Picks, Coyote Tix and Quick HitsShareThis
I did a bad job of explaining my predictions before the second round (less “bad job” and more “completely didn’t do it”), and now I have the advantage of having seen a game from each series. So, my bad on that. Thus, in the interest of keeping this entry from War and Peace-like length, I’ll cut to the chase on why I picked whom.
I picked Detroit, and explained it was because I can’t pick against The Zettersyuk. I intend to do an old school, serious piece of prose about the poetic way Datsyuk plays later today. Sheer artistry.
I picked Vancouver on the Luongo-is-better-than-Niemi tiebreaker, and because I only recently discovered that bandwagon Blackhawks fans are plutonium-level-volatile right now. They’re entering the “holy crap, if we don’t win this year….” panic phase , where they’re studying salary cap rules at all hours of the night, and realizing that Hossa is basically becoming a one-man Buffalo Bills of the early ’90′s. WIDE RIGHT! WIDE RIGHT!
I picked Pittsburgh because…. forget it, same reasons you did.
I picked Boston on the Rask-is-better-than-Boucher tiebreaker, and because Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne aren’t playing. Also because Philly likes effing with it’s own fans by pretending it wants to win the cup, when really all the owners want is to get deep enough to get a few more home games for revenue. (Emery is out for the year? It’s trade deadline time? I have an idea…. what it we ride out this average goalie/great team thing and see where it takes us? Haven’t tried that yet.)
I will say this about the Boston/Philly series – I would have predicted these two teams to be in the second round at the start of the year. Surprisingly, they both struggled during the regular season, but I do actually think they’re more than capable of being competitive with the best teams. The right eight teams made it from the East, and if you had looked at the rosters they went with for playoffs like eight months ago, you probably would’ve picked Boston to beat Buffalo, and Philly to beat Jersey.
During Olympic time, I wrote a blog on Luongo the night before the gold medal game, on the topic of him making me feel slightly uneasy when he’s in net, for whatever reason. (I took it down for fear of looking like a dissident at such a positive time.)
To me, this is his career-defining series.
Team vs. team, Chicago and Vancouver are pretty even – maybe Chicago is a little better. Vancouver’s advantage is supposed to be in net. When he’s won, he’s almost always had the better team. When he’s lost, he’s almost always had the worse team. He’s not getting any younger, and this is one of the first occasions I can remember that it’s his series to win or lose.
If he wants to be the player Canuck fans think he is, now is his time to shine, like the bright lights hitting his greasy hair.
My buddy bought a Phoenix Coyotes playoff ticket package, which for those of you that don’t know, means you buy them right through game seven of the finals. If your team doesn’t make it that far, you get reimbursed.
If they don’t call him soon to offer him tickets for next year instead of just sending him a cheque back (which it appears they’re going to do), it’ll be disheartening as a guy rooting for the team to succeed here. Coyote’s marketing: he’d take the tickets, I’m telling you. Make those calls while their season is fresh in everyone’s mind. DO THIS RIGHT!
The guys from PTI asked Dwight Howard to pick who he thought should be the league MVP, and he named two players, neither of which were Lebron. What a hater.
I’ve seen the Marc Savard reaction to his overtime winner about eighty-hundred times thus far, and I’m still 100% on getting chills. I love that shit. Great stick-to-crowd toss.
I just found out that Jaroslav Halak made 800K this year. Vesa Toskala made 4SHMIL. If you believe that there’s any justice in the universe, expect a bank error in Halak’s favour, where he collects 3.2 million, then passes GO for an extra 200 bucks.
Have to mention this (sorry in advance): yesterday I heard “throwing the snake” used as the all-time-funniest euphemism EVAR. Some guy, just off the cuff: I bet Jim Ballsillie is so depressed after losing the Coyotes he just sits around “throwing the snake” all day, if you know what I’m sayin’.
And last but not least, some quick thoughts on each series for ya, while I’m on my way out the door:
San Jose/Detoit: San Jose has had success so far in playoffs with the complete and utter absence of it’s best players. Last night, Thornton got the GWG and Heatley had three assists. This should scare a lot of teams in the West, like say, Detroit.
Vancouver/Chicago: Don’t expect another VanCity beat down. That Chicago team is too talented, cocky and proud to get run-over like a dog on the highway again. They need their young gunners to act like THIS DOG and pull them in the right direction, as I fully expect them to do.
Montreal/Pittsburgh: Hey, lookit them Canadiens go. Part of the reason Detoit is so good is because they’ve always been able to get offense from skill (Datsyuk/Zetterberg) or grit (Holmstrom/Franzen). Jordan Staal was the second part of Pittsburghs offensive equation (and the first part of its defensive one). Washington didn’t have a second way to score against Halak, and I think it’ll really hurt Pitt that they lost a big chunk of their second style too. Seems like Halak can make every first save in the book, and Montreal’s D is doing a great job of clearing away second chance opportunities.
Philly/Boston: The best news for Pittsburgh, who will eventually win that series or I’m folding my blog and becoming a monk, is that this Philly/Boston series is close, so it’s going to be a war. The teams hate each other. It’s a battle of attrition, and the winning side is going to limp in front of the conference-finals-firing-squad on one limb. Pittsburgh, Merry Christmas…. you’re in the finals.
In case you missed it: On Friday I uncovered footage of Ovechkin and the evil genius boss who sent him to Earth to capture the Stanley Cup. You can watch it here.