Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oh, Canada! (Nugs vs. Allison: The 2013 NHL Postseason Edition)

Last year, Allison and I had the genius idea to predict the outcome of the NHL Postseason. We decided to do this round by round, giving each other points for whomever correctly guessed the most series. We awarded one point for the Quarterfinals and Semifinals, two for the Finals, and three for the Stanley Cup. I think? Is that how it went? At any rate, I was victorious, and Allison had to put the Bruins logo on her blog for a month.

Since we're pretending you guys cared last time, we decided to do this again. Our picks, of course, are below, and you can also read Allison's version on her blog, My Quarter-Life Crisis.

Words cannot express how eager I am for the games to start. Not only did my Rangers make it in again (just barely; thanks for the heart attack, boys), but there are a bunch of teams that we haven’t seen in the playoffs in a while. NHL fanatics will also recognize each of the Original Six, and some possible historic rivalries if some of these seeds advance. There’s also NO PHILADELPHIA, which is just amazing. No one likes the Flyers. Not even their moms.

Also also- NO NEW JERSEY. Basically the only relevant thing about this state isn’t even there anymore. Sucks for them. 

As always, Allison's forecasts are in blue; mine are in red. We're both probably completely wrong, but keep in mind that we're not getting paid so there's no money involved and no unicorns or anything like that.



NUGS: PENS over ISLES in 5

This is a compelling series for me because I have a rooting interest in both teams. Even though there used to be an intense rivalry between the Rangers and Islanders, the last time the Isles did anything of note at all I wasn’t even a year old. My dad, however, is a major Islanders fan, and almost sobbed with joy when they made the playoffs this year. So I would like to see them advance, and maybe even play us. That would be kind of cool. The Islanders are a good, young team with a lot of promise, and once they move to Brooklyn in 2015, a solid antagonism should re-surface between them and the Rangers.

Meanwhile, Iron Man is an obsessive Pens fan to the point where we have a bet going: whoever comes out higher this season has to wear a shirt of the other one’s team in public. I realize now how stupid this was.

While the Isles have rocked the Pens a few times this season, and they are riding on the incredible success of Center and Alternate Captain John Tavares, the Pens are probably the team in the East with the most potential to capture the 2013 Cup. They’ve been pretty much unstoppable all season, even without Sid Crosby, who still set about a thousand records this season despite missing a third of it due to a broken jaw. With the addition of Jarome Iginla, every other team in the East pretty much went, “I’m done. Night Lois.”

At the very least, I can record Iron Man’s “So Excited” dance and post it on Facebook.



I will obviously choose Pittsburgh. Even without “The Kid” they’re a pretty dangerous team in the East.


NUGS: HABS over SENS in 6

I knew Allison would be elated about this because when we’re not discussing coffee, all she talks about is how much she's into the Habs and how they embarrassed her last season. She probably died when they took the number two spot in the East. What makes this even better is the fact that they drew the Sens for round one, so Montreal has a pretty decent shot of advancing to the Semifinals. Ottawa has excellent defense and some noteworthy goaltending with Craig Anderson, but their top defensemen, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson, are still nursing their injuries. Spezza is probably out for the entire postseason, which may hurt their chances for advancement. Montreal is the clear favorite here.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Allison and I played each other? Just sayin.


This is a bittersweet matchup, as I like both teams. But I must go with my one true love – Montreal. Montreal was one of the teams who really did benefit from the delayed season. We got a new coach this year who took a different approach to the team and it paid off very well. They’ve had a shaky couple of weeks leading up to the playoffs, but that final win against Toronto will hopefully give them the confidence they need to keep on going.

Editors' Note: Don't you live, like, right near Toronto? Is it even legal for you to love the Habs?



You might be assuming that I’m going with the Rangers here because I love them and won’t shut up about how they actually made the playoffs this year even though they performed like little girls for most of the season. Actually, yes. However, this is also just like last year’s Number 3 seed, Florida, who only made the postseason at such a high level because they happen to be in a shitty division. (The same one as the Craps, FYI)

This matchup is a repeat of the 2012 semifinals, and the Rangers pulled out of that one with a heart-stopping seven games. In 2013, both of these teams got hot at just the right time and are now facing each other again.

The Caps, although commonly referred to as The Crapitals, boast Ovechkin, who finished the regular season as his old self. Their 26.8 percent power-play statistic might pose a problem for my boys, who tend to falter in that area.

The Rangers gave me an incredibly stressful four months, humiliating me by forgetting how to shoot and score goals. We also suffered through a ton of injuries and the loss of fan favorite Gabby, who got traded to Columbus after a disappointing 35 appearances and then scored them a game-winning goal. Naturally. When the season started Rangers fans figured that the Stanley Cup was a lock; now we were hoping for a top 10 finish.

Then April came around and the Rangers found their hot streak, ending the season as the sixth seed with one of the league’s best defensive units and a late season record of 10-3-1. My husband Henrik Lundqvist continued to act as one of the top goalies in the league, finishing with a 2.05 goals-against. I was totally worried that I would have to banish him to the couch this year, but I guess we can work things out.

So happy together
At the end of the series, the Rangers will come out on top (that’s what she said), and they’ll look to show the Craps that they are, in fact, the better and more able opponent. The series will go to 6 games, and I will be insufferably annoying.


The Southeast division was a sad state of affairs and the Caps were the only team to make the playoffs. Both of these teams have been inconsistent this year – but I’ll give the Rangers the win for this series.

Editor's Note: Yeah, thanks. We're going to destroy them, and then kill anyone else we play, too.



When this matchup was first announced, three thoughts went through my head:

1)   This is great because it’s an Original Six series!

B)  Tabs is probably having a stroke right now because her Leafs are in the playoffs for the first time since she can remember and

MALEFICENT) I wonder what Allison is thinking, because she hates both of these teams with the intensity of a thousand burning suns. Note to Allison: There is no option “you both lose.” I learned this the hard way during the Yankees-Phillies World Series. I don’t want Allison to disown me or anything, but it would be awesome to see a Semifinal round between the Habs and the Leafs or the Habs and the Bruins. Those are two famous rivalries that I’ve always wanted to witness in the finals. One of my favorite parts of the NHL playoffs is that Enterprise commercial with the Montreal fan and the Boston fan standing next to each other- a small nod to those who follow hockey and get the hilarity behind it.

So while I don’t particularly care for the Bruins, it would be fun to see either of these teams advance. This will be an incredible series; very physical with a lot of crowd action. Many people dislike Boston due to the fact that they like to play dirty, but they’re coming off of a dearth of postseason experience, including a Stanley Cup in 2011. The Leafs, despite a rabid fanbase, haven’t won a Cup in almost 50 years and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2004 (buying tickets like the rest of us doesn’t count). James Reimer has no postseason experience whatsoever, and the Leafs can’t seem to win at the TD Garden, considering the Bruins’ 10-12-1 record with their last 13 games. Not to mention that the word “Leafs” is a major grammar fail.

I really would like to give this to the Leafs, because the Bruins are a bunch of dicks, but I just don’t see Toronto moving forward.

PS- It's Tabs' birthday today. Since her team probably won't win tomorrow, feel free to visit her blog and leave her inappropriate comments and pictures of adorable puppies.


This is so tough because I so passionately dislike both of these teams. Since Leaf fans are more annoyingly close to me in proximity, I’d like to see them go out in the first round. I reluctantly choose Boston to win this one. Plus they’re the better team. There’s no option for them to both be eliminated in the first round, which is too bad.



NUGS: HAWKS over WILD in 4

I don’t really think this is a question here. I could go into a whole long thing (again, that’s what she said), but I’ll just link you to this.

Yeah, no.


Obviously I’m picking Chicago. They were pretty much unstoppable this season.



This was a difficult series for me to call. Most of my friends were divided. I originally said “definitely Wings,” then I wasn’t so sure, then I went back to the Wings again (in my defense, everyone should always go straight for the wings). While everyone was so focused on the Blackhawks and their miracle season, Anaheim was quietly climbing their way to the second place spot in the West, with 30 wins and 12 losses. Meanwhile, the Red Wings managed to make their way into the playoffs for a 22nd straight year, despite a lackluster regular season.

The Ducks will put up an impressive fight, since this is most likely Teemu Selanne’s final season and he’ll be looking to go out with a win. First-year goalie Viktor Fasth has been great in the net, so the key to winning this series will be Detroit’s killer forwards in Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.

Anaheim clearly has a first-rate coach in Bruce Boudreau, but his playoff history is shaky, as he’s never made it past the second round. The Wings have four Stanley Cups, with the most recent one in 2008. This is a tough series to predict, but I’m leaning towards experience with this one.


The Ducks were pretty lethal this year as well. As much as I’d like to see Detriot rise again, I’m giving this one to the Ducks. (Man, I wish they were still the Mighty Ducks).

Editor's Note: Agreed. Remember this?

Please let this happen. 



Much like last year, I really want to say Sharks just because they’re called Sharks and Great Whites are awesome. However, their failing playoff history dictates that they don’t have what it takes to make it past the first round. 

Meanwhile, the Canucks haven’t suffered a losing streak of more than two consecutive games since early March. There’s also the scary offense provided by the Sedin twins. It is true that the Sharks swept the Canucks in the regular season, but once you hit the postseason, regular games go out the window.

I’m going with Vancouver, and the series probably won’t last very long.


Even though I think Luongo is a baby for whining about not being traded, I’ll hand them the win. Wonder if he’ll change his tune if they make it to the Cup again? 



This is an anticipated replay of last year’s Semifinals, where LA swept the Blues and then went on to win the Stanley Cup. There’s no doubt that the Blues are ready to jump back in and do some serious board checking.

However, the Kings’ 8-0 record against St. Louis doesn’t lie. Their stellar defense and Conn Smythe-winning goalie Jonathan Quick should be more than enough to take the Blues down again. St. Louis may be pissed and looking for a win, which may lead to a longer series, but the Kings should easily move on to the second round.


I feel like the Kings probably won’t repeat their triumphant win last season. I’ll give this one to St. Louis.

There are our predictions. The first games are tonight and tomorrow, with the Western Conference airing later at 8pm and the Eastern Conference airing on Wednesday. Like I said, we're more than likely way off base, so feel free to pitch in with your comments below. 


Allison said...

Um, yeah, I live near Toronto...kinda...but I still hate the Leafs. I've already started seeing Maple leafs car flags...so annoying.

Do any of you have any suggestions regarding what the loser should have to do this year?

McGriddle Pants said...

I want that Jersey shirt!!!

"Nobody likes the Flyers, not even their moms"

Love it.