The Olympics were an interesting event for the NHL.
Colorado had 10 players go to the Olympics (the most in the NHL), and just clinched the first round over Dallas, who sent seven players.
The New York Rangers had nine players and were swept by New Jersey, who sent seven players.
Detroit also sent nine players to Turin, and they’re one game away from being eliminated by Edmonton, who send three players.
Tampa sent eight players and were kicked out of the first round by Ottawa, who also sent eight.
Originally, I was thinking the Olympics wore down a lot of teams, like the Rangers and Dallas, but it’s hard to say, because so many teams in general sent a healthy amount of players.
Here’s the breakdown. This could be interesting in the later rounds:
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Also, the LA Times has an interesting column on how goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere has been average during the Duck’s first-round series (login info.). Obviously, a lot of that is just seeing a higher quality of shots in the new NHL, but I’m also wondering if it’s a tougher on a big butterfly goalie like Giguere.
Closing off the bottom of the net just isn’t enough anymore. Guys have enough time and space to actually lift the puck again.
Of course, the upside of being a butterfly goalie is that if anyone drops a contact, you’re totally there for them.