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Winners and Losers from the 2012 NHL Playoffs

Guest Irishjim

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"Wait. When coach said my ice time would

need to be much lower, maybe he meant...".

The Devils and Kings were at it again last night, with the Kings finally ending the series and claiming the first championship in franchise history. But while the Kings will understandably be dominating the league's headlines in the coming days, they're not the only team that's been busy over the past few months.

Between the three prior rounds of postseason play and all of the intrigue among teams that are already in off-season mode, there's been no shortage of news around the league since the season ended. After all, everyone wants to someday find themselves in the same spot the Kings and Devils were in last night, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to get there.

Of course, not every move turns out to be the right one. Here's a look at the some of the names that have been making news over the past two months, both positive and negative.

Winner: Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh Penguins

- His new job as the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury is a perfect fit for an aging veteran coming off of an injury, since it means he won't have to play in any playoff games until six or seven minutes in.

Loser: Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia Flyers

- Had hoped to use this season to finally establish himself as a top-tier playoff goaltender, so will probably be devastated when someone eventually gets around to telling him that the Flyers were eliminated four weeks ago.

Winner: Tampa Bay Lightning

- Their Norfolk Admirals farm team won the AHL's Calder Cup while gaining invaluable experience, such as figuring out how to pause the game, access the options and menu and turn offsides off.

Loser: Brendan Shanahan

- Showed poor taste by having a fake Raffi Torres head mounted on the wall of his office, although you have to admit it's pretty neat how it occasionally blinks and whispers "please help me" in that oddly realistic way.

Winner: Bryan Murray, Ottawa Senators

- The global economy continues to spiral towards an unprecedented collapse that could devastate vulnerable nations and wipe out entire currencies, which is starting to make Erik Karlsson's free agency negotiation starting point of "all the money in the entire world times ten" seem manageable.

Loser: Brent Sutter

- Lost his head coaching job in Calgary, and will no doubt now fade into obscurity like every Sutter the Flames part ways with.

Winner: Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks

- After years of being labeled as a player who fails to get it done during long playoff runs, finally showed his critics that he's actually quite capable of not getting it done in short playoff runs too.

Loser: Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers

- The surgery on his torn labrum had to be performed without any type of local anesthesia, since every time the nurse tried to give him a shot a Rangers' defenseman would dive in and block it.

Winner: Roberto Luongo

- Critics who had accused him of having a slow glove hand this season have been proven completely wrong, based on how quickly he uses it to swat the cell phone out of Mike Gillis's hand every time he hears him say "Hi Burkie".

Loser: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

- Announced his retirement from the NHL, which immediately dropped his chances of winning the 2013 Norris Trophy down to like 50% or 60%, tops.

Winner: Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets

- The defenceman seems to be in the best shape of his life, according to neighbors who've seen him hurl his big screen TV across three yards and into their swimming pool after every Kings' win.

Loser: Tim Thomas, Bruins

- Has once again revealed himself to be embarrassingly out of touch with the modern world, in the sense that he apparently still uses Facebook.

Winner: Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

- Established himself as a clutch goaltender who could single-handedly steal games for his team, and it was a nice change of pace to read stories that included the phrase "Phoenix Coyotes" and "absolute robbery" but not "Glendale taxpayers".

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my Fav. Loser: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

- Announced his retirement from the NHL, which immediately dropped his chances of winning the 2013 Norris Trophy down to like 50% or 60%, tops.

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