May 17, 2003

That Disney championship magic is back!: Last fall, the Anaheim Angels, then owned by Disney, won an improbable World Series in baseball. Now, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are in the Stanley Cup Finals. They beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 to sweep the Western Conference Finals, and will play the winner from the East, either the New Jersey Devils or the Ottawa Senators.

posted by jasonbondshow to hockey at 12:35 AM - 15 comments

[this is just not right]

posted by Succa at 12:42 AM on May 17

If the Ducks win the championship, just watch Disney sell their asses before the new season. They did it to the Rally Monkey, they'll do it to the Duck.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:39 AM on May 17

1. Giguere will have to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP for the non hockey folk) perhaps even if the Ducks get swept in the final. How often does a 7 seed make the final? Rarely. They had a hot goalie and (as he'll credit it) a good defensive system. 2. Given the choice between Minnesota and Anaheim I was pulling for Anaheim. Old stalwarts Adam Oates and Steve Thomas deserve a shot in the finals (though Oates did have a shot with Washington). Paul Kariya finally has a shot in the Finals (let alone being on a team that has had a decent playoff run) after years of being on a crappy team. 3. 12 and 2. How many teams have thundered into the finals on a 12 and 2 run? I am thinking the Lakers a few years ago and maybe the Bulls (NBA)? It must be unusual for a hockey team to show this level of kick assitutde in a playoff run? At least for a 7 seed? They could be dangerous in the final. Obviously they beat the top 2 teams in the West already. And you look at the teams that manage to make it into the finals over the years (Carolina in 02, Buffalo in 99, Washington in 98, Philadelphia in 97, Florida in 96, Vancouver in 93, etc) that weren't exactly tipped to get there - well, they haven't won any of those but also they have not look to threaten for the Cup since. You'd have to think that the 'Oh Jebus! This is our chance' thought will be motivating the Ducks somehow.

posted by gspm at 04:47 AM on May 17

Dallas was able to score bunches of goals against the Ducks, but Minnesota was only able to score one goal in the entire series.

posted by kirkaracha at 11:41 AM on May 17

... which must make the Vancouver Canucks fans kick themselves even more thinking that they had three chances to eliminate the Wild (and didn't) and would have scored more than one goal against the Ducks (but didn't get the chance) and would not have been swept by the Ducks (but rather lost 3 straight to the Wild) and would have had a good crack and making the finals (if only they'd have dumped the fricken sweep-worthy Wild)..... I am only arriving at that conclusion from the lamenting fandom of the Leafs when they crapped out to the Hurricanes last year only to have the Hurricanes roll over in the Finals in 5 games to the Wings....

posted by gspm at 05:10 PM on May 17

gspm: Vancouver Canucks [...] would have scored more than one goal against the Ducks [...] and would have had a good crack and making the finals I still don't get this logic. The Canucks totally fell apart against the Wild. The Ducks play a game similar to the Wild's, with a higher talent level. How would the Canucks have beaten Anaheim? Of course, teams play varying styles, and some are better matches than others, but overall, if a team wins, it's because it's the better team. Forget the Disney ownership, Emilio Estevez and the funny name. The Mighty Ducks are the best team in the West this spring. When will they get any respect?

posted by qbert72 at 05:42 PM on May 17

it isn't logical at all. it is based on the feeling of OH WHAT A WASTE when your team (say, the canucks) comes close (say up 3 games to 1) and craps out (say losing the series) only to have the team that beat them (the Wild) crap out (swept) so easily (only scoring one goal) in the next round. the way the ducks seem to be playing I wouldn't think the canucks would have had an easy time with them or even beat them but in fandom version of What If you do the matchup on paper and become hopeful or disappointed that they didn't get a shot. but the games aren't played on paper. as an overall fan of hockey, and personally having cheered for the canucks over the rest of the teams in the West, it is just a chance to be a bit illogically mad at the Wild for beating the Canucks and then they only scored one goal against the Ducks. It is sort of - well if that was what you were gonna do then why did you beat the Canucks? The Canucks <fandom>totally woulda beat the Ducks</fandom> Booo! Hey, Ducks look good. It should be an interesting final.

posted by gspm at 05:15 AM on May 18

My only complaint about the Ducks winning that last round the way they did is that it TOTALLY screwed my chances of locking up for good the 1st prize in my hockey pool at work. Points for Marian Gaborik in the first two rounds: 17 Points for Marian Gaborik in the third round: 0 Grrr... I'm still in first, but I don't have as secure a lead as I thought I might. Oh, and remember when I said something about Minnesota and low scoring. ONE FREAKING GOAL IN 4 GAMES! I think the Ducks are in prime position to win the Cup from the Senators/Devils. Would I want to see it happen? Sure. But just as long as they promise not to make another movie about it. As for Disney selling the team: there were rumbles of them doing so BEFORE the playoffs. It looks like Disney has decided that pro sports management isn't the best money maker out there. And with the impending "Armageddon" between the NHLPA and the NHL in 2004, it's a good time to sell your team now. Giguere wins the Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP) if the Ducks stretch the series to at least 5 games in the final (and doesn't have a complete collapse). It's probably the easiest decision the NHL has had since they gave it to Patrick Roy in 1993.

posted by grum@work at 10:09 AM on May 18

I think the fear of giving the Ducks any real respect (they'll give 'em 'hot team') stems from the 'Canes' performance this year. With practically an identical roster, minus significant injuries, they exhibited how fortunate they were to reach the Cup Finals. Even with their stars in the starting line up, the lack of scoring production was disappointing to say the least. Personally, the Ducks look like they are for real. They sit back and wait when they can (which is usually the case given they score first quite a bit [remember a few seasons ago when scoring first was a stat that carried alot of weight? any clue if this stat kept?]), and they score when they need to (almost with uncanny proficiency). Add to the mix a tender coming into his own (this is no fluke folks, he's been this good for 5 months now) and the Ducks should be looking to make the playoffs again next year, provided they don't let go of Stevie T, a mistake the Leafs should regret. (grumble grumble)

posted by garfield at 09:15 AM on May 19

Much as I root against NJ and barring an incredible comeback by Ottowa, it'll be NJ 4-0 or at worst 4-1 in the finals. The Ducks have had an impressive run but they're about to find out how much better the East is than the West this year. The East had a Darwinian survival of the fittest going on all year making for stronger teams overall. NJ plays a strong physical, mistake-exploiting game, and if they stay focused, should have no trouble with the Ducks. I just can't see the run keeping up, especially at the level of the Stanley Cup Finals (a different world than the Conference Playoffs) - lots of oddball underdogs have faded quickly once reaching the last round.

posted by kokaku at 12:10 PM on May 19

Oddball underdogs? That swept the Detroit Red Wings and then cleaned the Dallas Stars' clocks? I know the Ducks being good severely impairs the worldview of most hockey fans, but their achievements can't be ignored, or overlooked. They didn't squeak in by winning in OT in game 7s, a la '02 'Canes. ANA plays a strong physical, mistake-exploiting game, and if they stay focused, should have no trouble with the Devils. I agree with the evolutionary comparison of the Eastern conference regular season, but the Ducks survived the competitive West with an accute shortage of talent. Something to consider.

posted by garfield at 03:26 PM on May 19

I know you guys must be getting tired of garfield and me chanting the Ducks' praise, but I have to concur. You should not compare them to last year's Hurricanes. As I said earlier, they're closer to the '86 Canadiens: a team coming together just at the right time, led by an emerging star goaltender and a rookie, college-trained coach. You can also throw in some '93 Canadiens for good measure: the overtime streak, and the role players' constant contribution (remember Ed Ronan, Paul DiPietro?). No offense to succa, but I think the Senators don't stand a chance if they make it to the final. Lalime is too shaky, and the star players are not doing their job against New Jersey. The Devils are a different beast. Offensively, they've been riding the John Madden line for three series, which is a good thing, as long as he and his pals can solve Gigučre. This would be the deciding matchup of an Anaheim-New Jersey final: Madden vs Gigučre. It's a tough call.

posted by qbert72 at 12:37 AM on May 20

garfield - to be fair to the 'canes in 2002 they made the finals by beating the Devils 4-2, Habs 4-2 and the Leafs 4-2. No game 7 OT victories and it was only the Leafs clincher that was won in OT.

posted by gspm at 09:10 AM on May 20

Fair enough. They did do in the Devils early, I forgot about that. Took care of the Habs after Zednik was elbowed. And beat half the Leafs. No game 7s. But no sweeps either. I stand corrected. Thanks gspm!

posted by garfield at 09:51 AM on May 20

i had to check but my memory was definite on the Leafs result and pretty sure on the earlier results. that's ok. i saw something online recently that said the Canes SWEPT the Habs last year. It was no sweep, it was a pretty dramatic series that seemingly could have gone either way. for the first 5 games at least.

posted by gspm at 04:22 PM on May 20

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