What's Different in the Playoffs

Frisbetarian

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I'm not sure how much interest there will be in this, but if any of you are inclined to respond I'd love to hear how specifically you think the game of professional hockey changes in the postseason.

To be completely transparent, this was one thing I hated about the NHL when I was with the hometown team, the fact it was a different game in the playoffs. I came from a baseball background, and they don't change the strike zone in the post-season. It was maddening to me.

So what I'd like to know is, how does the game change in the playoffs, and do you think it makes for a better product?
 

Ferm Sheller

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Every game counts, so you get everyone's best efforts all the time, which makes for very exciting games. (Teams seem to take some games "off" mentally in the regular season.)
 

cshea

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And to give the literal oppposite viewpoint: They let them play. It makes a far superior product.
Disagree. It puts the more skilled teams at a disadvantage. Suddenly allowing hooks, holds, cross checks only hurts the better team.

Also, they are not consistent. If it was just “let them play,” then ok, do that. They do not. Penalties are called arbitrarily and randomly with zero consistency. They let everything go for 30 minutes and then suddenly a ticky tack tap on the wrists becomes a penalty. This is what Bruce was getting at with the “New York Saints” press conference 2 years ago. The Bruins were getting mauled all series, but getting the ticky tack stuff called on them. It is expressly frustrating.
 

AlNipper49

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They throw the rule book out. I feel it harms the product.
I looked into this a few years after a maddening game (I forget which one). There were definitely less penalities on average in the postseason but the number wasn't so large to indicate anything systemic (within the context of my casual research). It was close enough that the natural counterpoint that teams were more cautious in the playoffs could have been true as well.
 

veritas

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One thing that is very different in the playoffs is teams playing each other repeatedly. There's a lot more opportunity for tactical gameplanning compared to the regular season. I don't have any specific evidence, but I always felt like Claude and Bruce were both very good at adjusting between games in the playoffs, yet struggled to adjust on the fly. They also seemed to favor rigid and predictable styles that could be easy to stymie for periods of time. Several series where they had a lot of trouble breaking the puck out at times come to mind. Then they made adjustments and seemed unstoppable. This made the normal momentum swings of playoff hockey even more pronounced. I'm curious to see how Montgomery fares in comparison.
 

wiffleballhero

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I don't think I'll ever fully get over at least a little bit of annoyance about the Blues SCF. If there is an implied contract in the playoffs it is that the refs swallow their whistles a bit but the players are more conscious of not risking dumb penalties -- at least that is the way it should be.

That series ended up as the poster child for my sense of things being wrong in terms of the players and confirmation for this point:

It puts the more skilled teams at a disadvantage. Suddenly allowing hooks, holds, cross checks only hurts the better team.
 

biollante

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The hockey season is too long so they save all their gumption for the playoffs. I once saw a Whalers v. Sabres (or someone from a cold place) game that blew my mind (on tv no less) and it was the playoffs. I have never noticed any penalty calling difference but I wasn't keeping track.
 

Scoops Bolling

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The physicality in the playoffs is at another level than the regular season, at least the vast majority of the time. You'll occasionally see a particularly spirited regular season game where everyone is finishing their checks, battling for position in front of the net, etc., where they'll call it playoff intensity...because that's how the playoffs are played. I was being tongue in cheek when I said they just let them play, but there is an element to that: the game is played at a much higher level of consistent physicality, so some things that might get a call in the regular season (a defenseman being particularly physical in pinning a player to the boards, a forward and d-man aggressively trading stick checks and light elbows jockeying in position in front of the net, etc) are not called because that's the baseline temperature for the game. One of the reasons I was always lower on Krug (and Grzelcyk) was watching in person in the 2019 playoffs (and years prior) and seeing how physically overmatched they were in that atmosphere, particularly when it came to the net area. The level of physicality, particularly in those danger areas, is so high that undersized players' strength deficit becomes a much starker problem.

I do believe it is a superior product, as the NHL playoffs are the best in professional sports, particularly in person. And a major portion of that comes from the degree of intensity with which they are played, including the physicality. We're worlds removed from the truly egregious stuff (looking at you New Jersey) that ruined the experience for a few years, I think the level of physicality we're at now in the playoffs is pretty much ideal.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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The physicality in the playoffs is at another level than the regular season, at least the vast majority of the time. You'll occasionally see a particularly spirited regular season game where everyone is finishing their checks, battling for position in front of the net, etc., where they'll call it playoff intensity...because that's how the playoffs are played. I was being tongue in cheek when I said they just let them play, but there is an element to that: the game is played at a much higher level of consistent physicality, so some things that might get a call in the regular season (a defenseman being particularly physical in pinning a player to the boards, a forward and d-man aggressively trading stick checks and light elbows jockeying in position in front of the net, etc) are not called because that's the baseline temperature for the game. One of the reasons I was always lower on Krug (and Grzelcyk) was watching in person in the 2019 playoffs (and years prior) and seeing how physically overmatched they were in that atmosphere, particularly when it came to the net area. The level of physicality, particularly in those danger areas, is so high that undersized players' strength deficit becomes a much starker problem.

I do believe it is a superior product, as the NHL playoffs are the best in professional sports, particularly in person. And a major portion of that comes from the degree of intensity with which they are played, including the physicality. We're worlds removed from the truly egregious stuff (looking at you New Jersey) that ruined the experience for a few years, I think the level of physicality we're at now in the playoffs is pretty much ideal.
The thing is that increased physicality - which I rather like - comes at the cost of penalizing skilled teams as the orders are to just let them play - AKA let them hook and hold and elbow and charge and interfere to their hearts content. It’s bizarre that there are two distinct rule books (both of which are wildly inconsistent). What other sport does this? Hey , it’s the baseball playoffs .. let’s shrink the strike zone. Or CL footie … let’s get rid of offsides. It’s just really weird and I hate it. But I’ve always preferred watching skill over thuggery … in any sport.

edit: why do people want the best players in the game .. the McDavid’s, the Crosbys the Pastrnaks, the Mathew’s in the game reduced to afterthoughts in lieu of some mucker and grinder? I’m a Leaf’s fan … and the single most entertaining player in the game to watch for me is Mitch Marner. His skill level is off the charts. But he gets hacked to death in the playoffs and becomes Just Another Guy.

I don’t see why you can’t have intensity and a normal rule book.
 
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FelixMantilla

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The Bruins absolutely mauled the Canucks in 2011. Go back and check out YouTube. The Bruins were ridiculously physical with the Canucks.

Then in 2019 we got mauled by the Blues. If this year is officiated the same way, it's good news that the Bruins picked up Orlov, Bertuzzi and Hathaway.
 

joe dokes

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Other than the vagaries of when a team's prior series ends, both teams are, for the most part, about as equally rested as possible.
 

burstnbloom

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I think it was Micah McCurdy who did a study last year, maybe Dom. That the instances of physicality ramp up significantly in the playoffs but the application of penalties is relatively similar and the teams that get the benefit of the doubt in the regular season tend to get it in the playoff as well. It's maddening. I agree with @cshea that it hurts the product significantly. It allows for wildly divergent outcomes (blues in 19, the islanders ever) by just holding onto to their more skilled opponents. I realize that sounds rich coming from a bruins fan but that 2011 team was FANTASTIC at 5v5.

I love the intensity of the playoffs but I could do without hooking not getting called.
 

Cotillion

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The thing is that increased physicality - which I rather like - comes at the cost of penalizing skilled teams as the orders are to just let them play - AKA let them hook and hold and elbow and charge and interfere to their hearts content. It’s bizarre that there are two distinct rule books (both of which are wildly inconsistent). What other sport does this? Hey , it’s the baseball playoffs .. let’s shrink the strike zone. Or CL footie … let’s get rid of offsides. It’s just really weird and I hate it. But I’ve always preferred watching skill over thuggery … in any sport.

edit: why do people want the best players in the game .. the McDavid’s, the Crosbys the Pastrnaks, the Mathew’s in the game reduced to afterthoughts in lieu of some mucker and grinder? I’m a Leaf’s fan … and the single most entertaining player in the game to watch for me is Mitch Marner. His skill level is off the charts. But he gets hacked to death in the playoffs and becomes Just Another Guy.

I don’t see why you can’t have intensity and a normal rule book.
I think it was Micah McCurdy who did a study last year, maybe Dom. That the instances of physicality ramp up significantly in the playoffs but the application of penalties is relatively similar and the teams that get the benefit of the doubt in the regular season tend to get it in the playoff as well. It's maddening. I agree with @cshea that it hurts the product significantly. It allows for wildly divergent outcomes (blues in 19, the islanders ever) by just holding onto to their more skilled opponents. I realize that sounds rich coming from a bruins fan but that 2011 team was FANTASTIC at 5v5.

I love the intensity of the playoffs but I could do without hooking not getting called.
The real problem is that the more judgement type calls disappear dramatically, but any of the more fluky automatic calls all stay.

So you end up often at the vagaries of the randomness.

So the odd "puck over the glass" or the unintentional high stick cause you happened to miss the stick lift etc, are still putting you in the box, but the deliberate choice penalties where you know you are beat so you clutch and grab longer, etc don't get called as much. It unbalances the game.
 

burstnbloom

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The real problem is that the more judgement type calls disappear dramatically, but any of the more fluky automatic calls all stay.

So you end up often at the vagaries of the randomness.

So the odd "puck over the glass" or the unintentional high stick cause you happened to miss the stick lift etc, are still putting you in the box, but the deliberate choice penalties where you know you are beat so you clutch and grab longer, etc don't get called as much. It unbalances the game.
Well said. The amount of interference is what I find the most infuriating.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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The Bruins absolutely mauled the Canucks in 2011. Go back and check out YouTube. The Bruins were ridiculously physical with the Canucks.

Then in 2019 we got mauled by the Blues. If this year is officiated the same way, it's good news that the Bruins picked up Orlov, Bertuzzi and Hathaway.
I thought that as soon as someone mentioned toughness in whichever w the final trade thread (Bertuzzi?)
 

The Mort Report

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I love OT in regular season due to it's back and forth, but at the same time doesn't carry nearly as much weight since both teams secured at least one point. OT in the playoffs? God it's like the one of the only things in my life that gives me anxiety. I completely understand why they revert to the 5v5 and no shootouts, and that's how it should be. However, my goalie brain is terrified of things like deflections or weird bounces so I can't get completely comfortable watching
 

LogansDad

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The Bruins absolutely mauled the Canucks in 2011. Go back and check out YouTube. The Bruins were ridiculously physical with the Canucks.

Then in 2019 we got mauled by the Blues. If this year is officiated the same way, it's good news that the Bruins picked up Orlov, Bertuzzi and Hathaway.
I think what was really frustrating about 2019, is that the Blues got called for their shit in the first two+ games. Then their dick whistle fuckstick of a coach went crying to the media about it, and the entire series changed. It was ridiculous.
 

tims4wins

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I love OT in regular season due to it's back and forth, but at the same time doesn't carry nearly as much weight since both teams secured at least one point. OT in the playoffs? God it's like the one of the only things in my life that gives me anxiety. I completely understand why they revert to the 5v5 and no shootouts, and that's how it should be. However, my goalie brain is terrified of things like deflections or weird bounces so I can't get completely comfortable watching
That and you can dominate in OT and have one bad break the other way and it’s game over. I’m a totally fair weather Bruins fan but playoff OT hockey is the single most exhilarating sports experience. It’s terrifying and electrifying and just a hell of a ride.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I think what was really frustrating about 2019, is that the Blues got called for their shit in the first two+ games. Then their dick whistle fuckstick of a coach went crying to the media about it, and the entire series changed. It was ridiculous.
Berube's a meathead of the highest order to be sure, but what he did was simply damn good coaching. Hate to admit it, but it's true (and it worked).
 

Salem's Lot

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Berube's a meathead of the highest order to be sure, but what he did was simply damn good coaching. Hate to admit it, but it's true (and it worked).
It was good coaching. You have to know who you are playing, and how they’re viewed by the league office. He wouldn’t have gotten away with that shit if he was playing Toronto, Montreal, or one of the teams in the south.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I don't think I'll ever fully get over at least a little bit of annoyance about the Blues SCF. If there is an implied contract in the playoffs it is that the refs swallow their whistles a bit but the players are more conscious of not risking dumb penalties -- at least that is the way it should be.

That series ended up as the poster child for my sense of things being wrong in terms of the players and confirmation for this point:
Berube convinced the officials and the NHL, after Game 3, to allow the Blues to play a different game than the rules allowed and it cost the Bruins the Cup.

It was a disgrace to the league and I will remain angry about it for-fucking ever. The trip on Acciari in Game 5 led to the winning goal and it wasn't called because Berube asked them not to. In that light, Rask stealing Game 6 on enemy ice with the Cup on the line remains perhaps his finest moment.

The Blues were a good team. The Bruins were much better. But the Blues were allowed to ignore the rules and get no penalties so the Bruins could not benefit from their incredible power play. And it happened because the Blues' racist goon coach just asked for it. A competent league would have laughed in his face and fined him $100K. This league said "OK."

I will never. Ever. Get over it.
 

Bergs

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Berube convinced the officials and the NHL, after Game 3, to allow the Blues to play a different game than the rules allowed and it cost the Bruins the Cup.

It was a disgrace to the league and I will remain angry about it for-fucking ever. The trip on Acciari in Game 5 led to the winning goal and it wasn't called because Berube asked them not to. In that light, Rask stealing Game 6 on enemy ice with the Cup on the line remains perhaps his finest moment.

The Blues were a good team. The Bruins were much better. But the Blues were allowed to ignore the rules and get no penalties so the Bruins could not benefit from their incredible power play. And it happened because the Blues' racist goon coach just asked for it. A competent league would have laughed in his face and fined him $100K. This league said "OK."

I will never. Ever. Get over it.
God I'm pissed off all over again. I'm here at work literally shaking with disgust. I thought I had gotten over it. Clearly I have not.
+1
 

kenneycb

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One thing that is very different in the playoffs is teams playing each other repeatedly. There's a lot more opportunity for tactical gameplanning compared to the regular season. I don't have any specific evidence, but I always felt like Claude and Bruce were both very good at adjusting between games in the playoffs, yet struggled to adjust on the fly. They also seemed to favor rigid and predictable styles that could be easy to stymie for periods of time. Several series where they had a lot of trouble breaking the puck out at times come to mind. Then they made adjustments and seemed unstoppable. This made the normal momentum swings of playoff hockey even more pronounced. I'm curious to see how Montgomery fares in comparison.
To move off the always fun topic of complaining about referees, I think this is a huge component. I was listening to a Russillo pod (I think) with Kirk Goldberry (that I know), who used to have a role with the Spurs. Goldberry essentially said the advanced scouting available in the regular season was minimal but they can really hone in for the playoffs. He gave the example of the Spurs guarding Harden when he was with the Rockets - he essentially got a bunch of FTs from fouls on 3 pointers. He relayed this to Pop and they coached their guys up on how to specifically guard Harden on his 3's.

Different sport but I imagine the same can be applied to the NHL. Scouts and analytics have more time to digest and understand tendencies and allow a coach to truly game game plan vs. watching some tape on the flight and reading about some tendencies and building a game plan that way.
 

biff_hardbody

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I'll never get over the disgrace of losing to the Blues in 2019. The way the NHL handled it - letting the Blues get away with clear penalties after Berube's nonsense - made me question why I even watch hockey. That series made it abundantly clear that what I value in athletics is not what the NHL values. It was a lesson to take sports less seriously. I'm still pissed off thinking about it.
 

BaseballJones

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I do believe it is a superior product, as the NHL playoffs are the best in professional sports, particularly in person.
A while back we did a poll on which pro sports playoffs are the best, and there was a wide range of support for each sport. Each has its strengths. But man, the NHL playoffs are absolutely incredible. I can't wait for this year's edition.
 

cshea

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I love OT in regular season due to it's back and forth, but at the same time doesn't carry nearly as much weight since both teams secured at least one point. OT in the playoffs? God it's like the one of the only things in my life that gives me anxiety. I completely understand why they revert to the 5v5 and no shootouts, and that's how it should be. However, my goalie brain is terrified of things like deflections or weird bounces so I can't get completely comfortable watching
There is a ton of randomness in hockey. The bad bounces and what not are why in the NHL more so than other sports, the best teams don't always win. You need to be really good and get lucky along the way. It is sort of why at a high level there is an importance on outshooting and out chancing your opponents on a consistent bases. If you do that, odds are you'll get the fluky bounce to go your way, but there are no guarantees.

There is also getting goalie'd. The Calgary game where they outshot the Bruins 57-20 is a good example. The analytics on that game say the Calgary Flames had a 98% chance ow winning that game. They didn't. In the regular season, teams can shrug that kind of loss off and move on to the next game. In the playoffs, that puts you 1 game closer to elimination and it's much harder to overcome.

Those sorts of things are always lurking around, and again, I think it's why in the NHL the best teams don't always win.
 

The Mort Report

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There is a ton of randomness in hockey. The bad bounces and what not are why in the NHL more so than other sports, the best teams don't always win. You need to be really good and get lucky along the way. It is sort of why at a high level there is an importance on outshooting and out chancing your opponents on a consistent bases. If you do that, odds are you'll get the fluky bounce to go your way, but there are no guarantees.

There is also getting goalie'd. The Calgary game where they outshot the Bruins 57-20 is a good example. The analytics on that game say the Calgary Flames had a 98% chance ow winning that game. They didn't. In the regular season, teams can shrug that kind of loss off and move on to the next game. In the playoffs, that puts you 1 game closer to elimination and it's much harder to overcome.

Those sorts of things are always lurking around, and again, I think it's why in the NHL the best teams don't always win.
Oh I completely understand, and agree that being the better team doesn't always give you an edge. And I get it, I've completely stolen games in net, and I've been on the end of many bad bounces, including when one of my D tried to deaden a low shot under 10 seconds in a championship game up one only to perfectly tip it over my shoulder. It's because I've lived through it so many times as a goalie knowing that no matter how good I'm playing something random can happen. Me experiencing that gut wrenching bounce is why it makes me anxious. You'd think the few beers I'm usually in by the time OT in a playoff game happens would make it better but NOPE!
 

joe dokes

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There is also getting goalie'd. The Calgary game where they outshot the Bruins 57-20 is a good example. The analytics on that game say the Calgary Flames had a 98% chance ow winning that game. They didn't. In the regular season, teams can shrug that kind of loss off and move on to the next game. In the playoffs, that puts you 1 game closer to elimination and it's much harder to overcome.
And its not just one game. Dryden had only played a handful of games in the regular season in 70-71 and was a major reason the Bruins went down in the first round.
 

Nator

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NHL playoff OT is neck and neck with MLB playoff extra innings as far as sports stress goes. Every single time the puck enters the Bruins zone is legitimately sports terror for me.

Also, I don't think this has been mentioned, but while there is a small difference between regular season penalties and playoff penalties, in a game 7 it is a galactic difference. In that 2019 game 7, you could tell that they really didn't want to call that delay of game on the Blues even though the puck was clearly sent out of the rink.

You pretty much have to violate the laws of physics to see a call during a playoff game 7, and it gets progressively harder the deeper into the playoffs you go.
 

tims4wins

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NHL playoff OT is neck and neck with MLB playoff extra innings as far as sports stress goes. Every single time the puck enters the Bruins zone is legitimately sports terror for me.

Also, I don't think this has been mentioned, but while there is a small difference between regular season penalties and playoff penalties, in a game 7 it is a galactic difference. In that 2019 game 7, you could tell that they really didn't want to call that delay of game on the Blues even though the puck was clearly sent out of the rink.

You pretty much have to violate the laws of physics to see a call during a playoff game 7, and it gets progressively harder the deeper into the playoffs you go.
NHL playoff OT is like if MLB playoff extra innings was sudden death every half inning. Every/any possession / at bat can end the game.
 

durandal1707

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I feel like roster depth plays a somewhat strange role in playoff success.

Top pairing defenders pick up a lot more ice-time, which allows teams to shelter defensemen with more limited skillsets. Or in other words depth is less crucial on D, barring injury of course.

But this demands better forward depth—you're going to have a harder time getting your top line away from the other team's top pairing, especially on the road.

In my unprofessional opinion this has been the Bruins' fatal flaw over the past few playoffs. The suppression of penalty calls (being discussed here) leads to 5v5 play being the crucial factor. And the Bruins just didn't have reliable 5v5 scoring outside of 63-37-88 during the Cassidy era.

I'd be curious to see if the numbers bear this out. Do top lines generally see a noticeable dip in scoring rates in the playoffs (controlling for strength of competition of course)? Does a team with more 20-goal scorers peppered throughout their lineup always fare better than a top-heavy team with one elite line? Also, what are the break even points with regards to the allotment of defense ice-time?
 

The B’s Knees

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And its not just one game. Dryden had only played a handful of games in the regular season in 70-71 and was a major reason the Bruins went down in the first round.
Agree on the getting goalie'd thing - it's always a risk.

In 1984, Steve "F'ing" Penney was 0-4 in the regular season, but he shut out the Adams Division leading Bruins in 2 games for a 3-0 sweep.
He was inconsequential prior to that playoff run, and he was inconsequential afterward.
 

Haunted

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God I'm pissed off all over again. I'm here at work literally shaking with disgust. I thought I had gotten over it. Clearly I have not.
What made that so galling for me is that my mother had just passed away, and then my grandfather passed away during the SCF. I watched most of the game on my phone, while driving to Maine to attend his memorial service. Just a miserable time for me, personally, and the Bruins making it all the way to the SCF only to get railroaded by the most incompetent league in all of professional sports just... well it sucked.
 

The Napkin

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When the Hawks won game 6 I stayed and watched the presentation because there was a little bit of respect there and it was cool to see. Blues? I'm not sure the final buzzer had finished buzzing and we were out. Fuck 'em.
 

RG33

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From my layman’s eyes, I see playoff hockey as:

1. Every play matters — players finish checks, skate hard to every loose puck, crash the net on every shot, etc.
2. Rules are much looser — “let them play” is real (not sure if it is good or bad)
3. Game plans - while much more difficult to see play out because of the randomness, it feels like good coaches adjust and make subtle changes that can stop what works for teams from game-to-game
 

wiffleballhero

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When the Hawks won game 6 I stayed and watched the presentation because there was a little bit of respect there and it was cool to see. Blues? I'm not sure the final buzzer had finished buzzing and we were out. Fuck 'em.
Now that Hawks series was a whole different story. I don't ever think I have been that 'ok' with losing. I still think the single greatest travesty of that series was that it did not go seven.
 

Frisbetarian

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This is all great stuff! Thanks. I'm going to stay out of the discussion for now, save to ask a few questions that can be researched using public data. Are there really more penalties called in the playoffs? What happens to scoring in the postseason? Does it stay the same as the regular season? What other quantifiable stats change in the postseason (hits? blocked shots? algo mas?)? On an observational level, do you guys see any strategy type changes in entries, exits, shot types, etc.?

And to all of you complaining about the 2019 finals, hold my fucking beer!:) I was 60 minutes of hockey from a ring, having the cup for a day (and if you've ever been to one of my 'regular' parties, imagine how epic a cup party would have been), and getting a significant chunk of change.
 

bsl394

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As others have said, the biggest thing in my opinion is the level of physicality that everyone plays with. In the regular season the norm is to NOT finish checks - i.e., once the guy passes the puck nobody is going to hit him, even if they'd be allowed to. In the playoffs it's the exact opposite - every time someone gets the puck near the boards they're going to be hit. Like someone above mentioned, the regular season is too long to give it 110% every shift. In the playoffs that's the norm/what is required to advance.

You'll also see more scrums around the net after every whistle. I think this has to do with the 7-game series mantra where you play the same team every (other) night. There's a nastiness that builds from each game to the next.

No 3 on 3 / shootouts is great. I think it works for the regular season but nobody wants to see a playoff game end (and a series decided) on a bullshit 3 on 3 OT.

Guys are less likely to fight in the playoffs but in general the refs let them play more. I tend to prefer this style as I think the officiating in the regular season can be so nit-picky that, if you wanted, you could call hooks and holds on almost every shift. I've never liked the stripes getting involved in games and calling stuff that could be called every shift. Sure, if they're consistent it wouldn't be as big an issue, but they never are consistent. At least in the playoffs there tends to be an implicit understanding that unless it's blatant or hinders/causes a scoring chance, it's not going to get called. Don't get me started on the 2019 SCF - it still makes me angry.

One of the best games I ever attended was a Kings/Golden Knights round 1 matchup at Staples. I usually sit in the box seats because I like to stand up/walk around during games, and I like being "up high" so I can see the game unfold. The partner I worked for had tickets about 5 rows up from the benches - I heard guys screaming at each other after every whistle. Saying absolutely vulgar stuff. I remember Drew Doughty repeatedly telling a guy that he was going to fuck him up by the end of the series. I can't imagine that type of stuff goes on in the regular season.

I love playoff hockey - my wife knows that for those 2.5 months I'll be glued to the TV every night. First round is probably my favorite - I break out my laptop so I can watch all the games at once. At the end of every season I actually feel a little depressed because there's no hockey on TV - it's the only TV I watch and I watch it every night, even if the Bruins aren't playing, and to have it culminate in the greatest playoffs in professional sports really makes for a big letdown when you go from SCF to no hockey for 3 months.
 

locknload

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
3,831
Haverhill MA
The Hawks series was just different. That Chicago was an all-timer and there was no shame in losing to them. The blues never should have sniffed that cup. I still lay a lot of the blame on Cassidy for not doing what needed to be done and calling out what was happening in the Media in no uncertain terms. Take the fine but maybe swing it back to neutral. He didn't want to play the game and lost a cup because of it. That series had a puck leave the ice hit the net come back in play result in a goal that stood. I've never seen that in a beer league never mind on hickeys biggest stage. The entire thing was an embarrassment to the sport I'll never get over.
 

pk1627

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
May 24, 2003
2,603
Boston
It’s the intense physicality. More hits, more hits to the head, longer and more gruesome lists of players playing through significant injury. (Did Chara really play with that broken jaw?)

I mean, we’re all happy the Bruins “gooned it up” and it is telling that mgmt felt the need given the Bruins talent this year.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
16,287
Tuukka's refugee camp
The Hawks series was just different. That Chicago was an all-timer and there was no shame in losing to them. The blues never should have sniffed that cup. I still lay a lot of the blame on Cassidy for not doing what needed to be done and calling out what was happening in the Media in no uncertain terms. Take the fine but maybe swing it back to neutral. He didn't want to play the game and lost a cup because of it. That series had a puck leave the ice hit the net come back in play result in a goal that stood. I've never seen that in a beer league never mind on hickeys biggest stage. The entire thing was an embarrassment to the sport I'll never get over.
I believe that was the Columbus series.
 

The Mort Report

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 5, 2007
7,450
Concord
This is all great stuff! Thanks. I'm going to stay out of the discussion for now, save to ask a few questions that can be researched using public data. Are there really more penalties called in the playoffs? What happens to scoring in the postseason? Does it stay the same as the regular season? What other quantifiable stats change in the postseason (hits? blocked shots? algo mas?)? On an observational level, do you guys see any strategy type changes in entries, exits, shot types, etc.?

And to all of you complaining about the 2019 finals, hold my fucking beer!:) I was 60 minutes of hockey from a ring, having the cup for a day (and if you've ever been to one of my 'regular' parties, imagine how epic a cup party would have been), and getting a significant chunk of change.
I feel like we are all low key getting used for market research haha