Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski celebrate a goal. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
Last week it was beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, you could spend lunch hour in the park enjoying a recreational activity. This week it’s cold again. So cold, in fact, I have to wear my winter jacket back into work in the morning. Not only that, but my March Madness brackets are being propped up by shaky Pittsburgh, upstart Syracuse and underdog Memphis. For these reasons and more it’s not been the best of weeks, folks, so I’m about to make your Corn Flakes much less tasty.
Here is why your team won’t win the Stanley Cup:
San Jose: You’re kidding right? You may be the big, burly kid who taunts everyone in the hallway in between classes, but I’ve seen you swing the baseball bat in gym class. You’re as weak as a kitten.
Detroit: Everyone knows you can’t win two Cups in a row anymore. Besides, you have a guy who's almost 50 years old on your blueline and a European as your captain. Silly Red Wings, will you ever learn?
Boston: Ya, OK. I’m going to pick a team with a Dominik Hasek-Arturs Irbe hybrid in between the pipes and a defense corps with as many recognizable names as the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
New Jersey: If Martin Brodeur has played enough games to get 553 wins, that just means he’ll be tired come playoff time. Besides, you can’t rely on defensive systems in this reformed NHL now based on quickness and individualism, which brings us to our next team...
Washington: Ha! As soon as Alex Ovechkin gets distracted and starts choreographing celebrations for when he chips the puck off the glass and out, you’ll be facing a man disadvantage on every ensuing attack.
Calgary: You actually think you have a case? It’s obvious you’re not only a one-line team, you’re a one-player team and we all know Olli Jokinen is as green as David Suzuki when it comes to the playoffs.
Philadelphia: Ya, you look confident walking around with your chins up in the air, bragging about how you have an unstoppable offensive force of six 20-goal scorers. Impressive. But you’re toast, because Martin Biron is allowing an average of around 20 goals-per-game.
Chicago: In NHL history, it has been proven two youngsters can't take a team to the final. Ever. Besides, that defenseman the Hawks signed in the summer may be swift, but he’s not the guy to put a team over the top. Nobody from the London, Ont., area is – right Ryan Dixon and Edward Fraser?
Pittsburgh: Oh my. Your starting goalie trips over himself, your golden boy is always flopping on the ice and your Art Ross winner will disappear at the first bodycheck. Next...
Vancouver: Let me get this straight: You were a middling team and added Mats Sundin to make yourselves contenders? If you’re using that plan of attack, you’re still short one Alexander Mogilny and one Gary Roberts (both available).
Carolina: Don’t give me this ‘We have a Conn Smythe winner’ nonsense. What has Conn Smythe done for me lately?
Rangers: I wouldn’t bet on Mt. St. Helen’s erupting tomorrow and I wouldn’t bet against it erupting next week. Sorry, I know a potential natural disaster when I see one.
Columbus: Wait. Aren’t the Blue Jackets somebody’s farm team? What’s that you say? They have an NHL team? Well, I’ll never bet on an expansion team. What’s that you say...
Montreal: I wonder if Hiroshima fielded a competitive Japanese baseball league team in 1946?
Florida: Your coach has done nothing but win a measly Memorial Cup, your No. 1 defenseman has never played in the playoffs, and Bryan McCabe is good for one game-winning-goal-against per game. Sorry, are you even going to make the playoffs?
Edmonton: If they re-signed Wayne Gretzky, maybe, but Ales Kotalik is no Jari Kurri and Paul Coffey quit Chris Chelios’ workout scheme when George Bush Sr. took office.
Nashville: C’mon people. You need goaltending to win the Stanley Cup, that’s a no-brainer. Who does Nashville have, Pekka Rinne? Pffft, he’s a rookie, and it’s not like he’s in the running for the Calder Trophy or anything...
Anaheim: Please. You gave all your sandpaper away in time for the playoff run; that’s like getting rid of your snow tires after Christmas.
Ottawa: Actually. You know what? If you give me 1000:1 odds, I’ll bet you a dollar the Sens will win the Cup. Go Senators!
For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.