Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Off-Topic BS: Stanley Cup Playoffs

Lucky Cup.
I don't do this to you very often, but there are like, I don't know, two or three readers of BS who enjoy hockey. And while I use the BS twitter feed to share my observations on NFL Sundays in the fall, for example, I've spared you all from seeing my hockey-related tweets because they are, uh, a bit on the biased side. (I'm basically a drunk guy in Madison Square Garden swearing at things.) But if you're so inclined, you can find J unplugged at @J_Boilermaker on Twitter. I do a lot of Rangers hockey tweeting.

Also, whether you like hockey or not, try telling me this isn't an awesome commercial:

Last year, I made my Stanley Cup Playoff picks exclusively on Twitter and was told when I picked the LA Kings to go far that I was being silly. Then they won the Stanley Cup. So there. More upsets? Glad you (didn't) ask.

Western Conference

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs (8) Minnesota Wild -- The 8-seed out west will not advance this year. The Blackhawks were insanely good this year, losing only seven games in regulation over the 48-game shortened season. This will be over early. Blackhawks in 5.

(2) Anaheim Ducks vs (7) Detroit Red Wings -- The Wings haven't missed the playoffs since 1990 but came close this year; however, they've gotten things together and the Ducks seem to have cooled. Upset alert. Red Wings in 7.

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs (6) San Jose Sharks -- Two perennial playoff chokers meet; who survives? I'm going to go upset, mainly because Canucks fans are fooling themselves if they think Cory Schneider is going to lead them to the promised land. Sharks in 7.

(4) St. Louis Blues vs (5) Los Angeles Kings -- The Blues seem overmatched here to me. The defending champ Kings have too much talent and won the Cup from the aforementioned 8-seed last year, so being on the road won't scare them at all. Kings in 6.

Eastern Conference

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (8) New York Islanders -- The Isles reward for making it back to the playoffs is to face the high-scoring Pens in the first round. I think the Isles will actually give them some trouble, but not enough to pull the upset. However, this is a rare occurrence where I'll be somewhat pulling for the other hockey team that claims New York. Penguins in 6.

(2) Montreal Canadiens vs (7) Ottawa Senators -- I think everyone will be picking Montreal here and I don't think you'd be crazy to do so, obviously. But their goalie Carey Price has been rocky lately, plus the Sens are playing some of their best hockey right now and got a star defenseman back (Erik Karlsson) who had 70% of his Achilles severed in February. Uh, what? Seriously, hockey players are tough. Senators in 7.

(3) Washington Capitals vs (6) New York Rangers -- The Rangers have been my team since I was a wee lad, mainly because they were my father's team. He began bringing to me to the pot-hazed Garden in the early '80s, thus my combative nature at sporting events (I had a broken leg at the 2001 Rose Bowl and Tim probably remembers me wanting to beat a Washington fan with my crutches). Anyway, the Caps are Hank of Railroad Tie fame's team and this is the fourth meeting in five years for these teams. I still like the Rangers even though the Caps have been hot. Rangers in 7.

(4) Boston Bruins vs (5) Toronto Maple Leafs -- The Leafs haven't been in the playoffs in a long time and sort of coasted to the finish line this year. While there are no easy outs in the Cup playoffs, the Leafs might have been the one team others weren't overly worried about facing. While Boston doesn't score many goals, I think they're a better team with better coaching and toughness. Bruins in 6.

Thank you for your indulgence.


Kodiak33 said...

Go Hawks. I think you should tweet about this stuff. It's your account...and it's still sports related.

BoilerNick said...

Resident Canucks fan here. Gotta disagree with your assessment of Schneider, who would have thought Quick or Thomas would lead their teams to the promised land either. Luongo could have been great, but has too much Lebron James between the ears.

Ken said...

J, I think you overlooked the Sabres.. no, no, you're right.

Anonymous said...

fyi, my twitter handle is "therailroadtie", not "railroadtie". just so you know.

i have to agree with your assessment of the series; the Caps have really pulled it together lately, but the Souteast is the worst division in hockey, by a wide margin. i'm not sure i trust this team yet, although i really, really want to. i love that we're playing the rangers AGAIN in the playoffs (seriously). i predict another great 7-gm series.

might i propose an all-hockey handsome hour?

J Money said...

Hank -- I almost asked you if you wanted to do one last night or tonight so we can get it done before the series starts... and really talk all hockey. But wasn't sure if our schedules would line up, plus time zones are quite varied.

J Money said...

Kodiak33 -- You're right and I usually look at it that way... but I go kind of spazzy on hockey and I think it's an even smaller sliver of our audience who will like it clogging up their feed than usual...

Brotherman85 said...

I love hockey. BoiledSports talking about Hockey? Win, win...YES!!!

Go Hawks

Jim said...

Go Blues!

They're hot and they've got the defense.

Anonymous said...

I just emailed you J. I'm free for all but one hour today if you want to do an episode.

J Money said...

Jim -- unfortunately they play the defending champs in round 1. No bueno.

BoilerColt said...

Go Devils!! Wait.... screw this sport lol

BoilerColt said...

I do have to say I think that whoever wins the west will win Lord Stanley's Cup. I know Anaheim has cooled of late but they are a scary team when they are hot. The Wild have also played really well against Chicago this year and they have some real firepower. The West is definitely going to be very wild again this year.

zlionsfan said...

love that they had McCarty, probably from '97, when for about 10 seconds he channeled Gordie Howe. Sabres fans can probably skip the Hull part.

Younger Red Wings fans are spoiled. There was a 20-year period roughly coinciding with the start of my life (well, a year before it, but close enough) where the Wings missed the playoffs 16 times (15 times in 17 seasons) and won just a single series, a two-game preliminary series against a franchise that never won a series in that city (Atlanta). Since then, things have been ... better.

1995 would be a good one to keep in mind, though. Like the Blackhawks did this year, the Wings rolled through the West that season, losing just two games in the first three rounds, but got swept by the fifth-seeded Devils in the Finals.

Now that the Hawks have a recent Cup, I don't have to root for a sympathy Cup for them. I suppose it's Canucks or Blues for me ... not like I'll really be rooting for them, but when the Wings have so little chance, like this year, I'd prefer to see a team like those win.

Oh, no Flyers? So sad.

Scruffy_P said...

As a Boiler born raised and bred on basketball near Indy, and having moved to Detroit to throw my engineering skills at automobiles, I gotta say I've taken to being a red wings fan, and a general hockey fan pretty well. I don't mind hockey coverage here..... As long as it means more IndyCar coverage, amiright Bdowd????

J Money said...

Hockey and F1 coverage are only here to fill in the gaps between the end of Purdue basketball and the beginning of Purdue football. I think everyone knows that but just wanted to say it aloud. (or in print; you know what I mean)

And zlions, yes, wasn't that the era of the "Dead Things"?

zlionsfan said...

It was indeed, J ... part of that era was the 21-team league with 16-team playoffs, and Detroit regularly finished fifth in the Norris.

That nickname came in handy when Mutant League Hockey came out; they didn't even have to make up something ghoulish for the Wings. (No, really: the Detroit-ish team was the Dead Things. One of my roommates was dominant at that game: 2-on-2, didn't matter who his teammate was. I think he could have beaten us with the cat as his teammate.)

Tying it all together: Mutant League Hockey was released in 1994, the year that the Rangers broke the longest active Cup drought in the NHL, 53 seasons. (For people less familiar with the NHL, it's not as bad as it sounds, other than to Rangers fans: the NHL was mostly a six-team league through the 1966-67 season, so it wasn't as though you could have that many teams go without a Cup ... but that also made it harder for Rangers fans, and for Bruins fans prior to the Orr cups in '70 and '72. That's what happens when two teams dominate a six-team league.) The team that had the next-longest drought ... was Detroit, at 39 seasons.

St. Louis, man. 45 years, no Cups. Aside from their first three seasons in the expansion division, they've only made the conference finals twice (and before conferences, the NHL semis once), and didn't have a good chance either time.

Vigilo Procinctu said...

I hope you bet a parlay of all the series on this round....