Just like the start of the regular season, any fan with a horse in the race starts the NHL playoffs with a giddy optimism. Even if you don’t believe your team will win it all, you’re surely thinking they can pull off an upset or two.
Well, sorry to break it to you, but you’re wrong. Your team isn’t as good or as complete as you believe it to be. They will not win the Stanley Cup.
And here’s why your favorite team will come up empty this spring:
Anaheim: Because the stats community says you’re doomed to fail. Your team’s 49.8 percent Corsi percentage is second-worst among Western playoff teams, which means you don’t possess the puck enough. You were upset last year and it’s going to happen again.
Boston: Your team is the clear favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference. But since upsets always happen in the NHL playoffs, this means you won’t fulfill that prophecy.
Chicago: Teams don’t win back-to-back Stanley Cups anymore. Dynasties went out with parity and the salary cap.
Colorado: Aren’t you supposed to be in the draft lottery?
Columbus: Not since the earliest days of the Original Six – and of the NHL – has a franchise without a playoff game win gone on to win the Cup. You’re out.
Dallas: The last time you won the Cup was on the infamous Brett Hull toe-in-the-crease goal. You are now forever cursed.
Detroit: Your core is too old to win. No, seriously this time. For real.
Los Angeles: Your team is loaded. Your goalie won the William M. Jennings Trophy. You had the second-fewest man-games lost to injury. Even your outdoor game was perfect. You’re overdue to have something go wrong.
Minnesota: Ryan Suter has to take a break at some time.
Montreal: With 109 points in 108 playoff games, Daniel Briere is a playoff superhero. But even he couldn’t save Philadelphia, Buffalo or Phoenix. Also working against the Habs: Canada doesn’t win Cups anymore, just gold medals.
NY Rangers: Glen Sather hasn’t won a Stanley Cup without Mark Messier yet. Last I checked, Messier doesn’t play for the Rangers anymore.
Philadelphia: At some point, Steve Mason is going to let in a bad goal and the Flyers’ netminders will sink them. Everyone knows this is Philadelphia’s destiny. Even Mason.
Pittsburgh: Marc-Andre Fleury. ‘Nuff said.
St. Louis: Teams that win the Stanley Cup don’t go into the playoffs on six-game losing streaks. Plus, through your coach, you are affiliated with Dallas’ reason.
San Jose Sharks: Your team is a living, breathing negative playoff connotation. You’re not even picking your favorite team.
Tampa Bay: No team has ever won the Cup without their starting goalie in the lineup and in the same season they traded the reigning Art Ross winner.