Here's something special for the the three of you who read That Ain't Kosher that care about sports:
I recently received an email from Allison at My Quarter-life Crisis recruiting me to write a joint post on our predictions on the 2012 hockey postseason. I did something similar to this last year for the 2011 baseball season with Johnny Sacks from Living With Balls and unapologetically kicked his ass, so hey, why not?
Allison and I became fast friends way back in 2010 when I did a Bloggerstock post for her and I found out that she was a hockey fan, even though this stemmed from the fact that she's Canadian. That's OK, Allison; it's not your fault. I grew up watching hockey and have been a New York Rangers fan pretty much my whole life. Allison and I have regular sports-oriented Facebook chats, so when she came up with this Pulitzer-winning idea I pretty much jumped at the chance. Especially since my team is playing one of her teams in the first round of the playoffs this year, and the Rangers are most definitely going to dominate the Senators. Sorry dude, but it's science.
We'll have our Quarterfinals predictions up today, and once those are over, we'll predict the Semifinals. Once we know who's made it to the final round, we'll predict who's going to win that, and then we'll predict who gets the Stanley Cup (RANGERS!!!!!).
My picks are in red; Allison's are in blue.
Also, I'm aware that the Quarterfinals have started already, but we were both too lazy to get these to each other on time. I'm Jewish, and Allison's Canadian, so we both have an excuse. You can also catch this on Allison's blog, whenever she decides to post.
Here are our predictions for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs:
(1) MY NEW YORK RANGERS (!!!!!!) vs. (8) OTTAWA SENATORS
NUGS: RANGERS over SENS in 5
I am a long-suffering sports fan, with my other teams being the Knicks, the Jets and the Mets (it's OK, you can laugh). The Rangers took home the Stanley Cup in 1994, were ALMOST there in 1995, and then sucked hard for the next 16 years. This year we were number one in the NHL and on top of the Eastern Conference for almost the entire season, so we NEED to win the Cup. The team owes it to their loyal fanbase.
Also, if the Rangers don't win at least the first round, my brother and Coyote Tits, who are both rampant Devils fans, will never let me hear the end of it.
My brother is constantly texting me all the reasons why the Devils are so much better than the Rangers, and this year he's still all, "Logically, it's still pretty tough to win the Cup. The Rangers have a ways to go." Yeah, well, I know that, assface. The Rangers are in the Atlantic Division, along with the Devils, the Pens and the Stupid Flyers, all of whom made the playoffs this year and are consistently among the top teams in the NHL. (The Islanders are in there too, but they're usually horrible and therefore don't count.)
The Senators are the eighth seed AND have a 15-year history of choking in the post-season, so this should be a relatively easy win for us. Also Allison likes Ottawa, so it would be pretty awesome if I could lord this over her at least until round two. No one even expected them to make the Playoffs this year, and the Rangers were early Cup favorites. Round One is a lock for us. BAM.
ALLISON: SENS over RANGERS
Sorry Nugs, but I have to stay true to my #2 team. I can't help it, I love Alferdsson. Ottawa is the Capital of Canada - if I picked NYR I'd just be a bad Canadian. This is highly unlikely, but a girl's got to dream.
EDITOR'S NOTE: HAHAHAHAHA! That's adorable.
(2) BOSTON BRUINS vs. (7) WASHINGTON CAPITALS
NUGS: BRUINS over CAPS in 6
Dale Hunter is one of the worst coaches in NHL history, so I don't understand how this even happened, to be honest. I mean, Ovechkin is amazing, and Semin (I almost typed "Semen"- shut up, Google dictionary! You don't own me!) should never be overlooked. However, both of the Capitals' starting goaltenders are injured, and the Bruins are last years' returning champs. I really don't think I need to go on here.
ALLISON: CAPS over BRUINS
I HATE Boston. I'm a Habs fan, and Hab fans hate Boston. Hab fans hate Boston almost as much as they hate The Leafs. Especially Chara. And I like Ovetchkin.
(3) FLORIDA PANTHERS vs. (6) NEW JERSEY DEVILS
NUGS: DEVILS over PANTHERS in 5
This was the team that surprised me, and probably everybody, the most in the Eastern Conference Finals. Florida hasn't made the playoffs since, what, 1874? Despite the fact the the Devils are the sixth seed and Florida is third, they clearly have the stronger team and the better players. The Devils are entering the post-season on a six-game winning streak, topped off with Kovalchuk's hunger for his first playoff win. This is their series, for sure.
Plus if the Devils take this one, they will most likely play the Rangers, which means I get to do my victory dance when the Rangers win and my brother cries.
ALLISON: DEVILS over PANTHERS
I really don't care much about this series, but I tend to hate teams from places where ice is not naturally occurring.
(4) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS vs. (5) PHILADELPHIA (STUPID) FLYERS
NUGS: PENS over STUPID FLYERS in 7
Despite the fact that my team is in the playoffs, this is the first-round series that I'm looking forward to the most. The Rangers have a pretty fierce rivalry with both of these teams, and I myself harbor an intense abhorrence for all Philly sports teams with a passionate, fiery vengeance that is matched only by my loathing for Justin Bieber and movies about sappy love stories.
This one is a tough call- both the Pens and the Stupid Flyers are pretty evenly matched and also can't stand each other. When Crosby came back to the Penguins from what could have been a career-ending concussion, Stupid Flyers fans showed their "respect" by booing him. What fucking assholes. As a Rangers fan, I hate the Penguins too, but the kid is arguably one of the greatest players ever to lace up a pair of skates. Have some class, you fucking idiot dicks. Plus their jerseys are REALLY bright orange. They're really obnoxious and they give me a headache.
If I had to pick one team to advance to the Semifinals (and I do, because a) that's what Allison wants and b) that's how this shit works), I would have to predict that the Pens will probably take the series. What it comes down to is that the Stupid Flyers have too many injuries to sustain themselves against Pittsburgh. The loss of Chris Pronger was a major setback, as well as Messzaros and a handful of other key players.
The Pens' active roster is a fucking powerhouse- not only can they boast Crosby, but they also have Evengi Malkin on the ice. If the two most talented players in the NHL aren't enough to throw you off, you might be certifiably insane.
I'm also going with Pittsburgh because I really, REALLY want Philly to lose. I detest them that much. Seriously, I hate them. I want them to get swept and shut out every single game. I know it won't happen, but it would be awesome if it did.
I must have this.
ALLISON: PENS over FLYERS
In the battle of Pennsylvania, the team with the least offending jersey colour must win. Also, Sid is kinda Canada's little golden boy.
(1) VANCOUVER CANUCKS vs. (8) LOS ANGELES KINGS
NUGS: CANUCKS over KINGS in 7
While I'm rooting for the Kings to make it all the way through so I can see some Stanley Cup action in LA, I just don't think they have it in them to beat the Canucks, who ended the season in the Number One spot in the league. The Kings spent the entire year just barely holding on to their playoff position and have been hugely inconsistent. Even with Quick in the net and Richards and Kopitar on the ice, Vancouver is more able and has more chemistry overall. If Luongo has some trouble finishing the series (which he tends to do in LA), Schneider should have no problem jumping in and completing it for him.
Hockey experts seem pretty divided on this one; they're 50/50 on both Vancouver and LA. I'm going to go with the Canucks. It's close, though.
PS- does the name "Kopitar" remind anyone else of Reptar?
ALLISON: CANUCKS over KINGS
(2) ST. LOUIS BLUES vs. (7) SAN JOSE SHARKS
NUGS: BLUES over SHARKS in 5
Holy hell, I didn't see this one coming. Ken Hitchcock is the complete opposite of Dale Hunter- as soon as he was named coach, I knew the Blues would be better, I just had no idea they'd be THIS good. I really want to say that the Sharks will make a case for themselves, just because their name is Sharks, and they have a badass logo on their jersey, but their history of chronic underachievement really dictates otherwise. I have no idea how they backed into the playoffs, and they might take one game away from St. Louis.
ALLISON: BLUES over SHARKS
I don't care much about this series...I'll go Blues just because.
(3) PHOENIX COYOTES vs. (6) CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
NUGS: COYOTES over HAWKS in 6
The key to the Coyotes, like the Blues, lies in their coach. Dave Tippet is considered by many to be one of the best coaches in the NHL, and certainly one of the top in the Western Conference. He's continued throughout the season to make the most of his players, especially goalie Mike Smith. Even with Chicago's dearth of playoff experience, their loss of Jonathan Toews will be sorely felt and whether or not Chicago advances depends on his return. I have to go with Phoenix on this.
ALLISON: HAWKS over COYOTES
The fact that Phoenix is still in Phoenix is enough to make Canadian hockey fans mad. Plus they no longer have The Great One behind the bench. Aside from Patrick Kane, I have no beef with Chicago. Plus Jonathon Toews is hot.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Is he really?
How did I miss this?
(4) NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs. (5) DETROIT RED WINGS
NUGS: PREDS over WINGS in 7
The city of Detroit is really starting to piss me off. At first the Lions were usually a pretty funny joke, and the Tigers didn't exactly give them any bragging rights either. I'm a newly minted basketball fan, so I didn't really care about the Pistons, but now that I root for the Knicks, and the Pistons still suck, I can get down with that. So I could usually let the Motor City have their Red Wings and be done with it. Then the Tigers started winning the AL Central, and the Lions began looking like serious division contenders. It's like, really? Another town that won't fucking shut up? You are NOT what Charlie Sheen calls winning.
Luckily, this matchup looks like it might not be dependent on intimacy with the postseason. This is going to to be an extremely competitive series, and will definitely come down to seven games, but overall, Nashville's special teams and strength in goaltending will put them over the edge.
ALLISON: WINGS over PREDS
Detroit is one of those teams that you just can't help but respect. They're an institution.
Of course, neither one of us has any credentials, so I'm sure we both just made complete tools of ourselves. Luckily we're not playing for money or free candy or anything like that, just dignity and self-respect, and luckily I don't have any of that left to give away. Check back soon for our Semifinals predictions, and feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.