NHL Playoff Predictions
Reelin' In the East:
1) Buffalo vs. 8) New York Islanders
Hilarity provided to me by owner, GM: Islanders
Verdict: Buffalo is too deep, the Isles get bounced out in five, although the North American press raves over Ryan Smyth's two rebound goals in New York's 8-3 loss in Game 4.
2) New Jersey vs. 7) Tampa Bay
Defense and Goaltending: Undefined; NJ cannot be divided by zero.
Coach Press Conference Profanity: Tampa Bay
Verdict: Whoever this new Devils coach is had better watch out, cause Lou Lamiorello is pissed and he'll have him on a super short leash. Devils in five.
3) Atlanta vs. 6) New York Rangers
Fatness: Atlanta (bolstered by Tkachuk, Zhitnik acquisitions at deadline)
Hey, Remember Mark Messier?: Rangers
Verdict: The Rangers are all defense with one offensive threat, while the Thrashers are all offense with a defense that is extremely threatening. Rangers in six.
4) Ottawa vs. 5) Pittsburgh
Experience in playoffs: Ottawa
Experience of having choked a lot in playoffs: Ottawa
Ability to shrewdly reference "Anchorman," other recent, hip comedies: Pittsburgh
Verdict: The Senators are no longer literally pillows, but if they lose this series, the coach and GM will both get fired and replaced by fresh, new sixty-year-olds. I gotta go homer and bank on Ottawa's silver-haired suits feelin' that pressure. Pens in seven.
Wake Up Mr. West!
1) Detroit vs. 8) Calgary
Crime Rate: Detroit (actually declined slightly after Bertuzzi acquisition)
Being really annoying to play against, like Minnesota: Calgary
Verdict: Detroit surrenders about eighteen shots a game, but it will probably take about twenty shots in a game for Calgary to snap Dominik Hasek's groin. I don't see that happening. Red Wings in seven.
2) Anaheim vs. 7) Minnesota
Being really annoying to play against, like Minnesota: Minnesota
Collective anonymity reminiscent of the Borg from Star Trek: Minnesota
Verdict: Anaheim does have two defenseman capable of logging 58 minutes of ice time a night, but the analysis doesn't lie. Wild take the series in seven WILD* games.
(* = wildly low-scoring and defensively efficient)
3) Vancouver vs. 6) Dallas
Friend who's been there tells you the city was 'kind of cool, really chill': Vancouver
Having curvey whale breaking out of ice on jersey, despite no connection whatsoever to actual team nickname: Vancouver
Verdict: The facts don't lie. Unless a monumental officiating error causes all games to be decided in shootouts, I'm taking the Canucks in five.
4) Nashville vs. 5) San Jose
National Interest: Detroit
Having five injured goaltenders all on the ice at the same time: Push
Verdict: Joe Thornton and Peter Forsberg both refuse to shoot the puck and pass so frequently that the series eventually devolves into them passing to one another really fast until the puck goes off some defenseman's skate and into the net, causing every game to end 1-0 in overtime. San Jose's skates are a little larger than Nashville's, so I'm taking the Predators in seven.