Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2010 - Western Conference Quarterfinals

Today we finish up the first round of the playoffs with our Western Conference picks. Yesterday's Eastern Conference picks can be peeped here.

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Colorado Avalanche

I got an email the other day. It was written last April, and it was from myself, arranged to be sent to me the first week of April, 2010. It said "DON'T PICK THE SHARKS!".

And yet, here I go again.

It's different this time, though...last year, the Sharks lost to a Ducks team that had scratched and clawed to get into the playoffs over the last few weeks of the season, while San Jose cruised to the President's Trophy. They were ripe for the picking. This year, they face an Avalanche squad that is backsliding, desperate, and hanging on by it's fingernails. They've made a valiant run all season, but the clock is about to strike midnight. There's no way to expect this gritty group of youngsters to overcome all the Sharks' firepower At least, that's what I'll tell myself when Colorado sends San Jose packing. Why do I never learn? Sharks in six.

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (7) Nashville Predators

The young Blackhawks were ahead of schedule last season, reaching the Western Conference finals before losing to the Red Wings, and despite multiple attempts to jinx their team with premature celebratory wall murals and t-shirts, the teams seems poised to take the next step. On the other side of the ledger are the Predators, who always seem to be in the mix but never much of a threat to actually go anywhere. The people of Chicago seem to believe. Do the Hawks? Blackhawks in five.

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) Los Angeles Kings

A few weeks back, I had a vision of Vancouver and Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup Finals. A lot less sure about that matchup now. The Canucks seem to have it all going for them, but for some reason I feel like the Kings can pull off the win in a long series here, for several reasons: They have "The Piece", Rob Scuderi. I have to pick at least one true upset. And, I find those Sedin twins so goddamn creepy. Kings in seven.

(4) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (5) Detroit Red Wings

Wow, is there a better story in the NHL this year than the success of the Coyotes? They went from being unsure if they'd even be playing in Phoenix to notching 100+ points and making the playoffs for the first time in 8 years. Unfortunately, like many great stories, it's far better on paper than on film, as anyone who's sat through a Coyotes game this season can attest. They play a style even more boring than the Red Wings', which is no small feat. That the teams are scheduled to play two nationally-televised first-round games on NBC oughta squeeze that last bit of interest out of the Gold Medal game balloon. Ambien on ice. Red Wings in six.

CRASS COMMERCIALISM DEPT: All of the original, hand-drawn art for the Stanley Cup pinup girls is available at my Etsy store...and 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.


Alonzo the Armless said...

I know you're no fan of the Red Wings but you sure did a beautiful drawing with the uniform.


punch-drunk said...

Seriously. Looks like you channeled all that hate into an awesome illo.

Are you hoping for a Chi/Pit finals so Hossa can loose another Stanley Cup?

Also, I'm stoked you picked the Kings, if only for the new illustration. Looks great. I'm guessing that had a number been visible, it would be #7.

hector said...

As always, fantastic work here. I disagree on the Detroit style, though, I think it's fun to watch. They're a team that wants to carry the puck through the zone, cut, weave, pass, and to my eye, that beats dump/chase/cycle every day of the week. Not that the Red Wings don't play a lot in the corners too - the current NHL demands it - but they're at least trying to play a pretty style with their top two lines.

Robert Ullman said...

I tried SO hard to word Scuds' number in there. If they make it to round two, I'll be picking 'em over the Sharks. I'll work it in then!

mtjaws said...

I was so hoping to see a Coyotes girl. Round 2 for sure! Time for some new teams to win things.

Robert Ullman said...

Wanted to pick the Yotes, but I just wasn't confident enough. I will say that I think they have as good a chance as anyone does...the Coyotes don't know enough to be petrified about facing them, the way the Sharks and Hawks would be. Still, I just feel like that same inexperience will doom them. I hope I'm wrong. I'm sick to DEATH of drawing Red Wings girls. I'd just as soon never draw one again!

Gary said...

Not a fan of the team, but there's something about that Blackhawks girl...

.B.C. said...

I've been on hiatus for a while, and im glad i have all these new treats to come back to!
Mr Ullman, you may have out done yourself. 8 beautiful hockey ladies!!

C Hostert said...

Id love to get a decal of the hawk girl for my truck!