NHL Insider: The playoffs once again offer plenty of drama in an important historical history

Inside the NHL

Given how May 10 remains a sacred date in Stanley Cup playoff history, it was no surprise to see the record line-up for pivotal games on Tuesday night.

The Stanley Cups were won on May 10, best known by Bobby Orr and the Boston Bruins in 1970, and then by the Montreal Canadiens in 1973 and 1977, with conference finals bouts featuring a vanishing Canadian dynasty in 1979 and an emerging New Yorker in 1980. .

The playoffs are too late at present for such a high-stakes outcome on May 10, but this year’s date included four of the game’s fifth games in a 2-2 tie series – the second time any one day has occurred and the first since 1991.

For Kraken fans who missed their hockey fix, it’s hard for any sport to beat the NHL’s nightly performances in the opening round. This year is no exception, with Tuesday night’s biggest winners being the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have perhaps a more compelling storyline as well as two former Kraken players Mark Giordano and Colin Blackwell.

The Leafs have not won a cup nor reached a final since their previous title in 1967. They haven’t even survived the opening round since 2004, including eliminations for the past five years in a row despite abundant talent.

Tuesday’s fifth game at home against two-time champions Tampa Bay was a must, but Toronto looks set to lose after trailing 2-0 and losing 10-2 on one point in the first period.

By then, most of them had left Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and their cohorts to die and were planning how to replace Barry Trotz with Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe next season. Speaking of Trotz: Yes, it looks like NHL coaches have been fired for taking them to back-to-back conference finals and then having the audacity to miss the playoffs because the team played their first 15 games on the road due to the unpreparedness of their new stadium.

In all seriousness, the islanders play an aggressive mortgage-checking style quite similar to what the Kraken team attempted. Trotz had recently reasoned that this technique might have been best suited for shortened seasons of the pandemic and not physically sustainable over the full 82 games.

Food for thought.

Anyway, stop Trotz’s replay for at least another day, with Keefe still running after Toronto staged a valiant run to win 4-3.

Keep in mind that every hockey fan, especially Kraken coach and former Leafs assistant Dave Haxtool, knows that Toronto haven’t won anything yet despite a 3-2 lead in Tampa Bay on Thursday. Especially given the Leafs and Lightning’s recent stifling career history of being 16-0 after losing the supplement in the last two or more seasons.

Earlier Tuesday, I was about to anoint the Bruins as the biggest loser of the night due to their pathetic show in Carolina and their historic connection to May 10.

But the Edmonton Oilers quickly usurped them with a 5-4 loss in overtime against the Los Angeles Kings at home to trail 3-2 in their series. No one can really figure out how the Oilers lag with two of the all-time best players in Conor McDavid and Leon Drysittel a playoff bubble team. Except that, well, the Oilers do this every post season, which, fair or not, risks tarnishing McDavid’s legacy.

Winning is important in professional sports. And the McDavid-Draisaitl Oilers didn’t win much of anything significant. The fact that they also have a certain attitude while achieving relatively little would have them having a long and fun off-season time in Edmonton if they are eliminated early.

And speaking of the regular-season juggernaut, the Minnesota Wild lost 5-2 at home to St. Louis in another game on Tuesday to track their series 3-2. That’s not as awful as the Oilers, given that St. Louis looked like a contender for the cup when they visited Kraken early last month.

Then again, Wild also looked like a contender for the cup with its victory over the Kraken a few weeks ago. This was supposed to be the year the wilderness brought them together. But they probably got the worst possible first-round draw in the Blues, who are competing very well against them.

As for the other series, the Colorado favorite swept the Nashville Cup as expected. The inclinations scheduled for Wednesday saw Pittsburgh enter a 3-1 lead in the series over the New York Rangers, while the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals tied 2-2 as well as the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars.

Many wondered if the Presidents Cup winners were just a great regular season team. Same thing with Rangers and Flames. Then again, eliminating the 1, 6 and 8 in the league in general this early would be a thing.

Throw in the Wild in fifth and Lightning in seventh, and you’ll see why they call the playoffs “Season Two.” Even the Bruins looked in a position to beat the No. 3 Hurricanes overall before being blown out 5-1 on Tuesday.

May 10 saw the Bruins’ highest and lowest moments.

On May 10, 1970, Bruins legend Orr scored perhaps the NHL’s most famous goal – and certainly derived his most famous image – to win the Cup in overtime against St. Louis at Boston Park. The goal itself was unusual, as he finished in a four-game sweep. But he got creative when Seattle Totems defenseman Noel Pickard stumbled ur when the puck crossed the line, sending him flying through the air to be captured by the camera lens.

The low point, on May 10, 1979, was a “Too Many Men” game when Bruins coach and future TV commentator Don Cherry was awarded a penalty for having an extra man on the ice while clung to a 4-3 lead late in the game. The seventh of the final conference in Montreal. Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur, who died of lung cancer last month, scored one of the most famous goals in NHL history to tie in the power game with 74 seconds to play before Yvon Lambert beat the Canadians in overtime en route to Montreal. Fourth tournament in a row.

It marked the end of an era for Cherry’s Bruins. Just as May 10 this year ended the last real-life Bruins Cup clash led by Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, the 2011 champions and 2013 finalists.

But who knows? There is still hockey.

Given the history of the Maple Leafs and the Bruins and the unexpected nature of playoff hockey in general, we might have very different story lines to chat about a day or two from now.

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