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Trust the Profile: Stanley Cup Playoff Prediction Round-Up

Had I predicted the winner of the Stanley Cup Final based on the Seven Player Profiles, I would have picked the eventual winner. Instead, I went off the board calling Florida a team of destiny and the Golden Knights taught me a lesson – STICK WITH THE PROFILE.


Here’s a quick review and highlights of lessons learned from this playoff.


STANLEY CUP FINAL


Vegas Golden Knights (P1) vs Florida Panthers (W2)


I said in the previous piece this series would come down to goaltending and that Adin Hill’s number would come up playing against Sergei Bobrovsky. Well, it came down to goaltending all right and the regular season Bobrovsky showed up. Cinderella’s horse and carriage turned into a pumpkin.


It wasn’t all on him. The Golden Knights imposed themselves physically on the Panthers and used their depth and relative health to simply overwhelm them.


Eichel, Stephenson, Stone, Barbashev, Pietrangelo, Theodore and Hill were all prominent players in the final. Ultimately, Johnathan Marchessault won the Conn Smythe. However, over four rounds, the Golden Knights profile was outstanding. Barbashev ended up being the acquisition of the trade deadline and Adin Hill was able to replace Logan Thompson and take it the rest of the way.


Prediction Panthers in 6 Result: Golden Knights in 5


Straight up on the profiles, the best team won the Stanley Cup. They were lucky, health-wise, and that always plays a role in things. They also won in five games twice and six games twice. Good teams win in seven. Really good teams win in six. Great teams win in five or a sweep.


The head coach is not part of the profile, but Bruce Cassidy showed that he is among the elite in the league.


End of the 2022-23 NHL Season


With the NHL season over, the standings reset to zero and Sens Nation can now turn its full attention back to their team as they, like everyone else, get ready for October.


Now that the Sens have a brand-new owner, it remains to be seen if there will be sweeping changes. There is lots of conjecture about Steve Staois and his relationship to Michael Andlauer and that he should be the presumptive next general manager.


Andlauer is on record that he will evaluate the organization once he takes over, which should take him the summer to do. I expect Pierre Dorion to handle the draft and free agency. He has already initiated the club option on arbitration for Alex DeBrincat, which suggests that he still has at least one hand on the rudder. My guess is that Dorion will lead the team into next season.


All of this to say that Dorion was somewhat cryptic in his plans for DJ Smith on talk radio. Given that the head coach is clearly critical to getting the most out of a team, I would hope that Andlauer would give him the opportunity to pay Smith for his remaining season and bring in the coach who could ultimately take hold of this championship team in the making and head for the finish line.


Rumours abound about whether it will be recent Memorial Cup Championship coach Patrick Roy. You have to like his ability to take a junior team to the title as he has now done it twice with the Remparts. He also enjoyed some success as a head coach with the Avalanche. His strong personality and need for control ended that relationship. He recognizes the error of his ways and is likely watching Jared Bednar with the Avalanche wondering, “What If?” Junior coaches get new players every two to three years. How short would his shelf life be? Remember that DJ Smith won a Memorial Cup as well.


Claude Julien has been in the game a long time and did win a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and lost in the finals in 2013. Has the game passed him by? He and Darryl Sutter are the same age and Sutter washed out of Calgary. They are Baby Boomers, and the league is full of Millenials and Post Millenials. Can Julien adapt? Sutter refused to change his ways from what had previously worked.


Sadly, Barry Trotz is destined to be David Poile’s replacement as GM in Nashville. Mike Babcock comes off the Leafs payroll at the end of this month and will immediately take over in Columbus. Strong candidates don’t grow on trees.


As important as the player personnel priorities are this off-season, with the Senators being a goaltender away from a complete Seven Player Profile, the next choice as Head Coach is likely to be Dorion’s last. If he sticks with DJ Smith, he may be handing the keys to a Formula One race car to a Formula Two driver and the keys to his office to Steve Staois.

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