The upstart Colorado Avalanche meet the playoff-cursed San Jose Sharks in Round 1. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
If the game was meant to be played on paper it would be and the game would thus be called ‘Paper Hockey,’ and the whole IIHF name thing would make absolutely no sense whatsoever.
To truly understand and appreciate how these playoffs will go, you have to account for a lot more than goals, pucks and Stanley Cup rings (totally useless when wearing gloves).
I would have added notes from Mistress Cleo, but she wants way too much for her part in this.
The margin of error is zero. Possibly one if it warms up a little…
Washington vs. Montreal
Goalies in this series will be determined using the same lottery machine the NHL employs to decide the draft order. It’s a random thing so any goalie could end up in any net.
Washington has a basketball team made up entirely of Wizards and if Harry Potter’s taught us nothing else (other than the fact you can still score with a grotesque birthmark on your forehead) it’s to never bet against wizards.
Washington in five.
New Jersey versus Philadelphia
This battle will take place on the New Jersey Turnpike, although the asphalt is expected to wreak havoc on the skates.
This is a battle of epic proportions with the nether-region Devils against the thinly veiled, Bible-thumping Flyers (read: angels). God’s teams rarely lose (although try explaining that to Kurt Warner), but I think the Devils may be due.
New Jersey in six.
Ottawa vs. Pittsburgh
These are the Last Days of the Igloo (a great book by Farley Mowat, by the way). The Penguins have the advantage of Morgan Freeman as their public address announcer, while the Senators live in an area that can’t even spell Canada correctly. It looks to be a landslide for the Penguins until you realize most penguins can’t move swiftly and are certainly susceptible to landslides.
Ottawa in six
Boston vs. Buffalo
Ryan Miller almost took down an entire nation in February at the Olympics. Having a hot goalie (however you define “hot”) can go a long way in the playoffs. Tim Thomas is anything but hot and Tuukka Rask is cute at best. Boston has Harvard whereas Buffalo is still mired in the application process to get a Devry Institute campus. Marc Savard has also been as useless as tap shoes on a bull in the past month or so.
Buffalo in five
San Jose vs. Colorado
Colorado has the Pepsi Center and San Jose has the HP (the computer thing, not the sauce thing) Pavilion. The Sharks have a wealth of experience in not only the talent to lose, but also the ability to do so efficiently. In the animal world a shark would have no chance against an avalanche, which makes you wonder what a fish would be doing on the side of a mountain in the first place. That’s pure cocky.
Avalanche in a landslide, I mean, five.
Chicago vs. Nashville
It’s piano bar blues against she-stole-my-chewing-tobacco blues with the edge going to Nashville (the underrated stubble factor). Chicago holds the edge in player names that aren’t spelled like they sound (Toews, Byfuglien and Sharp – the P and the S are silent), but Nashville has the advantage of having bigger teeth on their mascot (Chief Blackhawk only has a slight overbite). Still, that Native American looks tough and I think that Predator creature is actually extinct.
Chicago in six.
Vancouver vs. Los Angeles
The Kings dominate in the Botox factor. Vancouver has more large sea mammals per capita (even when Jonah Hill occasionally surfs Venice Beach). Big-name edge to L.A., whose starting goalie’s name sounds like someone from the Fantastic Four; Vancouver’s goalie reminds me of a chef, or maybe an architect.
Los Angeles in six.
Detroit vs. Phoenix
Despite their record, Phoenix really lacks a focus, whereas Detroit has one (I think Ford makes it). Never count out that Phoenix Rising legend thing, although it must be noted that it happened so long ago the only record we have of it is on some cave walls in Chris Chelios’ rec room. The real X-Factors in this series is how many people show up in Glendale and how many of them are from Winnipeg there to move furniture?
Phoenix in six.
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, brings you the humor column Loose Change every Tuesday. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.
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