Saturday, May 3, 2014

NHL Playoff Predictions, Round 2

Pardon me for my delay, Life got underway...

I was 6/8 in the first round, so there's that, but the second round should be home to at least as many twists and turns as the first one.

Chicago Blackhawks versus Minnesota Wild:

Long live the Champs, at least for another round. The Wild almost lost a third goalie to injury in the first round, and I'm afraid their win over Colorado may have drained their emotions a bit. Also, while I have tremendous respect for their young guys, and veterans Ryan Suter and Zach Parise are steady and stable, they just don't stack up to Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook on defense, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa on the attack, and Corey Crawford is a rock in nets.

Hawks in 6.

Anaheim Ducks versus Los Angeles Kings:

This one will break my heart. I never liked the Ducks, and I was pissed off when they won their first (and so far only) Cup, but Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf just won me a hockey pool that made me rich, and I want to reiterate that I do wish Teemu Selanne win it again, and Saku Koivu get one too. But I've had a thing for the Kings since they traded for Wayne Gretzky, and head coach Darryl Sutter just sent me a signed hockey card, and I love how they play - though it'd be even better if they scored as many goals as their talented unit was able to. But hockey's a team sport, so it's about the group, not the individuals. Kings it is.

Kings in 7.

Boston Bruins versus Montréal Canadiens:


This one's the hardest to predict, not because it pits the tougher-then-nails regular-season champions against the smallest team in the post-season, not because it's my hometown team against their 90-year fiercest rivals, but because if History has its say (this will be the 34th post-season chapter in this storied rivalry), the Habs have won when they were favourites, when the teams were evenly matched, and even more so when they were underdogs. As a matter of fact, the Canadens pretty much always win against the Bruins, the one team Boston are historical chokers against. It doesn't help that the Habs are also (or, by association) their star goalie Tuukka Rask's anathema, the one nemesis he just cannot win against...

Except that not only do Carey Price and springtime hockey don't mix, the reason for that is he is particularly awful against the Bruins and Flyers. But let's stick to the Bruins for our favourite underachiever. He is the only goalie in team history to have lost two playoff series against the teddy bears. Then again, despite his two losses, the Canadiens are still 24-9 so far against their biggest rivals, so perhaps even he cannot mess this up for Montréal. But if one guy can, it's #31.

Canadiens in 6.

Pittsburgh Penguins versus New York Rangers:

Huh, Pittsburgh made it to the second round, albeit barely. I don't know, though, I still don't trust them, apart from Evgeni Malkin - my choice for best player in the world. Nah, give me Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan McDonaugh, Martin St-Louis, and Brad Richards. Give me the Big Apple, an island, culture, and a coast. Give me colours other than black and fucking gold. Save me from the uselessness of cuddly animals as a sports team's namesake. The Rangers win this even if they dress your hungry, your poor, your huddled masses - and Rick Nash.

Rangers  in 6.

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