Just Making The Playoffs? So What?

Jim, from his perch in the Canadian Rockies, has always maintained that it’s silly if a team feels they’re a success if they’ve simply made the playoffs. That basically, they’ve set their sights no higher than that. And I agree completely.

It used to be that a team would start out at the beginning of the season with one goal, and one goal only – to win the Stanley Cup. Anything less was deemed a failure. You never heard,”yes they’re looking good, they might make the playoffs.” Or the panel on TSN might maintain that a team has such a good crop of youngsters, they stand a good chance of making the playoffs this year.

Big honkin deal.

Talk about setting the bar low. The goal should be to win the big prize, not just make it into the playoffs. Heck, sixteen teams make it into the playoffs. What’s so great about that? Except if you’re the owner and want the extra coin that’s brought in.

The reason I’m watching the standings so closely now regarding the Habs is because it’s not about Montreal making the playoffs, it’s about what they might be able to pull off once they’re there. If I thought for a second that the Canadiens had a good season because they made the playoffs only, then I wouldn’t be a good fan. My goal, as is Jim’s and rest of us, is to win the Stanley Cup. Just making the playoffs isn’t success, it’s just a tad better than those who didn’t. That’s nothing to write home about.

I’ve never understood hockey people on TV saying that a team could make the playoffs. Not win the Cup, but make the playoffs. For me, that’s loser talk. 

I want to hear that a team has a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Nothing less.

10 thoughts on “Just Making The Playoffs? So What?”

  1. Point well taken and you both are absolutely right. However, it’s important to note that once upon a time, when the only goal was to win a Cup, there were only 6 teams in the league and making the playoffs was not a goal – because every team automatically made the playoffs.

  2. And maybe you’re watching to see who is losing as it might be the only way the Habs are going to make it to the playoffs-if they do. Fess up now!!!!

  3. James, further to the last comment. It’s not just the original six. People never talked about just making the playoffs up into about the 1990’s. Before that, it was winning the Cup. Nothing, less.

  4. I know I’ll be jumped on because I’m a Canucks fan……but, here goes:

    With so many teams in the league now, it’s an unreasonable expectation that every team begins the season with the expectation (and I mean REAL expectation) that they will win the Cup. Contend for it, yeah, I’ll say that’s a reasonable hope. There’s too much parity; too many teams; player movement; lack of dynasty’s as in years past; to feel everything is a failure if you don’t win the ultimate prize. I don’t buy the argument that you have 1 winner, and 29 losers every year. Many teams make incremental improvements and gain experience in a given year before snagging the Cup.

    The Stanley Cup is very, very, hard to win. That’s what makes it so special.

  5. Dennis- sorry my bad – wasn’t born in the 6 team era and I really thought everyone made the playoffs…

    I absolutely agree that ‘just making the playoffs’ is not a worthy goal for a hockey team, specifically one like the Habs. For the Columbus Blue Jackets that’s a fine objective, but not for us.

    But as Lawrence said (very good points too) it’s not realistic to think our team will reasonably contend for the Cup every year. It just doesn’t happen anymore. Even Detroit, the modern franchise benchmark, has had some lean years recently and will have some troubles within 2-3 years because of the cap. Bettman’s ‘new’ NHL took away the concept of dynasties and as it is now, yeah we have to settle on making the playoffs.

  6. This year specifically, the reason why Habs fans feel that way is because if they make the playoffs and manage to pull off a first round upset, it will be some sort of consolation for a dissapointing season and provide hope that next year our team will return to top form. If we miss the playoffs a lot of people are going to be calling for the team to be dismantled and started over. I don’t agree with this, but I think it’s the mentality of most fans of non-contenders.

  7. Lawrence you couldnt of said it any better then that, your absolutely right. With all due respect to Jim and Dennis, there mentality towards the playoffs and winning the cup is a little old school (hope you guys dont take that personal), The times have changed way to much. The Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in all over professional sports and making the playoffs is an accomplishment in a league of 30 teams. Theres really nothing I can add to what Lawrence said, he hit the nail on the head in his comment.

  8. In a, hehe, (hockey) nut’s shell: if you’re good enuf to be there then you’re good enuf to win it and if you don’t think you’re good enuf to win it you’re not good enuf to be there.

    jordy, you AND Lawrence are such canuckleheads.

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