Following series clinching losses on Saturday night, the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators join the New Jersey Devils in 2010 Playoff disappointment. Apparently.
Detractors of the Avalanche and Senators (mostly the Senators… Honestly, who hates the young, up-and-coming Avs?) say the Playoffs were busts for each club. Some have already claimed the Senators choked in this year’s Playoffs.
Let’s pretend for a second that a Playoff series consists of more than a single game (or period). Let’s take a slightly more intelligent perspective on the Avalanche and Senators series. The opponents in each series – the Sharks and Penguins, respectively – are heavy favorites to play for the Stanley Cup in June. They are considered among the elite NHL teams.
In the case of the Avs and Sens, it’s pretty impressive both teams qualified for the Playoffs. Virtually no one thought Colorado had any chance of being in the post-season. And only a few more of the ‘experts’ thought Ottawa would qualify for the Playoffs. That’s the difference between the Avs and Sens and the New Jersey Devils – a team with larger expectations and a team that should have gone farther than the 1st round.
The Devils choked big time. Consider the blockbuster deal they pulled off to acquire star Ilya Kovalchuk in February. Consider the strong regular season they had and their series opponent, the Philadelphia Flyers. Consider the fact that expectations were higher for the Devils than they were for the Avalanche and Senators combined. And don’t forget last year’s 1st round meltdown against the Carolina Hurricanes. Neither Colorado or Ottawa even made the 2009 Playoffs.
Exactly how can a team (or teams) and their Playoff elimination be considered a choke when they weren’t expected to make the post-season and ended up playing superior opponents? To me, it’s about realistic expectations. You can’t “choke” when you live up to expectations. Many didn’t expect the Avalanche or Senators to advance beyond the 1st round of the Playoffs. Most figured the Devils would be a 2nd or 3rd round team, or better.
Excuse me for getting a little bent out of shape on this, but I’m choking on this bullshit.
Stay classy, Avalanche and Senators. Neither team choked.
If you liked this post, you might like some of these:
- Burgundy’s Playoff Predictions
- Olympic Rant!
- Fantana Get’s It Wrong – Kovalchuk Traded To New Jersey