4.17.2014

Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2014 — Central Division Semifinals

WESTERN CONFERENCE – Central Division Semifinals

(1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (WC1) Minnesota Wild

Wow, who thought the hiring of Patrick Roy as coach would have this big an effect on the Avalanche? Though I suppose the arrival of Nate McKinnon was a pretty big deal too. Colorado was good right out of the gate and simply refused to ago away all season, and then swooped in to take the division crown after Chicago and St. Louis couldn't stay atop the perch. The loss of Matt Duschene will no doubt hurt the Avs in the scoring department but they should be able to hold off the Wild, who again come into the playoffs as a low seed with little chance of advancing past a powerhouse team. Avalanche in six.






(2) St. Louis Blues vs. (3) Chicago Blackhawks

It's hard to believe that one of these teams, each of whom seemed a shoo-in at times for the President's Trophy at some point, is not going to get past the first round. Such is NHL realignment, I suppose. Up until two weeks ago, the Blues looked like a lock for the conference finals, until a brutal swath of ill-timed injuries struck, causing them to lose their last six games and the top spot in the West.

Chicago has seen many of it's bright stars sidelined over the course of the season, but they seem to have weathered the worst of it, finally getting healthy and looking to oust their old foes. It's imperative on the Blues to pile it on early and end the series quickly, because if it goes the distance, Chicago's experience will win out and it'll be Blackhawks in seven.



CRASS COMMERCIALISM DEPT: All of the original, hand-drawn art for this year's Stanley Cup picks will be on sale soon...but much of the art from previous years is currently available at my Etsy store, and on sale for 30% off through the end of the playoffs in June, when you use the code CUP2014 at checkout!

Of course, if you'd like to go the extra mile and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind uni-girl illustration of your very own to your exact specifications, that information can be found here.

Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2014 — Atlantic Division Semifinals


EASTERN CONFERENCE – Atlantic Division Semifinals

(1) Boston Bruins vs. (WC2) Detroit Red Wings

Detroit managed to extend its streak of playoff appearances to 23 years. They've been banged up and missing many of their stars at various points this season, but the young players they've called up have ably carried the load in their absence. As the veterans return to the lineup and bolster an underrated offensive attack, goalie Jimmy Howard should be able to hold the fort, build upon the success the Wings enjoyed vs. Boston earlier in the season (3 wins in 4 games) and pull off the upset of the heavily-favored Bruins.

(This is totally a homer pick, not just because I despise Boston and every player on the Bruins roster, but also because some bum from Boston stiffed me on a commission recently. So, no more free art for you, Beantowners!)  Red Wings in seven.




(2) Tampa Bay Lightning vs. (3) Montreal Canadiens



Offense isn't a concern for either of these teams...they can score, and in bunches. Who wins may come down to who has the better goaltending. The Habs' Carey Price has had a stellar season, and already has a gold medal around his neck to show for it, but his playoff resume is mediocre. For the Bolts, the great play of Ben Bishop helped the team keep winning when superstar Steven Stamkos missed four months with a broken leg, but his injury late in the season will likely thrust the up-and-down Anders Lindback into the spotlight. I think that will be the difference, and that it'll be the
Habs in six.








A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR: All of the original, hand-drawn art for this year's Stanley Cup picks will be on sale soon...but much of the art from previous years is currently available at my Etsy store, and on sale for 30% off through the end of the playoffs in June, when you use the code CUP2014 at checkout!

Of course, if you'd like to go the extra mile and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind uni-girl illustration of your very own to your exact specifications, that information can be found here.

4.16.2014

Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2014 — Metropolitan Division Semifinals


EASTERN CONFERENCE – Metropolitan Division Semifinals

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (WC1) Columbus Blue Jackets

Of all the matchups Pittsburgh could've drawn in the first round, Columbus is seemingly the most fortuitous by far. The Pens have dominated this series traditionally, and never more than in this first season as division rivals, which saw the Jackets lose all five games.

It's been an odd year for the the Penguins...they've been dominant at times, and have had one of the best seasons in club history in terms of wins and points...but as an admittedly far less than impartial observer, they just seem to lack the element of grit and mental toughness that will enable them to go very far in the playoff. Part of that is because they've been decimated by injuries all season...and the fact that they're finally getting healthy at the perfect time, coupled with their substantial playoff experience. should be enough to propel them past Columbus. Still, I fear it'll be a short run.

Honestly, I'm super disappointed that the Jackets have to go up against my team. They're fun to watch, and I'm loving the way the city of Columbus has become enthralled with them. Should they manage to squeak past the Pens and win this series, I'll be with them all the way. Still, I'm thinking it's Pens in five.




(2) New York Rangers vs. (3) Philadelphia Flyers

These two teams stumbled badly out of the gate but managed to find their way mid-season, thanks to strong play by their forward lines. The Rangers and Flyers split their season series 2-2, each team winning both games at home. New York will break that trend, winning in Wells Fargo Center and giving the series to the Rangers in six.







PS: Don't forget to check out the previous Stanley Cup and Cheesecake posts and enter the ATOM-BOMB BIKINI PLAYOFF CHALLENGE!


Finally...


A WORD FROM OUR SPONSOR: All of the original, hand-drawn art for this year's Stanley Cup picks will be on sale soon...but much of the art from previous years is currently available at my Etsy store, and on sale for 30% off through the end of the playoffs in June, when you use the code CUP2014 at checkout!

Of course, if you'd like to go the extra mile and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind uni-girl illustration of your very own to your exact specifications, that information can be found here.


4.15.2014

Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2014 — Pacific Division Semifinals

The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs are here, and it's time for this year's edition of pinup girls, picks to win and of course,the Atom-Bomb Bikini Playoff Challenge! Read through to the bottom of this post to see how you can win some art, books, stickers and other great stuff!


WESTERN CONFERENCE – Pacific Division Semifinals

(1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (WC2) Dallas Stars

The Ducks tore through the first half of the NHL season, and looked fairly unbeatable as the calendar flipped to 2014. They came back to earth a good bit, and lost their bid for the President's Trophy before gaining steam and finishing strong. They can score in bunches, and are very deep in net. The Stars finally broke back into the playoffs after some close calls the last several years. New coach Lindy Ruff, jettisoned by Buffalo, seems to have brought a winning attitude to Dallas, along with a ton of playoff experience.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau has had a rough time of it in the playoffs despite a sterling regular season record. All the pressure is on Anaheim here, but they should have the stuff to best a less-talented (if scrappy) Stars team.  Ducks in six.






(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (3) Los Angeles Kings

These teams are really similar..they both play a puck-posession game, and like to take a ton of shots... and it'd probably mean a really high-scoring series if both teams' defenses weren't so damn good. Add to that the Kings' season-long difficulty in scoring and the recent playoff dominance of LA goalie Jonathan Quick, and you could very well be looking at a slew of 2-1 games.

It'll be imperative on the Sharks to do just enough to get that extra goal, and I'm betting they will. More importantly, if the rumors I hear are to be believed, San Jose is going to dress in their regular teal jerseys at home, rather than those black alternate monstrosities they've insisted on sporting the last few playoffs. You know what they say... “look good, play good!” Sharks in seven.




Now on to the contest...

The Third Annual ATOM-BOMB BIKINI PLAYOFF CHALLENGE

Again, the rules are simple...pick the final four teams you think will be left standing, the conference champions, and the eventual Stanley Cup winner. One point will be awarded for each correct final four pick, two for each final two pick, and three for picking the champion. Whoever has the most points when it's all said and done will take the big prize! 

Here's what you're playing for: The big winner will receive a custom piece of original artwork of a pinup girl wearing the jersey of his or her favorite team, along with a copy of my collection of hockey-themed commissions, Bluelines, a copy of Old-Timey Hockey Tales, a pack of Atom-Bomb stickers and a free t-shirt of your choice from the wonderful folks at Original Retro Brand!  Two runners-up will just get the books and stickers...and in case of a tie, I'll put all the names in a smelly old hockey helmet and select a winner at random.

How to enter: Write your picks in the comments section of this here blog post. Not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not in an email, but in the comments section of this post. 

You have until the pucks drop on Wednesday night to enter!

And please, remember to check in as the playoffs progress...I'll post the winner's names here, and at that time I'll look to get in contact with you. And please, do remember to check back! I don't want to have a prize go unclaimed because I had no way of getting in contact with the winner...If you have a Twitter handle or something like that that you wouldn't mind adding to the post, that'd be great. So, enjoy the hockey, and good luck!

Finally...


CRASS COMMERCIALISM DEPT: All of the original, hand-drawn art for this year's Stanley Cup picks will be on sale soon...but much of the art from previous years is currently available at my Etsy store, and on sale for 30% off through the end of the playoffs in June, when you use the code CUP2014 at checkout!

Of course, if you'd like to go the extra mile and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind uni-girl illustration of your very own to your exact specifications, that information can be found here.

4.01.2014

Vampirella

Sketch and final:


3.17.2014

Nordique


3.06.2014

Bettie Page

Another entry in the Trinquette Weekly Drawing Challenge over on Facebook. I don't draw Bettie Page very often, mainly because it always leads to my comparing myself to Dave Stevens and I end up feeling really bad about my lack of talent. But I'm happy enough with this image, facile enough in conception and execution, to let it escape into the world! Lamp them gams!


2.27.2014

On the Boards