Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Flyers: wide-eyed opportunists

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, anything really can happen.

Flyers: wide-eyed opportunists

The Flyers are one of only eight teams that have made the playoffs four of the last five years. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
The Flyers are one of only eight teams that have made the playoffs four of the last five years. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, anything really can happen.

This just in...

Just a look at the numbers for the last five tournaments -- since the lockout and the rules changes that opened up the game to more skill -- tell you all you need to know about the importance of opportunism most of all. The NHL is a league where an entrance ticket into the playoffs is a real and valuable thing -- real and valuable because everybody really does start with a clean slate. The Stanley Cup is not won by the best team but by the team that is playing the best.

Just look at how wide-open it is.

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In the last 5 years:

-- of the 30 NHL teams, 28 of them have made the tournament at least once.

-- of the 28 teams that made it, 18 have won at least one playoff round.

-- only three teams have made it to the playoffs all five years: New Jersey, San Jose and Detroit.

-- besides those three, only eight others have made it to four playoffs in 5 years: Anaheim, Ottawa, Montreal, Nashville, New York Rangers, Calgary, Pittsburgh and the Flyers.

-- no team, as in zero, has won a round in all five seasons.

-- here is the list of total rounds won in those five years: 10 (Detroit), 8 (Pittsburgh), 7 (Anaheim), 6 (Carolina), 5 (San Jose, Chicago, Flyers).

All of which helps no one predict the future. Hopefully, what it does is highlight the fleeting nature of excellence and the value of the opportunity -- something the Flyers seem to have realized weeks ago. This just in.

 

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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