A Cinderella Story (2004)

It’s happened in the last few years: a Cinderella team has made the playoffs and wreaked havoc upon other, stronger teams. Last year there was, of course, the Mighty Ducks and the Wild. The Ducks only swept Detroit, beat Dallas, and then triumphed over the other team with the glass slipper. The Wild came from behind after being down 3-1 to the Avs and ‘Nucks to win the series. They did this twice. Of course, they got swept by the Ducks. Anaheim went on to the Cup final against New Jersey, but lost in 7.In 2001-02, the Carolina Hurricanes were the big surprise. After skating through three better teams, including the Leafs and Habs, they made the finals against the big bad Wings. The Wings finished them off in 5.

This year, lots of teams could be a surpriser. In the east, I don’t see any Cinderella team jumping out, except the Habs, but they are starting to evolve from ‘Cinderella’ to ‘could actually be a contender., so I won’t count them as ‘Cinderella’. But in the west, there are many waiting to jump up. Leading them is the San Jose Sharks. I said they were the biggest surprise this season, and they probably have the best chance of being the glass slipper team. YoungStar Christian Ehrhoff has really stepped up this year, and Evgeni Nabakov has been invincible in net. They will probably finish 2nd or 3rd, so they would either play Calgary (probably 6th) or any of the four teams competing for 7th (Oil, Preds, LA, and the Blues). If they finish 3rd, but make it by Calgary (whom they will most likely play), they will probably make the 3rd round.

The Calgary Flames may still be viewed as a ‘Cinderella’, although they have played very well this year. Mikka Kiprosuff is a possible contender for the Vezina. The team will probably finish 6th, and will play either the Avs or the Sharks. If they can make it past the first round, I predict they could make the third round.

The Nashville Predators, Edmonton Oilers, LA Kings, and St. Louis Blues (wow, I can’t believe I’m saying this about them), are all ‘Cinderella’ teams. They will not make it past the first round, according to me, because they will face tougher teams if they make the playoffs. Possible matchups would be the Wings vs. anyone of those four, or the Avs or Sharks against them. They will not make it past round 1.

Your thoughts and predictions?


41 Responses to A Cinderella Story (2004)

  1. Freeze says:

    San Jose is way too high up in the standings to be considered a Cinderella team. I could see Calgary or Nashville be this year’s spoiler.

  2. swedishvoice says:

    The Blues, the Oilers and the Habs can never be caled ‘Cinderella’ teams… Why? They are all teams with long traditions and have made it long in the playoffs before (and won the cup), but I agree the Preds, the Sharks and the Flames can be a intresting Cinderella story.

  3. knobygobbler says:

    Suck a dick sens-man-lover. That’s my prediction!

    How about the Sens get spanked in the first round like Marv Albert!

    How about the Sens get pulled over by the mullet police on their way to Toronto and Alfredsson and Havlat get busted and thrown into the joint.

    How about the Sens hold a Stanley Cup parade in Toronto if they win, considering most of the people at their games are from Toronto anyways!

  4. The_Conductor says:

    What honestly makes a team aCinderella story? I mean really none of these teams have lost a glass slipper. None of these teams were met by a fairy-God-Mother that were aware of… and finally I dont think any of these hockey players cleaned floors for there mean old step sisters.

    Why cant we call these teams Fairy-Tale stories.

    -The Ducks are in Disneyland.

    -Carolina… it was a miracle they did what they did…almost Fairy-Taleish

    -People thinking Toronto is going to do something in the playoffs…thats a made up Fairy-Tale.

    -The fact people think there’s NHL next season… thats a fairy-tale.

    So why Cinderella? I just dont know!

  5. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Hey now, we all should know by now that Toronto is the team to beat in the playoffs, just ask a Leaf fan, they’ll tell you so…..You think they’re good now? Just think how good they’d have been if they got Ron Francis…….

  6. The_Conductor says:

    Rumor has it… because Toronto is the centre of the world… there trade dead-line doesnt end till end of April.

    There still looking at signing 5 new players.

  7. sensman99 says:

    Why don’t you all shut up about the ‘un-quality’ of my article!

    This is MY opinion. Sorry about the ‘un-quality.’

  8. mojo19 says:

    Calgary!!! Watch ’em knock off a couple real good teams.

  9. mojo19 says:

    its a funny prediction. “knobygobbler” (aka purplehelmet ?) Go Leafs!

  10. mojo19 says:

    no it was a good article, chill. the “unquality” is THEIR opinions. Its all opinion. I liked it, don’t get defensive. PS Sens suck.

  11. Tweek says:

    hwo do u predict a cinderella? isnt it supposed to come out of the blue, that being said, calgary will be the kind of team that nobody wants to play, especially the wings, but the wings will win the cup anyways so no worries wings fans, even though im a leafs fan i acknowledge the fact, i thought the sens could win the whole thing but man lalime has looked so friggin shaky lately

  12. sensman99 says:

    It’s just happened the past few years- I’m just saying, these teams could be Cinderella teams.

  13. sensman99 says:

    Yes, the Sharks are high up- but they haven’t proven themselves in the playoffs. When was the last time they made the playoffs?

    Cinderella teams are surprises in the playoffs- they’re teams that haven’t proven themselves in the playoffs. Sound like the Sharks?

  14. Wills says:

    They only missed the playoffs last year, and the year before that they were third in the West I believe.

  15. Next_Semenko says:

    A “cinderella” team going into the playoffs, Id have to say the Oilers would be my pick right now. Out of the three or four underdogs, edmonton I believe has the best defense.

    The cinderella teams over the years seem to have a solid defensive core, or at least playbook (ie. Carolina, Minnesota, Anaheim, etc) Although Edmonton doesnt really play a trap type game, I think their solid defensive core is enough.

    As for Detroit, lets not jump on the stanley cup bandwagon yet. Nothing is guarenteed in the first round. If Im not mistaken things are pretty much the same as last year with regards to Detroit, a dominating record, a less than 100% Darian Hatcher and question marks in goal. Now Im not betting that it will be anything like last year, with Detroit being eliminated in 4, but I wouldnt be shocked if a team like Edmonton knocked them out in 7 in the first round. (its not like Edmonton hasnt been down that road before 😉 )

  16. DarkPhoenix says:

    You’re the kind of Leafs fan that gives Leafs fans in general a bad reputation.

    Last time I checked, this article isn’t even about Ottawa.

  17. GeniushockeyKID says:

    If they can make it past the first round, I predict they could make the third round.

    “could” is the key word there. citing a general statement as a bold prediction won’t give you any credit later on for being the one to have “said it first”.

    and by the way there doesnt have to be a “cinderella” team every year.

  18. GeniushockeyKID says:

    yeah, but any team in the lower seeds “could be”. if you went out on a limb and said i BELIEVE they WILL be then maybe this article wouldnt have felt so pointless.

    and what the hell is this disneyland?

  19. mojo19 says:

    you’re right, there doesnt HAVE to be a cinderella team every year, this is just predictions for if there is one this year, who could it be.

  20. drgnhrt says:

    I hate these “Cinderella story” teams. They ruin the playoffs. I want to see two powerhouses in the finals, not one powerhouse and some other crappy team that doesn’t stand a chance (although the Ducks actually did stand a chance, they still produced about the most boring Stanley Cup final ever). I want to see the bottom four of each conference knocked out in the first round and from there it should be a lot more interesting. (don’t get me wrong, there are still some good teams in the bottom four, I just think it would be more fun to see the teams that were the best throughout the regular season fight eachother to the finals).

  21. Enigma says:

    it was still funny though

  22. Enigma says:

    The Islanders people will be a cinderalla team (that is if they don’t face Philly). However Rick Dipetro needs to continue to play as well as he has lately.

    p.s. if they get knocked out in the first round then consider this a joke.

  23. TC_4 says:

    Where did anybody say that???

  24. TC_4 says:

    Good article because this year everyone is expecting it to happen, which is why I don’t think it will happen. Having said that, I don’t agree that San Jose would be a cinderella, because fact is this team people forget was looked at as a darkhorse contender in 01 and 02, then just because they had one bad year and dealt away/lost through UFA two guys, they’re starting from scratch??? No this team is more a contender(not much of one)then a cinderella. Look at two Canadian teams: Calgary in the West, Montreal in the East. Edmonton could be if they draw Colorado or San Jose.

  25. hockeyhead says:

    i’ll be stupid and a homer when i say bruins. why? because everybody in new england doesn’t believe cuz they only care about the pats and sox. NOT EVERYONE CHILL and because every hab fan thinks that the bruins are going to be a push over and their goalies “are suspect” as people speculate and b/c they can’t win in the playoffs and they only have one line (which of course they don’t, just puking up some old bashes) and a rookie coach.

    you know, i will gladly eat my words if it happened, but hab fans….there was about 10 year or so when we didn’t even consider your team a rival anymore b/c they were easy. now cuz they are going to make the playoffs they want boston cuz that is who they can beat hands down. this isn’t the team they beat 2 years ago. lord byron is not razor or cat for that matter. have they dominated the series this year? is patty wahhh coming back? why do you underestimate?

    there is my rant. bruins must be cinderella unless the wagon has tipped over. either them or those four guys i saw open for motley crue.

  26. DarkPhoenix says:

    And rumor has it…that Toronto wasn’t even mentioned in this article.

    Oh yeah, that’s not a rumor, it’s a FACT. Way to drag in more Leaf hatred here!

  27. nocuphere says:

    The purple helmet is back from hiatus!!

  28. nocuphere says:

    Don’t mind these morons. They’re obviously gay.

  29. knobygobbler says:

    That’s right boys….the purple helmet is back. Are we still censored?

    shit, *****, *****, *****

  30. Tops04 says:

    The reason every Habs fan thinks the Bruins,m is that given the alternatives, they would be best. Ottawa and Tampa would kill the Habs. But the bonehead Bruins would probably find a way to lose. I have to admit though the gaoltending doesn’t look like the problem. But isn’t Joe Thornton due for something stupid, at least some costly penalties.

    I also like series with Boston the best. Although its true the Habs haven’t been competitive for a long time, games against Boston are most of the time. Plus the history is long and great. Pretty balanced too I think. A rivalry to be sure. The Toronto rivalry is younger, and not yet at the level of this one.

    So bring on Boston.

  31. Marco_Sturm says:

    Last season they did not make it. They were 14th in the Western Conference with 73 points (28-37-9-8).

    The year before they won the Pacific division with 99 points (44-27-8-3) and finished 3rd in the West.

  32. hockeyhead says:

    i can live with that. your points are well taken and thought out except for calling them boneheaded. the depth is at its best with this club. gonchar is an amazing offensive defenceman who adds so much to their attack. along with slegr and now boynton and mcgillis jumping in. they’re skating like they always wanted to. joe has been a brat in the past but he is maturing. what is he 23, 24. he’s been playing so long i forget. he has the “C” for a reason. i think he is learning to mellow unless he wants to drop the gloves. i am glad you accept the goaltending. razor, cat and jose have had some good battles this year. some overtime loses some shutouts. the rivalry is deep in history, yes. it may get to be hated again especially if jose runs bergeron from behind again b/c his own d-man runs him into the net. puss. i wouldn’t want to play anyone in the east this year. except the isle. sorry. as long as they don’t miss three break aways like the other nite vs ott. (still won) they should be fine. but i like talking about hockey and i know history can repeat it self. i’ve gotta see a parade one of these decades.

  33. DarkPhoenix says:

    The Toronto rivalry is younger, and not yet at the level of this one.

    Uh, the Toronto-Montreal rivalry has existed since 1967, you know (and before that, but it didn’t get REALLY serious until the “old washed-up” Leafs stole the cup from the “guaranteed win” Habs in 1967). That’s pretty old.

    I don’t know exactly how old the Boston-Montreal rivalry is, though, so whether it’s older is debateable.

  34. kidhenry1 says:

    As a Yankees fan, I have a natural untrust of ‘Cinderella’ teams. But with Rick DiPietro, the Isles could beat Tampa Bay; the Preds could be dangerous; I could see Calgary running.

  35. Tops04 says:

    While I accept the rivalry was around in 1967, and even into the late 1970s. You have to admit the Habs and Leafs didn’t have much of a rivalry when the Leafs were in the Campbell Conference (West). They didn’t play much, and for much of the time the Leafs were bad, and more recently it has been the Canadiens that have sucked the big one.

    The Bruins have been in our division for a long time, and we have met them in the playoffs more frequently. I think that rivalry is bigger for the time being.

    That being said, Toronto and Montreal do have a city vs. city rivalry that gives the hockey rivalry much more substance.

    In regards to what team the Habs play, i still hope its the Bruins. I think the Leafs are better than the Bruins when they are on form, and the Habs would have to hope for a bad streak to beat them.

  36. EmptyNetter says:

    Like Trevor Kidd in net??

  37. EmptyNetter says:

    As far as winning the Cup, Cinderella team = any team that’s not Detroit, NJ or Colorado. Bruins making it into the second round would be a Cinderella story (trying to keep expectations reasonable). I’d like to see a first time Stanley Cup winner — for Tampa Bay or Nashville it could really do wonders for attracting new fans.

    Ottawa doesn’t need a cup. They already won one back in 1927 😉

  38. cipo_81 says:

    The Western conference teams really have to watch out for the Sharks. They are a team that’s always under-dogs right after the first round but this year I think there going to surprise a lot of teams and somehow drag them selfs to the Cup.

  39. DarkPhoenix says:

    Toronto will NOT use Trevor Kidd in net in the playoffs unless Belfour is either dead or strapped down.

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