Sports The (Unofficial) NHL Thread!

Pendraflare

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So we have a thread for the NFL, and I figured I'd make one for the National Hockey League, as well. Obviously the NHL isn't as big a deal as the NFL in the long run, but it can still be fun to talk about as it has its fans. So, let's talk about the NHL! Including this season, or anything else you may have to share. I'll do things like weekly (or later) questions, and maybe think of other things to talk about.

So, I'll start this off with a question: How do you feel about your team currently?

I will say that my Flyers have been, well, not exactly ideal since 2010 when they came up short in the Stanley Cup Finals. But I do see some potential with them, although I will say that giving up Carter Hart was a mistake and I hope we can get him back. We're giving up too many goals, but we have been getting somewhere this month after a rather unsettling October, despite a disappointing loss against the Panthers yesterday. They're probably not gonna win it all this year unless we have another insane run like 2010, but we should make the playoffs again. I just hope it doesn't result in another hideous loss against the Penguins!

So, yeah! Discuss the NHL. I'll have more questions later on.
 

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*stares at thread title*
*stares at user who created it*
*stares at my avatar*
*stares back at thread title*
*stares back at user who created it*
*stares back at my avatar*
*stares at my sig*
*stares back at thread title*

well this is unexpected

So, uh, yeah. I think it's obvious to everybody what my main team is. It is also obvious to everybody who spends any sort of time around me when I talk about sports how I feel about the Oilers!

So let me talk about the actual good team I cheer for first. The Bolts are great. I love them. They're super talented, they have good depth at all positions, they have solid stars in guys like Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman and Vasilevski. Their coaching is great and they have a good GM. They're a threat to win the Stanley Cup, and I think they'll do it this year. The fact that they're 1st in the East and 2nd in the league speaks for itself, although the fact they lost to the Sens and Sabres recently is less than ideal.

Now, the Oilers. Just as a quick go-through of how I feel, the Oilers are a bad team that's being propped up by having the best player in the league on their team. I'm amazed that they're 9-8-1 right now, I legit thought they'd be like 4-13-1 or something. But still, this team has a lot of problems. The forwards are **** outside of McDavid, Nuge and Draisaitl. Our defense is **** outside of Klefbom and Nurse. Our goaltending has been bad. Our coaching is ****. Our GM is a moron. Our owner doesn't give a **** about us actually winning games. This team is ****, we've missed the playoffs in 11 of the past 12 seasons. If it wasn't for my lord and savior Connor McDavid I probably would've stopped caring about this team. There needs to be some serious changes soon, because holy **** stop wasting the prime years of McDavid's career.

Fire Chiarelli already you ****s.
 

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So let me talk about what happened yesterday, because uh we have this thread and I wanna talk about it.

So the Oilers had two very lame duck performances over the weekend (4-2 L to CGY, 6-3 L to VGK). The team had lost 6 of their last 7. Fans were getting upset (as they should be). Something had to give. They had to ****ing fire Chiarelli already. But Monday goes without any firings from them.

Then I see this Tuesday morning as I'm checking Twitter before getting to work:

soooooooooooooo, great. McLellan was a ****ty coach and had to go, don't get me wrong, but jesus christ all the Oilers are doing is delaying the inevitable of firing Chiarelli. He's responsible for the roster being so ****ty, yet he continues to skate by without getting the axe.

Like, god damn, look at this ****:

Imagine trading guys like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, the pick for Mathew Barzal, not getting enough in return for them, signing ****ty players like Lucic and Kris Russell and going "yep this roster is totally good!" Like, god damn, take away the players Chiarelli has not signed, traded for or drafted (McDavid is included in this) and, uh:
Caggiula - x - x
Spooner - x - Chiasson
Rieder - Marody - Rattie
Lucic - Brodziak - Kassian
x, Patrick Russell, Puljujarvi, Yamamoto

x - Larsson
x - Benning
Gravel - Russell
Garrison, Sekera (LTIR)

Talbot
Koskinen

That's complete garbage. That's an AHL-quality roster right there. The best players on the team are all players who were on the team before Chiarelli took over, and if it weren't for them (especially McDavid) we'd have 0 points right now. This is very identical to last year's roster, a roster that missed the playoffs by 17 points. Chiarelli's plan is literally to just have McDavid carry this team and also have players overperform like they did in 2016-17. But surprise, it isn't working! It turns out you need to actually build a good team, you can't just rely on your superstar to carry you and you also can't just ****ing hope that players overperform!

Like, ****, this team was flawed when Chiarelli took over, but god damn there was a bright future thanks to McDavid. Instead he's traded away our offense, he's made us slower, he still hasn't fixed the ****ing defense and he's crippled our salary cap position in the future thanks to his signings, especially Lucic and Russell. For as much as I disliked what Tambellini and MacT did, at least they had the ****ing decency not to ****ing trade away some of our best players. Chiarelli would gladly trade away McDavid if he was given the chance.

Like god damnit, this isn't that hard. This team isn't making the playoffs this year, they are so weak outside of McDavid. They need somebody to take over the team who can somehow undo some of the damage caused by the moron in charge. Like look at how well Boston's managed to do since they got rid of Chiarelli. They'll never be as good as they could've been back when Chiarelli first took over, but the longer they go without firing Chiarelli the worse they'll be.

Imagine possibly being a perennial Cup contender, and instead the best case scenario is "barely squeak into the playoffs and suffer a first round exit". Like ****ing ****. **** this team for willingly allowing this to happen.

Just ****ing fire Chiarelli already you ****s.
 

Pendraflare

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So yesterday, the Flyers fired their general manager Ron Hextall, and people weren't quite as pleased that it was him and not the coach, Dave Hakstol - yes, their last names are so similar - that got the boot instead. I wonder who will take his place but I'm hoping the changes will allow for the better. But after today's showing against the Ottawa Senators, blowing a 3-1 lead in the final period, I'm sure many are feeling that the coach needs to go as well. And considering that we've had two blowouts in our last four games, at the hands of Buffalo and Toronto, this isn't looking to be a good year for us at all, especially with us now at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

And our next game is against Pittsburgh in PPG Paints Arena... Joy... :pensiveazurill:
 

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Still waiting for this mighty Sharks defense to show up, and for Martin Jones to be average in goaltending stats.
 

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Alright, well, today it was officially announced that Seattle will become the 32nd NHL team, with them having their inaugural season in 2021-22. I'm not too surprised by them starting in 2021 instead of 2020 for two reasons. Obviously the first is the fact that renovations to KeyArena will take some time. The second is that the 2020-21 season will likely be the next locked out season (because seasons getting shortened/cancelled is basically guaranteed for the NHL), so uhhhhhhhh maybe don't let a team have their inaugural season then?

So obviously there's some re-alignment required as well, since Seattle would slot into the Pacific, but the divisions need to be balanced out at 8/8/8/8. Only 3 teams made sense due to time zones (Edmonton, Calgary, Arizona) but there's no way you'd let Edmonton and Calgary be in separate divisions, so Arizona will end up in the Central and get slaughtered rip and may end up getting moved to somewhere else, who knows. I don't even know how they're still in Arizona at this point

Of course, the most fun in this is the expansion draft. Vegas is exempt, the other 30 teams get to go through the same process as they did for the Vegas expansion. Vegas managed to do pretty well with the expansion draft (even if people, myself included, thought they messed up and were destined for a bottom 3 spot in their inaugural season), so hey, maybe lightning will strike twice.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with the Oilers. Thankfully we don't have to protect Kris Russell, sadly we'll have to protect Lucic if he's still on the team (please don't be on the team by that point). Guessing it'll be a 7-3-1 protection along the lines of this:
Forwards:
Connor McDavid
Leon Draisaitl
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Jesse Puljujarvi (probably)
Kailer Yamamoto (probably)
Some cool forward we get after we fire Chiarelli
Milan Lucic (NMC) or some cool forward we get after we fire Chiarelli

Defense:
Oscar Klefbom
Darnell Nurse
Adam Larsson or some cool guy we get after we fire Chiarelli
(Evan Bouchard is exempt)

Goalie:
uhhhhhh **** if I know who'll be our starter by then

Bolts are fun to look at because god damn they will still be stacked in 2021.
Forwards:
Steven Stamkos (NMC)
Nikita Kucherov
Brayden Point
Ondrej Palat
JT Miller
Tyler Johnson
Yanni Gourde

Defense:
Victor Hedman (NMC)
Ryan McDonagh
Mikhail Sergachev

Goalie:
Vasilevski
 

Pendraflare

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So now my Flyers have Chuck Fletcher as their GM. This guy has not been someone who fans are looking forward to having around after what he did with the Minnesota Wild, a team that hasn't had much success at all. Then again that's Philly for you, we lose our minds over everything. But there are the hints that we could potentially get Joel Quenneville, the Blackhawks coach who won three cups this decade (including one against us). If Paul Holmgren and Dave Scott are cooperative with it then that would be something for us to look forward to.

Still though, I do think fans are too quick to judge and Fletcher does deserve a chance if nothing else. Maybe he'll get us places. Or maybe people will be calling for his head at the end of the season like they are Gabe Kapler - again, that's Philly alright.
 

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Those ****s finally fired Chiarelli. FINALLY. Jesus christ this makes me so ****ing ecstatic, like holy ****. I know that they still need to clean house and have much more firings, in addition to actually hiring a GM who can somehow salvage the disaster that was Peter Chiarelli's reign, but holy **** this is ****ing amazing!!!

Good riddance Chiarelli.
 

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Okay. New to this thread, so let's get some formalities out of the way. I am following two teams. I am a very proud Colorado native, and will always love my Avalanche. One of my dearest fans, who rekindled my interest in hockey, is a die-hard Sharks fan, so I have not just been following her team, but kinda fallen in love with them, as well.

I think that the Sharks look amazing this year. They have some weaknesses - most teams do - but now that their offense, goaltending and (most of the time) defense have started clicking, I can see the Sharks as contenders.

Next we have the Avs. Um. I really don't know what to say. The team is more talented than this. Everyone talks about the top line, and justifiably so (I think that Landeskog deserved MVP of the All-Star Game over Crosby, but that could just be me), but we have some very solid defensemen (Barrie, Zadorov, and Eric Johnson are, if not stars, then at least good) and I know that Varlamov and Grubauer are better than their records this year suggest. I would love to see the Avs make a couple of big signings before the trade deadline, hopefully for a shut-down type of defenseman, as well as someone that can make one of our other lines fairly threatening, maybe a winger for the Soderberg line. If that doesn't happen, then I want to see some big shakeups in either the coaching staff or the Front Office. The Avs belong in the playoffs.


Sasha
 

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One of my dearest fans, who rekindled my interest in hockey, is a die-hard Sharks fan, so I have not just been following her team, but kinda fallen in love with them, as well.
I like your friend. Maybe you two can get matching shirts of Long Beach native Matt Nieto.

As of the trade deadline, I like what Doug Wilson has done with the team for the now and think this team can go far in the playoffs with a healthy team given the depth they have throughout the lineup. Seriously, our third line is Sorensen-Thornton-Nyquist. I'm also happy that making the playoffs is a non-worry for the Sharks given how far ahead they are in the standings relative to everyone in the west outside of Calgary.

Of all the teams still in it for the playoffs, I'm the most afraid of Vegas. They have such a stacked team despite what the standings would indicate and Fleury becomes a brick wall come playoff time. I'd really hate to face them in the first round and would need Calgary to cool the **** down and disappear into oblivion. Out of the central, I feel like the Jets are the biggest threat. Nashville was a team I found to be very overrated over the past few seasons, though still pretty good. Both those fanbases are vicious and make for a tough road game.

Looking past the season, I'm interested in seeing what happens with Erik Karlsson. It seems he likes it here and there's a chance he comes back, but with someone at his skill level and seeing what Wilson has already done, we'd have a lot of money on defense given the contracts to both Burns and Vlasic. Still, if that does come into fruition, this defense will be one heck of a scoring force knowing that Merkeley will come up in a few years unless he's traded.
 

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Has anyone kept an eye on the complete phenomenon of the Carolina Hurricanes with their celebrations after home wins? It caught like wildfire especially after everyone's favourite suit who we all secretly wish would retire, not because we hate him, but before we all love him and hate to see him the way he's become, Don Cherry ranted on Coach's Corner, calling them "A Bunch of Jerks."

This sparked T-shirts, a rise in attendance, an impressive home win-streak, memes, and something which has been lacking for the team for a long time, actual hype. Like, they had the lowest attendance in the league and now they are getting packed crowds for home games and I think it has helped the team mentally and has helped them make a push to get into the playoffs.

(Oh, also forewarning, I'm a Leafs fan)
 

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Carolina's celebrations are definitely fun, yeah. I do hate the whole "no fun in hockey thing" that always gets thrown around. Like it's okay for these guys to show some personality and have fun with the game!!! Man alive. I even enjoyed their celebration that came after they beat the Oilers in Carolina, lol. Really, the fact that their celebrations make people like Don Cherry and Brian Burke angry makes it all the better IMO. And, I mean, their fans are enjoying it, which I think is the most important thing.

Anyways, there's less than a month to go in the season, I guess I should talk about my teams. Tampa's continuing to own everybody. I'm super happy they're continuing to do so well. I think it's always a concern to be this far ahead this late in the season, since they've basically locked up the President's Trophy and all they've really got to play for is the wins/points records. So it's easy for them to take their foot off the gas and have off nights (like against Boston and Minnesota), but I'm confident in this team and I do think this could finally be the year they win it all for the first time since 2004. They just gotta remain healthy heading into the playoffs.

As for the Oilers, it's just weird. Like they're 7-2-2 in their last 11, they've got the weakest schedule out of all the teams remaining and they've technically still got a shot at making the playoffs, being 5 points back and all. But the team just isn't good. Like, it's basically been McDavid and more recently Draisaitl carrying this team. They're nowhere close to being a real playoff team since they don't have the depth, they don't have the defense and they don't have the goaltending. They're going to get swept in the first round if they make it. But what really, really worries me is that this team is still really messed up from a management perspective. Like, they're basically refusing to clean house and the media has been promoting Keith Gretzky like crazy. Like nobody outside of Edmonton would want Gretzky as their GM. It's so stupid. Yet somehow Chiarelli's right hand man is our savior??? Despite all the evidence he's not good??? Like how. How could you seriously let this be happening yet again? I'm on the brink of renouncing my fandom and my season tickets to the Oilers, and the only thing really holding me in there is who they decide to hire as the next GM. Like if it's Kelly McCrimmon, okay, good. But if it's Keith Gretzky I stg I'm just giving up since that'll prove this organization has not learned from their mistakes and it'll continue to be the biggest joke in the NHL. tbh I do hope the Oilers do miss because this organization will take making the playoffs in the wrong way and all it'll do is make the team even worse in future seasons.

Also, man, this is ugly to say the least:

With the video I've seen, it definitely looks like Morgan Rielly says a homophobic slur while staring directly at the ref. Hopefully the NHL does the right thing and suspends him since there's no place for that in today's world.

e:
Gotta say I'm actually surprised, since it definitely sounded like Rielly said a slur.
 
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Alright, so there's two things to get to. First I wanna talk about my teams, but considering the second thing is more important I'll just spoiler it.
So, first off, let's start with my good team. So the Tampa Bay Lightning absolutely dominated this season like nobody else has in the cap era. 62-16-4, 128 points, President's Trophy winners with 3 weeks left in the season. They tied the wins record. They were 21 points ahead of the next closest teams in the league. Hell, they went 44-8-0 against the East this year. That is beyond insane. They had the best PP (10th best of all time!), they had the most goals and they had the best GD by a wide margin.

Kucherov ripped things up too. 128 points, most by a Russian born player and the most by any player since the 1995-96 season. He had an insane year too, and on top of winning the Art Ross he's likely going to win both the Hart and Lindsay too. Vasilevski is a candidate for the Vezina, and Jon Cooper's a candidate for the Jack Adams. Definitely going to be a good year hardware wise, although there's one thing I want more than anything else, and that's the Stanley Cup.

Really, my main concern going into the playoffs is that Hedman was hurt last Saturday against the Caps and sat out this past week with what looked like a concussion. I really hope he's good to go for the playoffs because there's no way the Bolts can lose who I think is the best defenseman in the league for any significant amount of time. And really, for as deep as the Bolts are, I really hope they can continue to stay healthy, since that's what will be key for them to make a deep playoff run.

I really do think this is the year the Bolts win it all. I know anything can happen in the playoffs, but Tampa was just on a whole other level this year. They have the tools offensively and defensively to take on any team in the league, and I think they're hungry for it this year, given how the past few playoffs have gone for them.

As for the Edmonton Oilers, uuuuuurrrrrrrgggggggggg. Let's talk about the positives. McDavid had another career year, getting 116 points and was once again the best player in the league. Like, I like Kucherov and he is on the Bolts and he had a really good year, but man, McDavid gets 150 points easily if he's on a team like Tampa. Draisaitl also had a career year, managing to get 105 points and 50 goals, which is insane. Nuge also had a career year (28 goals/69 (nice) points), and same with Nurse (10 goals, 41 points).

But then here's the ugly thing. Despite having two 100+ point players (McDavid 2nd and Draisaitl 4th in the league!!), who were also two of the top goal scorers (Draisaitl 2nd and McDavid T-6th in the league!!), they still managed to miss the playoffs. Hell, they were only one of two West teams to not even finish with 80 points. Despite that, the fact they went 35-38-9 (79 points) is actually their 2nd best season this decade. Like ****. We suck. We have zero forward depth. Our defense sucks. We have **** goaltending. And our management is still super incompetent. All topped off by Daryl Katz being the 2nd worst owner in the league. The Oilers really need to clean house, yet I have little faith they will actually do so, in addition to actually hiring a good GM.

I still don't really know if I'll renew as a STH for next season. I'm continuing to hang on by a thread, but man. There's a significant number of STHs who aren't renewing, and even if they don't **** up this hire it's still a question of how much the seats will be and if it's even worth continuing to be one at this point. Renewal packages still aren't out, though they'll be out during the middle of this month, which I expected since I think they are really banking on getting a top 3 pick through the lottery and having some sort of optimism for this team going into next season.

Lastly, **** the Flames. Jesus. It's ****ing disgusting how, in Game 82, those ****ers end up injuring McDavid. Giordano gets beat clean by McDavid and has no way of actually reaching the puck, so he decides to dive at McDavid's legs and take him out, which results in his left leg crashing hard into the post and getting badly hurt. It was scarily reminiscent of Stamkos' tibia injury 5 and a half years ago. Thankfully the x-rays came back negative, but there's still the question of the MRI, and I'm dreading it.

Seriously, though, I can't say it enough. **** the Flames. Dirtiest team in the league by far. I really hope they get swept in the first round.
Second, since the regular season is done and the playoffs get underway Wednesday, it is time for the NHL Bracket Challenge! If you remember this from last season, you basically try to predict how the entire playoffs will unfold in one go. It's like the March Madness brackets, except there's less teams to predict for, lol

Signing up is pretty simple. Head over to the Marriland group, create an NHL.com account (or sign into it if you have one created), enter the password "sobblesquad" to join the group, and then create your bracket!

You have until 6:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 10 to join and fill out your bracket! No hockey knowledge is necessary! Good luck!
 

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So, my Flyers. We entered the season with some decent hope that we would be one of the best teams in the Metropolitan division. But we were getting blown out every other game it felt like, having rotten loss after rotten loss. In late November, we fired our GM Ron Hextall, and as I mentioned above got Chuck Fletcher in his place. Three weeks later, head coach Dave Hakstol followed suit and interim coach Scott Gordon stepped in. Shortly after that, we got Carter Hart, and that was when things started to look good for us, and we beat some respectable opponents along the way. After an AMAZING Stadium Series game against the Penguins that I had the chance to get to attend live (but the unfortunate displeasure of leaving before the Penguins collapsed and Giroux finished them in overtime, although if it weren't for the rain I probably would have stayed), there was still some hope. And while there were a few glimmers here and there, we just weren't able to finish things, and we ended up eliminated on March 30th and then lost all four of our remaining games afterwards. On the last Flyers Postgame Live on Saturday night, they were talking about how they ended up in this situation and felt it would've been pretty tough to dig themselves out of the hole they were in to begin the season. They said that with our new goalie in hand, this could be one of the most important offseasons for the Flyers in a long time, but it didn't get off to the best start as prospect coach Joel Quenneville, went to the Florida Panthers, and now we're wondering who we'll get instead. Will we keep Gordon? I enjoyed his coaching everything considered.

As for the playoffs, I really don't know. Yeah, Tampa Bay is the clear favorite to win it all, but I just get a weird feeling that they're gonna fall apart somehow at the worst possible moment. I really want to see a Western conference team get their first. Last year come the second round, all four teams remaining there were potential first time winners, and we did get one from the Eastern conference. Obviously nothing against the Bolts if they do win. And if god help us the Penguins starts to catch fire again, Tampa Bay or hopefully Washington can send them packing. I'm looking forward to seeing how these go!
 

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The Bolts are now down 3-0 in their series to the Jackets and I'm just shocked and upset. I really don't know what else to say about it. All I know is I'm not going to watch them get swept on Tuesday, it just hurts way too much.
 

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So we've had quite a playoffs so far! A LOT of brackets are getting busted, with some in part to BOTH #1 seeds being disposed of, and multiple teams that most expected to progress being downed early, like Winnipeg, Nashville and Toronto. Geez.

But last night's Game 7 with the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights took the cake for sure. The "Vegas blew a 3-1 lead" memes are gonna be in full swing, especially after blowing a 3-0 lead in Game 7 and then losing in overtime. I mean, I enjoy this sport, but man alive, Vegas was about to advance and just couldn't win one more game. A five minute power play for the Sharks, that was crazy. It does kind of remind me of my Flyers in 2010 where we were down 0-3 against the Boston Bruins and forced a Game 7 where Boston blew a 3 goal lead. This series was hands down the best of the first round, but we'll see if Caps/Hurricanes takes that title with Game 7 tonight.

And speaking of the Flyers, we have Alain Vigneault as our new head coach. He's been one of the better coaches in NHL in recent years, and led two teams to the finals (but lost them both), so I'm sure he's got something in him to get us going. We haven't made it past the first round since 2012, and it's time for that to change.
 

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May Brad Marchand not win another cup.


Yes, I am salty as a Leafs fan. Not because of bad refs, because even if they were good we couldn't match them and seal the deal. But he is just my least fav player out there for his history of dirty play despite being skilled enough to not need it. Plus Boston as a city doesn't need a championship again. May the Hockey Gods have mercy on us and end the legacy of failure of the Blues.
 

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If you hate dirty players, the Blues are not a team to root for. They got away with so much suspendable **** that you'd almost forget about the hand pass if they didn't complain about it endlessly.
 

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Rhi, Cali, or Rosie
If you hate dirty players, the Blues are not a team to root for. They got away with so much suspendable **** that you'd almost forget about the hand pass if they didn't complain about it endlessly.
Yeah, I'm on the East Coast so I don't really watch Western Conference games that often. But I'd still rather take a team winning their first cup over another Boston team winning.
 

Diarkia124

Master of Jacks
Rainbow Rocket Grunt
Join Date
Nov 1, 2018
Posts
213
Location
California
AKA
Andrew
Gender
Male
IGN
Andrew
So the Department of Player Safety finally doesn't let the Blues get away with their ****. wtf was Hertl's injury to them then or any injury to the Sharks
 
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