Thursday, April 5, 2007

Oilers and Hurricanes go from top to slop

Back at the end of February I wrote a post about Parity in the NHL and how the Carolina Hurricanes and the Edmonton Oilers are making a case for it this season.

Well lo and behold! I make a prediction that actually comes through. The Hurricanes and Oilers will miss the playoffs this year marking the first time in the history of the NHL that the two teams who contended for the Stanley Cup both missed the playoffs the following year.

In fact, if I remember this correctly, the last Stanley Cup winning team that missed the playoff's the following year was the 1996 New Jersey Devils. (Okay, so I looked it up on the 'net to make sure I was right).

The Oilers have been pretty much horrible all year long but considering that they were a last minute add-in to the playoffs last year AND the first 8 seed to ever make it to the Stanley Cup final it is not too surprising that they ended up missing the dance this year.

The Carolina Hurricanes came out of the gate strong this season and for a time were one of the highest scoring teams in the league. In fact, according to ESPN they still rank 12th in the League in team scoring posting an average of 2.94 goals per game. The big problem is on the other side of the coin. The 'Canes goaltending has been erratic to say the least and they average 3.00 goals against per game. Anyone with grade 3 math can see the problem that disparity causes.

As we enter a new era in the NHL I wonder if this type of thing will happen more often?

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