Hello hockey fans in the United States and Newfoundland. Welcome to my unique preview of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I say “unique” because I know most of you are probably not hockey fans, nor are you from the United States or Newfoundland. So I have to make this entertaining.
Also, there are already a bunch of preview articles on the internet. I don’t need to copy them because, quite frankly, I can do it better.
So before you get crumbs in your playoff beard and refer to a stubbed toe as a “lower body injury”, let’s get started.
I’ll begin with the Western Conference matchups.
Chicago Blackhawks (1) vs. Nashville Predators (WC)
The Chicago Blackhawks not only have the best jersey in the NHL, but also the best goal song. That’s a deadly duo, if you ask me. They have won the Stanley Cup three times since 2010 and are due to win another.
They have too much experience, too many future hall of famers, and too much of a home ice advantage. Again, don’t discount how intimidating their goal song – Chelsea Dagger – is.
As for Nashville, their jerseys look like mustard and their goal song is unknown to me, which means it isn’t very good. They have never won the Stanley Cup and won’t win it this year. Sorry for being blunt.
They’ll put up a fight, but I can picture them sadly making their way off the ice at the end of the series. I can’t say the same for Chicago.
My Pick: Chicago Blackhawks
Minnesota Wild (2) vs. St. Louis Blues (3)
I’ve never quite understood why they are called the “Wild”. What do the members of their team say, “I’m a Wild”? If you’re on St. Louis, you say, “I’m a Blue” and no one blinks twice. “I’m a Wild” just sounds like an incomplete sentence. You’re a wild, what? Coyote?
No. That’s Arizona. The Arizona Coyotes.
Minnesota doesn’t really have a star player; they have a bunch of good players. Maybe they’re trying to be the 2011 Boston Bruins. That reference went over everyone’s head. I like their coach. I like their depth. I like their chances.
St. Louis seemingly gets their heart broken every year in the playoffs. Normally, it’s by the Chicago Blackhawks. I don’t trust their goaltending and I don’t think they have the right pieces to get through a tough Western Conference.
Some will win, some will lose, St. Louis was born to sing the blues. It writes itself.
My Pick: Minnesota Wild
Anaheim Ducks (1) vs. Calgary Flames (WC)
It still bothers me that Anaheim took the “Mighty” out of their name and changed their jerseys at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season. I’m sure they don’t mind. They won the Cup that year. But I mind, okay. I MIND.
Anaheim is a big, bad, bully when they want to be. Lately, they’ve been playing the victim and have lost some key players to injury. Don’t fret, Duck fans! Calgary hasn’t won a game in Anaheim in 13 years. That’s not an exaggeration.
13 years! I didn’t even know how to shave 13 years ago.
Calgary is young and feisty and will be willing combatants in multiple frays, skirmishes, and fracases, alike. That sentence was full of testosterone.
Two years from now, I’ll pick Calgary to win this series. For now, it’s all about the Quack Pack.
My Pick: Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Edmonton Oilers (2) vs. San Jose Sharks (3)
Connor McDavid is so good at hockey…How good is he?…he already has a goal and an assist before Johnny Nosebleed can make a stop at the concession stands to pick up another bag of peanuts.
The San Jose Sharks are free, free fallin’. They made the finals last year, and have more facial hair than ZZ Top, but something doesn’t feel right. They’ve been relying on the same five guys to produce all of their offence for a few years now. I don’t know if it finally catches up to them, or if their experience will trump all.
The Oilers are fun to watch. Their coach, Todd McLellan, was fired by San Jose two years ago. He won’t say it, so I will. He wants to beat them soooo badly. Especially considering the fact that they finally got over the hump and went to the finals, the season after he was canned.
Edmonton is young and inexperienced, outside of a few players. Normally I would give the advantage to the more experienced team, but I don’t think inexperience matters to Connor McDavid. And I don’t think there is a strategy that can stop him.
My Pick: Edmonton Oilers
Hop on a plane, we’re headed to the Eastern Conference!
Montreal Canadiens (1) vs. New York Rangers (WC)
Carey Prices Montreal Canadiens are a one man team. That might be the Leaf fan in me talking, or it might be the truth. Maybe both. If it weren’t for Carey Price in net, this team probably doesn’t even make the playoffs. Yeah, I said it.
Their trade deadline acquisitions made me think they forgot that you need to score goals in order to win. The players they traded for are better at throwing their fists at faces, than shooting pucks into nets. I still don’t know who is supposed to score on this team.
The Rangers don’t really have a prototypical star player, but they have depth. They have scorers. They have Henrik Lundqvist in net, who better turn into King Henrik again, or else they might be in trouble.
My Pick: New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators (2) vs. Boston Bruins (3)
The Ottawa Senators have been through a lot this year, yet here they are. I’m worried they might be a bit small up front and their forwards will be too overwhelmed to be consistent scorers. Their goaltending can steal them a few games, though.
As for the Bruins, this is a team with players who know their role and play them perfectly. Brad Marchand may be the smallest player on the ice, but he may also be the best. And he’ll act as if he’s seven feet tall, just like their captain – Zdeno Chara.
What a menacing name. Zdeno Chara.
My Pick: Boston Bruins
Washington Capitals (1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (WC)
My team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, are in the playoffs. Do you believe in miracles? The Leafs finished in last place last season and I had never hated hockey more in my life. It was dreadful. Now, the Leafs are here….annnnnd they might just get run out of the building.
BUT, my hometown bias is kicking in and I’m thinking the Leafs have a chance because anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Also, the Capitals have a reputation of choking in the playoffs.
The Leafs are so young…How young are they?…their bed time is the beginning of the third period. Ba dum shhh.
If I had a dime for the amount of times I’ve heard people ask, “Is this finally the Capitals’ year?” I’d have about $3.75. Maybe it is their year, or maybe it’s not. That’s why they play the games.
I think the Leafs could very well lose the first game by a score of 5-1 and then bounce back and make Game 2 “close”. Or they’ll shock the world and win Game 1. I can only hope.
For my pick, I’m going with my head instead of my heart. I hope I’m wrong.
My Pick: Washington Capitals.
*If the Leafs win the series, I’m editing this to say Toronto.
Pittsburgh Penguins (2) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (3)
I like the Columbus Blue Jackets. I do. They are the little engine that could. I just don’t like little engines when they go up against penguins and Sidney Crosby. Sorry. Huff and puff your train out of the station, Columbus.
As long as Sidney Crosby is healthy and avoids food poisoning, the Penguins will always be a threat to win the Stanley Cup. They have more playoff experience and more talent than Columbus, though their defence looks like someone just spilled cranberry juice on a white tablecloth.
It ain’t pretty, or healthy. It’s a bloody mess. Do you get the cranberry juice on a white tablecloth reference, now?
It’ll be a close matchup because the Penguins have great jerseys and the Blue Jackets have a cannon inside their arena. So, get ready for a loud affair.
My Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
That is it for my Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview! I won’t give you my predictions for future rounds right now because for all I know, all of my picks are incorrect.
I hope you enjoyed this, whether you like hockey or not. Maybe I even convinced some of you to watch.
So with that, remember to keep your stick on the ice and get pucks in deep, eh.