One of the grand highlights for players after winning the Stanley Cup comes from getting to have their names engraved on the Cup itself. After a full season of contributing or helping the team get to the ultimate prize in the postseason or Stanley Cup finals, being rewarded with your name living on forever on the Cup is an immense reward.
Of course, there are stipulations to getting your name on the Cup. You have to either play in 41 games during the regular season with the team or you have to appear in a game during the Stanley Cup finals. For a handful of Bruins players, there are some potential issues to getting their names on the Cup.
CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty points out how Marc Savard and Steve Kampfer run into some issues with the protocol to get their names on the Cup. For Savard and Kampfer, there’s a process that the Bruins and GM Peter Chiarelli will have to go through to try and get them included in the engraving party.
Chiarelli is hoping both will find their names on the Cup despite not meeting the general criteria that doesn’t take season-ending injuries into account among its qualifications. There is a petition process that the B’s manager is looking into when it comes to Cup inclusion, and just won of a number of things on Chiarelli’s punch list now that a dream playoff run has come to an end.
The NHL can be sticklers about these things but there’s no doubt that Kampfer would’ve met the required number of games had he not been injured and as for Savard… Let’s cut the guy a huge break here.
The NHL looked the other way when Matt Cooke essentially ruined his career last season and his unfortunate concussion in January derailed his ability to help be a part of the Bruins run this year. While the argument could be made by the league that Savard didn’t participate nearly enough to be considered a part of this year’s team, the motivation his comeback and follow-up injury had on his teammates to get the job done in the playoffs had a profound effect.
After all, whenever Savard was able to make an appearance at Bruins games at TD Garden during the playoffs he was featured on the big screen and the crowd would rise to their feet in approval while his teammates tapped their sticks for him on the ice. In Savard’s case, his being able to be around the team when he could was the only way he could help inspire the team. While the NHL won’t always buy into the feel good story, this is one situation where they should be OK with it.
The New York Rangers weren’t ecstatic that Chris Tierney‘s 4-4 goal sent their game to overtime against the San Jose Sharks, but either way, getting beyond regulation punched their ticket to the playoffs on Tuesday night.
For the seventh season in a row, the Rangers are in the NHL’s postseason. They fell to the Sharks 5-4 in overtime, so they haven’t locked down the first wild-card spot in the East … yet. It seems like a matter of time, however.
The Rangers have now made the playoffs in 11 of their last 12 tries, a far cry from the barren stretch when they failed to make the playoffs from 1997-98 through 2003-04 (with the lockout season punctuating the end of that incompetent era).
New York has pivoted from the John Tortorella days to the Vigneault era, and this season has been especially interesting as they reacted to a 2016 first-round loss to the Penguins by instituting a more attacking style. The Metropolitan Division’s greatness has overshadowed, to some extent, how dramatic the improvement has been.
This result seems like a tidy way to discuss Tuesday’s other events.
The drama ends up being low for the Rangers going forward, and while there might be a shortage of life-or-death playoff struggles, the battles for seeding look to be fierce.
There’s something beautiful about the symmetry on Tuesday … unless you’re a Detroit Red Wings fan, maybe.
On the same night that the longest active NHL playoff streak ended at 25 for Detroit, the longest playoff drought concluded when the Edmonton Oilers clinched a postseason spot by beating the Los Angeles Kings 2-1.
The Oilers haven’t reached the playoffs since 2005-06, when Chris Pronger lifted them to Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.
In doing so, other dominoes fell. Both the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks also punched their tickets to the postseason.
The Sharks, of course, hope to exceed last season’s surprising run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks continue their run of strong regular seasons, even as memories of their Cup win start to fade into the distance. All three teams are currently vying for the Pacific Division title.
The Western Conference’s eight teams are dangerously close to being locked into place, as the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues are all close to looking down their spots as well.
Want the East perspective? Check out this summary of Tuesday’s events from the perspective of the other conference.
Members of the Ottawa Senators were quick to defend Craig Anderson following his blunder (see above) in Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, and it’s easy to see why.
It’s not just about his personal struggles, either. When Anderson’s managed to play, he’s been flat-out phenomenal, generating a .927 save percentage that ranks near a Vezina-type level (if he managed to play more than 35 games).
Goaltending has been a huge reason why Ottawa has at least a shot of winning the Atlantic or at least grabbing a round of home-ice advantage, so unlike certain instances where teams shield a goalie’s failures, the defenses are absolutely justified.
Anderson, on the other hand, was very hard on himself.
You have to admire Anderson for taking the blame, even if in very much “hockey player” fashion, he’s not exactly demanding the same sort of credit for his great work this season.
When we look back at the 2016-17 season for the Detroit Red Wings, it will be remembered for some sad endings.
It began without Pavel Datsyuk. We knew that their last game at Joe Louis Arena this season would be their last ever. And now we know that Joe Louis Arena won’t be home to another playoff run.
After 25 straight seasons of making the playoffs – quite often managing deep runs – the Red Wings were officially eliminated on Tuesday night. In getting this far, they enjoyed one of the greatest runs of longevity in NHL history:
Tonight revolves largely around East teams winning and teams clinching bids – the Edmonton Oilers could very well end the league’s longest playoff drought this evening – but this story is more solemn.
EA Sports tweeted out a great infographic:
“Right now it’s hard to talk about it, because you’re a big reason why it’s not continuing,” Henrik Zetterberg said in an NHL.com report absolutely worth your time.
Mike “Doc” Emrick narrated a great look back at Joe Louis Arena here: