheque wrote:


I'm interested.


Somewhat Related- I just finished Scotty, Dryden's book on Scotty Bowman. It's a weird book. Some of Scotty's personal history mixed in with team history, all of which leads to him coming up with a sort of imaginary tournament of what he considers the 8 greatest NHL teams ever. I didn't mind the outcome, which I won't spoil, but Bowman's lack of commitment to his choices were perfect and honest, yet also infuriating. If he bounces a team you like (ohhhh, say the 81-82 Islanders) but more or less says he thinks the other team was just better and it could really go either way, you'll be pissed. Like I was. Okay, so I spoiled that part. Oh well.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:53 am 
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Okay, hopefully Mirtle doesn't send the Police after me:

Best (unfortunately McIndoe didn't actually number this one):
Quote:
Let’s start at the top. Three teams won multiple Cups this decade, so they seem like our obvious best picks for the top three spots. That gives us the Blackhawks, Penguins and Kings to work with. But in what order?

My first thought is that it’s an easy call: It has to be the Hawks, right? They won three Cups, while the other teams won just two, and that seems to be the end of that. But if there’s a crack in the armor, it’s that the Hawks didn’t do all that much this decade when they weren’t winning Cups. Apart from those three Cup runs, they only had one other season where they made it out of the first round. They were knocked out in the opener four times and missed the playoffs entirely in each of the last two years (and sure seem headed there again).

Compare that to the Penguins, who only won two Cups (plus one in 2009, which doesn’t matter for our purposes here). They didn’t miss the playoffs once during a remarkably consistent decade in which their very worst season saw them post 98 points. In addition to their two Cup wins, they won at least a round in four other seasons. Hawks or Pens turns out to be a tougher call than I thought.

By contrast, the Kings are easier. They had two Cup wins, three playoff misses (with another on the way) and four first-round exits. Like Chicago, they only had one non-Cup year where they got out of the first round. Those two Cups still matter, so I’m penciling the Kings in at No. 3 for now, but they don’t have a case to go any higher.

While we mull over that Chicago/Pittsburgh conundrum, let’s move down the list. Filling the four and five spots gets tricky, in part because it’s going to turn into a philosophical debate. There are only three other teams that won Cups in the decade, so one of the Blues, Capitals and Bruins won’t make the cut. But will it be only one? Does a team have to win a Cup to be considered one of the best of the decade? I’m not completely convinced they do. As I’ve argued before, I think we’ve swung too far to the whole “You either win the Cup or your season is a failure” way of thinking, which makes for a miserable way to try to market a 31-team league. Sometimes, great teams run into a hot goalie or some bad luck or whatever else and don’t win the Cup. They’re still great teams.

In theory, that should open the door to teams like the Sharks and Lightning that were consistently good throughout the 2010s even if they never got a championship out of it. The Sharks made the playoffs nine times, and they had some success when they got there – believe it or not, they actually won more playoff rounds this decade than the Kings did. The Lightning were a little shakier, missing four times but advancing to at least the conference final in four other years. And last year’s edition was the best regular-season team of the decade.

Of the two, I think the Sharks have the best argument. But can they beat out the Blues, Bruins or Capitals?

Not the Caps, no. They have to be in our top five, thanks to three Presidents’ Trophies, nine playoff appearances and six trips past the first round. If they hadn’t won in 2018, I would have still fought hard to get them on the list. But they did win, so they get a slot. And in fact, I’m going to go one further: The Caps were so dominant in so many regular seasons that I’m going to nudge them up ahead of L.A., even though the Kings won an extra Cup.

That leaves the Sharks, Bruins and Blues for one spot. And as it turns out, that whole Cup-or-no-Cup argument gets easier than I thought it would, because both Boston and St. Louis were consistently strong teams through the decade. In fact, their win totals are almost identical, and this season has let them pull ahead of San Jose. Sorry, Sharks, I tried but you’re out. And while the Blues might have a slight regular-season record edge, I’m giving the spot to the Bruins on the strength of two additional trips to the finals and a Presidents’ Trophy.

That gives us our top five. But we still need to figure out who gets that top spot. The Penguins had more consistency and more overall wins; the Hawks had the higher peak (with a Presidents’ Trophy in 2013 and a star-studded roster in 2010), but crashed hard at the end of the decade. It’s a tough call, but when it comes right down to it, I’ll take the extra Cup. The Hawks get the No. 1 spot.

That’s our list: Blackhawks, Penguins, Capitals, Kings and Bruins, in that order. Sorry, Blues fans. And sorry to fans in San Jose or Tampa or wherever else hoping they could crack the list. It turns out that the NHL marketing campaign was right, and it really was all about the Cup.

Everyone agrees that I got it exactly right, yes? (Doesn’t even look up and make eye contact.) Cool, everyone does, good to know.


Worst (Nope, still no numbering):
Quote:
Last week, we celebrated the best of the decade by running down my picks for the five top teams of the 2010s. It spurred plenty of debate, some fun discussion, and a few angry fans who were convinced their team should be higher. Good times.

A lot of readers asked why I was being uncharacteristically positive, focusing on the best without also doing an all-decade bottom five. The rest of you, I’m presuming, realized there was one more Monday left in 2019. That Monday is here, and yeah, we’re doing this.

But fair warning: This is going to be even tougher than coming up with the top five. One of the themes we had to wrestle with last week was Cup wins, and how heavily to weigh those in the final order. Did the Hawks automatically get the top spot because they had more championships, or could the Penguins sneak past them due to better overall consistency? Did the Kings have to be in the top three despite their recent misery, or could somebody like the Caps or Bruins pass them?

It made for some tough calls. But having Cups in the mix still helped, because it gave us somewhere to plant a flag. You win a Cup, we all agree that matters. A lot. With a bottom five, we don’t have that to hang our hat on. We can look at who finished dead last, of course, but the difference between 30th or 31st and, say, 27th probably isn’t all that big a deal.

So we’re going to have to focus on the forest for the trees here. I’m going to be looking at overall record, as well as playoff appearances (and success). We’ll give bonus points for those miserable rock bottom years, the kind that sap the will to live out of a fan base.

A few teams are going to be obvious. The Oilers have to be on the list; no team (apart from the expansion Knights) won fewer games, and they only made the playoffs once. And not only did they finish dead last twice (in 2010 and 2011), but they rebuilt from that, drafted Connor McDavid, made it back to respectability, and then fell almost all the way back down to the bottom again. They at least won a round, but otherwise, it was an agonizing decade, which isn’t great for a team that was already four years into a decade of darkness when the 2010s began. The Oilers were probably the first team that came to your mind for top spot.

Or maybe your first thought was the Sabres. They won fewer games than everyone apart from the Oilers, made the playoffs just twice without ever winning a round, and finished dead last three times. Granted, at least one of those last-place seasons seemed to be on purpose. I’m not sure if that should help their case or hurt it.

But yeah, the Sabres and Oilers are on the list. And that offers up a reminder of the paradox of NHL misery because my guess is there are plenty of fans in Buffalo and Edmonton who would look at high picks like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin and whoever else and say that they’re perfectly happy to have had a miserable decade. Sometimes, like it or not, losing pays in this league.

Who else makes the cut? The Panthers had the next fewest wins, didn’t win a playoff round in two tries, and were dead last once. The Coyotes had the fifth-fewest wins, although they did make the playoffs three times and had one run to the conference final. So did the Hurricanes, whose run last spring was their only playoff appearance of the decade; they also had the fourth-fewest regular-season wins. Neither team finished dead last, although the Coyotes sure seemed to want to back in 2015.

A few other teams are in contention but have weaker cases than you might think. The Leafs were a joke for the first six years of the decade and finished dead last in 2015-16, but they did make the playoffs four times (although they went oh-for-four once they got there). The Devils only made three playoff appearances, although one resulted in a trip to the final, so I’m not sure they’re really in the running. The Stars and Jets also made just three postseason appearances. So did the Flames, and they only won six playoff games, which is actually the fewest among Canadian teams, trailing even the Oilers and Leafs. The Blue Jackets, Islanders and Senators all had more lows than highs, although all three put up better records for the decade than I would have thought.

So where does that leave us? I’m going to make the tough call at the top and say the Sabres edge out the Oilers. Buffalo won more regular-season games and had an extra playoff appearance, but they didn’t see the second round and won a league-low five playoff games to go with three dead last finishes. It’s like comparing worm-infested apples to rotten oranges, but I think the Sabres take the title.

The Panthers feel like an easy call for third spot, with just two postseason appearances and a Sabre-ish five wins to show for them. Fourth spot is tougher, but I’m going to give it to the Maple Leafs. Maybe that’s a homer pick, but the utter misery and chest-thumping incompetence of the first half of the decade shouldn’t be lost in the more respectable recent years, especially since even the good seasons never resulted in a trip out of the first round. And for fifth spot, let’s shake off recency bias and recognize the Hurricanes, who made just one playoff appearance. Sure, they won two rounds, but their eight playoff wins in the decade still ranks as the fifth-worst total in the league, even as they never really bottomed out into something completely embarrassing. They edge out the Coyotes.

So that’s my list: Sabres, Oilers, Panthers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes. I’m guessing you’ll disagree with at least one or two of those picks, so let me hear it in the comments.


Meh (now this one, he numbers):
Quote:
5. Philadelphia Flyers: They made the playoffs six times and won five rounds, which is solidly middle-of-the-pack territory. They came into this season having lost two more games than they’d won in the decade, then nudged into winning territory – but only barely. They get bonus marks for alternating between missing the playoffs and going out in the first round over the last seven years, but lose points for making the Cup final in 2010 (although they did it as an 88-point team, which is pretty darn average).

4. Vancouver Canucks: This is a tough one. They went to a final and won two Presidents’ Trophies, which should probably take them out of the running entirely. But they also finished the decade with an impressive record of 412 wins and 414 losses, the most average mark in the entire league. They made the playoffs five times, and finished 15th in a (mostly) 30-team league in playoff games won. The highs were too high for me to rank them in the top three, but in the big picture they wound up being super average.

3. Montreal Canadiens: They made six playoff appearances and never got to a final, although they did make the third round a couple of times. Their regular season record saw them finish four wins above water for the decade. And if we let some recency bias creep in, they’ve spent the last few years as the only team that never gets mentioned in the weekend rankings because they’re always exactly the 16th best team in the league.

2. Dallas Stars: They entered the season with a record of 393-393, and aren’t much better than average so far this season. Not counting the lockout, they had one season above 100 points and one below 80 and everything else was just OK. They only made three playoff appearances, and never got past the second round.

1. Minnesota Wild: It feels like it couldn’t be anyone else, right? The Wild finished the decade with three more wins than losses. They made the playoffs more often than not (six times), but when they got there they only won 15 playoff games and never made it out of the second round. They finished with 80-something points five times but never worse than that, never were bad enough to pick in the top five, and never had anyone win a Hart, Norris, Calder, Jack Adams or Vezina, and are the only team other than the Knights who’ve never had a Hall-of-Famer.

They were interesting for one day in 2012 and one week last summer, and the rest of the time you kept getting them mixed up with the Stars. Their captain is Mikko Koivu and their logo is a bowl of lukewarm oatmeal.

They’re the 1950s Canadiens of being the 1980s Jets. They’re fine.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:20 am 
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Thanks. Good read. And I love that he mentions people may find him uncharacteristically positive. :lol:

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