Stanley Cup and Cheesecake Part II

Here's what's gonna happen in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs...thanks to the NHL Network, a couple weeks worth of free Center Ice previews, and teams like the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets being in the mix instead of the boring old Stars, Avs and Oilers, I've actually watched a good amount of Western Conference games this season!

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Anaheim Ducks

The Sharks enter the playoffs as the best team in the regular season, primed for another long playoff run. Seems like we've heard all this before, only to see San Jose collapse early on. This looks like the year they finally turn it around and make it to the finals. 'Course, I said the same thing last year. And the year before that. Sharks in five.

(2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (7) Columbus Blue Jackets

My hatred for the Red Wings has not lessened one bit since they won the Stanley Cup at Mellon Arena last June. If anything, it has increased. They're the one team I can't watch, as they fill my heart with too much hate. The thought of Marian Hossa touching the Stanley Cup makes me vomit in my mouth.

On the other hand, here are the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hailing from my home state of Ohio, I've wanted to love them...but it's been hard to muster much enthusiasm for the Jackets during their first decade, as they've generally been mediocre to terrible. But here they are, in their first playoffs, facing a very familiar foe with whom they faced with pluck and valor all season. Could a first round upset be in the cards? I want to think so, but common sense prevails. I've never made a prediction that I more wanted to be wrong. Red Wings in five.

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) St. Louis Blues

The Blues are a pretty amazing story, having moved from 15th to 6th place in the Western Conference since mid-January. The Canucks lured Mats Sundin out of semi-retirement solely for moments such as this. That said, I'll be surprised if I watch even one period of this series. Canucks in seven, 'cause I feel like I need to pick at least one Canadian team!

(4) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Calgary Flames

As thrilled as I am to see Chicago back in the postseason, this is the one I've been going back and forth on the most. It seems like the Blackhawks' series to win; the Flames are tanking a bit, and Chicago is surging. Still, there's this nagging feeling that Calgary is going to play up to its potential and steal this one.
One thing's for sure: you couldn't hope for a better looking series, as these teams have two of the sharpest sets of duds in the NHL.Blackhawks in seven.


grandpaboy said...

Hmm, picking all the top seeds. It seems like at least one of them is bound to fall. But which one?

Go Jackets!

adampsyche said...

Trying hard to relate to your hated, and the only thing I could come up with was:

1: Avs (until I felt sorry for them)
2: Devils (for 1995, and for playing the worst trap boring hockey, but my son wears a Devils jersey, so that softens things a bit)
3: San Jose (no hockey team wears teal!)
4: Anaheim (mostly because of their horrid third jersey in their second year, a lot because of Chris i-floss-with-a-bungee-cord-Pronger, and Brian-the-worst-man-to-ever-have-a-say-Burke, even though he is gone)
5: Flyers (because i hate any team from L.A. (too pitiful this year to hate) and Philly, no matter what sport it is, and I hate Bobby Clarke *and* Eric Lindros)

Ok, whew. That is a lot of hate to go around. I love the first round!

I love playoff hockey, and congrats

adampsyche said...

...on the win tonight.

Robert Ullman said...

Seriously, Adam, be glad the hatred doesn't burn within you...it's not an attractive quality! Still, at some point, you just have to go with it. Either way, glad to see you back!

grandpaboy: Yeah, I admit, picking all the top seeds is kind of a snoozer. I didn't have the guts to pick Columbus, and once I got that idea for the girl in the Canucks V-sweater, I had no choice but to pick them as well!

Alonzo the Armless said...

I can understand loving one team over another but I still can't figure out your hatred for Detroit. Rereading your blog post from last year, your main objection is that they win too much.

If a team loses to Detroit, shouldn't you be criticizing the team that lost?

Naturally, my admiration for them is extremely biased since I'm from Detroit.


Anonymous said...

Excellent alteration on the classic Canucks sweater!

Robert Ullman said...

I don't know why it's so hard to understand. Yes, I hate them because they win all the time, and I'm sick of them. I don't expect you to feel that way...it's your team. I find it really boring when the guy who's supposed to win wins. I don't like Tiger Woods either. Hell, if the Steelers win the next two Super Bowls, maybe I'll stop liking them. Dunno what else to tell ya.

Anyway, this year, it boils down to one dude: Marian Hossa. He joins the Pens last year at the trade deadline, becomes a pivotal piece of the puzzle there and comes within two games of winning the Cup. So does he rejoin the men he battled with to get the team to the next level? No, he jumps on with the guys who just those men, 'cause they have the best chance at winning. That's weak. He's a little poon with no heart, and I don't think he deserves to be rewarded for it.

Brian B said...

Really great job on thses girls! Especially on the Canuck girl...hope to see more 'Nucks girls as we proceeded with a sweep!