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Made For The Regular Season?

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,

In the NHL’s regular season, nine of the top 20 scorers were European.

Before Sunday’s game, five of the top 20 playoff scorers were European, and none of the top five.

Last year, eight of the top 20 scorers in the regular season were European while Euros accounted for just three of top 20 in the playoffs.

You can, of course, draw any number of conclusions from this and our intention isn’t to feed into a stereotype. But clearly, different types of players excel in the postseason and, with the exception of the 2008 Detroit team, the Stanley Cup champions have been built around those types of players for the last 20 years.

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Comments

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Racist

Posted by Justin on 04/22/12 at 07:55 PM ET

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Leave it to a Canadian scribe to prop up this myth and then play the “oh, but we’re not stereotyping!” card. If you’re going to come out and say it, stand behind it. Don’t turtle in fear of a backlash.

Posted by JG on 04/22/12 at 08:16 PM ET

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Good gravy, just thinking about this article makes me so angry. Not “moral outrage” angry but “stupid, lazy argument” angry.

Recent counter-examples, besides the ‘08 Wings cited by Willes:

- Krecji’s scoring and the dominant Chara/Seidenberg pairing for last year’s Boston Bruins.
- Sean Bergenheim’s goal binge last year.
- Malkin tearing up the playoffs en route to the Conn Smythe in 2009.
- Hossa running roughshod alongside Crosby for the ‘08 Penguins.
- Fedotenko’s clutch goal scoring for the ‘04 Lightning.
- Pahlsson emerging as a smothering defensive force for the ‘03 Ducks.
- Niclas Wallin’s OT heroics making him the Hurricanes’ “secret weapon.”

This goes without citing the many unheralded role players on successful playoff teams who happened to be European.

Posted by JG on 04/22/12 at 08:40 PM ET

K24's avatar

Oh come on. We’re not even out of the first round yet! Plus, I think the stat rankings are a little skewed by the ridiculously high-scoring PIT-PHI series. Only 5 of the top 20 playoff scorers are not from one of those teams. Some of those guys almost doubled their points-per-game average from the regular season.

Posted by K24 from NYC on 04/22/12 at 08:41 PM ET

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A Euorpean analyist might say that since Canadians and Americans make up 70% of the league, it is apparent they are a failure in the regular season, and can’t perform day in and day out. It is obvious they need external motivation to rise up to a level reflecting their proportions in the league.

Posted by timbits on 04/22/12 at 08:51 PM ET

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I know it’s"Our Game” eh?  I have never seen such an insecure group of people, led by their press corps.  How silly would it be for an American sportswriter to say latin ballplayers don’t hit in the World Series.

Posted by 13 user names on 04/22/12 at 09:10 PM ET

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!3 User Names: Well said, bloody pathetic, Canadians. And I AM CANADIAN, dammit!

Posted by A Canadian Dude, eh? on 04/22/12 at 10:47 PM ET

Primis's avatar

This reads precisely like a story this particular writer has literally been waiting and aching to write (perhaps for years), and now just jumped at the chance as he squeals with delight over it..

And people complain about bloggers?  Yeeesh…

Posted by Primis on 04/23/12 at 09:09 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Hey Ed, it’s called “sample size,” and you, almost without exception, need a large one to draw any conclusions from statistics.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 04/23/12 at 12:15 PM ET

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I think his point is Vancouver won’t win the Cup as long as they have the Sedins leading the attack? Am I right?

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 04/23/12 at 07:06 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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