After you finish buying or selling our topics on the NBA, we will now turn our attention to the second part of this week’s buy or sell unique. As we spoke about in the NBA edition, there are a lot of critical moments in the playoffs and let’s say that the NHL playoffs didn’t go as planned.
When I say it didn’t go as plan, I mean the best team in the league got swept in the first round. That team was the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Calgary Flames received the same fate as they lost 4-1 in their series. That means two of the best three teams this season won’t be in the Finals. And we will talk about whether being the top seed in NHL playoffs means anything, especially after seeing some top seeds go down early in the past years.
We will also be focusing on if Dallas Stars Goaltender, Ben Bishop, will finish the season as the best in the NHL this year. And then we talk about whether or not the San Jose Sharks will make it to the Stanley Cup finals after an epic seven-game series against the Vegas Golden Knights.
So let’s see what Aman, Joel, and I have to say about these topics?
Rahim:Being the top seed in the NHL means nothing in the playoffs after watching a 62 win Lightning team get swept.
Joel: I don’t think “nothing” is the right word to use here because being the top seed means something.
Despite the Lightning getting swept in the first round, they had a great season. Yes, it ended in a way not many would have expected for them, but it was still an impressive season.
Being the top seed always means something. It means you’re a dang good team! Unfortunately for the Lightning, they didn’t play their best hockey when the playoffs came around. Earning the top seed meant they had the advantage, but they didn’t take advantage of it.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from watching years of sports, it’s that anything can happen. Sometimes a top seed gets beaten in the first round. Sometimes the bottom seed wins the championship. So, I sell the top seed meaning nothing in the NHL.
Aman: I sell. Even though this season has been a shock for the Lightning, it’s still a rare occurrence that a team which finished first gets knocked out so early.
Last season’s winners, Washington Capitals, finished first in the Metropolitan Division, and the year before that, the Pittsburgh Penguins finished second in the Metropolitan Division as well.
Being at the top gives an advantage in the playoffs, but the majority of the time, it also provides an accurate idea as to who will be favorites to win. And a majority of the time, those favorites do end up winning.
Aman: Ben Bishop will finish the season as the best goaltender in the NHL for 2018-19?
Joel: I’ll buyBen Bishop finishing as the best goaltender. When I look at the list of goaltender stats for the season, right off the bat, I notice that Ben Bishop is ranked fifth in Goals Against Average.
His 1.98 GAA ranks behind three guys who played in just two games and the other guy played in 32. Bishop played in 46, which is significantly more than the other four guys ahead of him. The next thing I looked at is his save percentage.
In that category, he ranks fourth, but the three guys ahead of him played in just two games. With his .934 save percentage in 46 games, that puts him at the top. Based on those numbers, I’ll buy Ben Bishop as the best goaltender this season.
Rahim: Now I’m not much of a Hockey guy, but I would have to buy this one! I think that Ben Bishop will finish as the best goaltender in the NHL and he could also be a crucial piece to the success of the Dallas Stars as they look to make it to the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since going to back to back finals in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons. Of course, Bishop wasn’t apart of that Dallas team, but he could help them make history and became the best goaltender this season.
I will not get into the stats that Bishop has had this season, but Joel always does a great job at that one for us! But I can tell you that goaltending is a fundamental part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Bishop will have his hands full against the St. Louis Blues.
He was an essential piece to their success in the first round against the Nashville Predators, but Blues’ Jordan Binnington has been one of the shining stars in the NHL, and it’s going to be a good battle between two guys who have so much in common. I don’t necessarily think this series against the Blues will hurt Bishop’s chances at getting the Vezina trophy this year, but he is still out to help lead his team to the Stanley Cup Finals in a revenge series over the Blues a few years prior.
Joel: San Jose Sharks will make the Stanley Cup finals?
Aman: I buy Sharks making it to the Stanley Cup finals, but I don’t see them winning it. After the Calgary Flames got knocked out (after losing surprising 4-1 to Avalanche) and the Sharks beating their main challengers, the Golden Knights, the path to the Stanley Cup Finals will be a bit easier.
The Avalanche will provide an exciting challenge for the Sharks to tackle, but the Sharks have a better record this season, so they’re favorites. The Sharks finished second in their division with eight more wins the Avalanche, who finished fifth in their division. However, in my opinion, though the Sharks are good enough to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals, I think the Boston Bruins will win the trophy.
Rahim: This is tough because I didn’t think the Colorado Avalanche would make it out of the first round with their record that they brought in. And the Sharks essentially played eight games to eliminated the Vegas Golden Knights. It was a tough series, and the winner was that series was likely going to be a favorite to get to the Stanley Cup finals, but the road will not be easy.
The Sharks look like an excellent team, but the Avalanche are hungry. And they want to continue to make moves into the finals, but I will buythe Sharks making it to the Finals! The only way I don’t see this happening is if they don’t make quick work of Colorado. Sharks could not go to game 6 or 7 with this team because they are very dangerous and could knock them out quickly.
If the Sharks could win in five games, I can see them winning against their next opponent in the Conference finals, whether it’s the Dallas Stars or St. Louis Blues. I do agree with Aman in that I don’t think they will win the Stanley Cup, but I like the New York Islanders chances this year.