2019-2020 QMJHL Playoff Preview

I hate predictions.

I hate predictions as much or even more than I hate stats.

The only stat that matters come playoff time are wins and losses.

The QMJHL playoff structure is far from being solidified with more than a dozen games remaining, however there’s certainly a buzz surrounding the league and the Eastern Conference for one of the most anticipated President Cup Playoffs in quite some time.

Any team is beatable on any given night, especially come playoff time and that’s what makes the Eastern Conference so intriguing.

The predictions are starting to fly with regards to the final four.

We all know the top teams, we all know what they are capable of.

There’s a massive difference between potential and delivering come playoff time.

Character, skill, grit and belief in team systems and trust can propel any team to an upset.

There’s always one or two upsets come playoff time in the QMJHL.

Before you can make predictions, let’s look at the framework of the upset.

What’s the blueprint to a major upset?

A) Eliminating Time and Space

Skilled teams during the regular season hate being pressured come playoff time. Some of those teams believe their skill is enough to get them by.

Enough to get them through.

Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case.

B) Multiple Injuries to Key Players

Solid regular season teams that may be putting up great numbers but suffer from depth issues are sure to struggle with one or two injuries pop up before or during the playoffs.

Injuries are part of the game, and you need your entire team to step up, but it’s tall ask for them if they haven’t been given any responsibility throughout the season.

C) Complacency

Perhaps the most crippling aspect of any team entering the playoffs is complacency.

When one team is complacent, you can almost see the believability surge within their opponent.

Believability and an us versus the world attitude has carried a lot of teams to championship glory.

D) Physicality

Hit or be hit.

Taking a hit to make a play takes on an entirely different meaning in the post season.

Time and space is one thing, but being physically dominated by a team that is eager to mix it up and impose their will on their opponent almost always leads to an upset.

E) Out Coached

This is one area I don’t like to talk about because I have so much respect for the coaching fraternity, but most playoff upsets come down to coaching and setting their team and players up for success.

It happens in the pros and in the junior ranks.

Coaches can have a bad series as well and in many cases if they can’t coach, teach and adjust their systems on the fly or rely too heavily on their skilled players and don’t use their depth, it usually becomes a very short series or ends with them looking for new a job.

Hockey isn’t played on paper, it’s played on the ice so let’s just get past all the predictions and crystal ball stuff and just enjoy the league and the post season for what it is.

An amazing brand of hockey, which for some might be the closest thing they see to the NHL.

The President Cup Playoffs are just around the corner so here are my predictions.

Actually I hate predictions.

I hate predictions as much or even more than I hate stats.

The only stat that matters come playoff time are wins and losses.

Here’s a prediction, I have a very sneaky suspicion that many Q team’s Governors will be voting to reverse the President Cup playoff format moving forward.

That’s the only prediction I’m going to make.

Enjoy the post season, oh yeah so what’s the blueprint to a championship team?

To be continued…………..

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