Playoff hockey, rude fans, and the plight of the Canadian

I’ve always wanted to be a sports writer. It just seems like such a chill job to write about shit that doesn’t matter. And judging from a certain four-letter monopoly that rhymes with ESPN, you don’t really even have to know anything to succeed. All that is required is an extreme opinion and the fanatics will read, watch and listen, whether they love you or want you dead.

I could never do it though. The moment that I actually have to write something always seems to correlate perfectly with when I don’t want to write something.

But it’s time for playoff hockey and I just can’t contain my excitement. The first round begins Wednesday, and I want to prognosticate, whether you like it or not or couldn’t care less.

Atlantic division

(4) Detroit vs (1) Boston – This one may go seven games with as well as Detroit has been playing, but even if it does, the Bruins are just too good at home. The series clinching goal will come off of Brad Marchand’s nose.

(2) Tampa Bay vs (3) Montreal – Tampa in 6. Carey Price won gold with Team Canada, but he’s not good enough to carry a team that was 10th from the bottom in the league in scoring this year.

By the way, how messed up is it that a Canadian team has not won a Stanley Cup since 1993? That’s 20 seasons. Currently 7 of 30 NHL franchises (23%) are located in Canada (Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto). In 1993, when the Quebec Nordiques were still around, 8 of the then 24 NHL teams played north of the border (33%). If you were to put the names of each team in a hat for each season since 1993, and pick one team randomly from each hat, the likelihood of not picking a single Canadian team after choosing from all 20 hats is only 0.3% (0.75^20, assuming about 75% of teams in a given season are American). What could be the cause of this anomaly? In order to maintain a competitive balance, the current NHL CBA mandates a minimum team salary expenditure of somewhere around 70% of the salary cap. Between 1998-2008, when payrolls were less regulated, Canadian teams still spent similarly to their American counterparts. The revenue and spending have been there. Why do the gods hate Canada so much?

Metropolitan division

(4) Columbus vs (1) Pittsburgh – Marc-Andre Fleury is probably playing for his future in Pittsburgh. I don’t know what a sports psychologist does, but I sure hope it worked. MAF blames his recent playoff struggles on the fact that he worries about pleasing everyone, which does not allow him to shrug off poor performances. Weird. If he wants to please Pens fans, he could just shrug off the poor performances.

(2) New York Rangers vs (3) Philly dicks – To the insufferable Flyers fans that continue to chant “Crosby sucks“, and those who are frankly just too mean for my liking, I wish the worst in everything that happens to you, including watching your team not win the cup…again and forever. To the friendlier Flyer fans, my condolences for the first-round exit. Rangers in six, but only if Lundqvist has a stroke. Otherwise its a sweep and Philly leaves the ice like the Soviets did when the Flyers were a real hockey team.

Pacific division

(4) Dallas vs (1) Anaheim – I really want to pick Dallas for the big upset, but Anaheim is just so offensively skilled with Getzlaf and Perry and a ton of depth. Bruce Boudreau uses excessive profanity to keep his boys focused and Anaheim takes it in six.

(2) San Jose vs (3) LA Kings – San Jose in five. I have a hunch about them this year. I have a hunch about them every year.

Central division

(4) Minnesota vs (1) Colorado – I love the awesomely skilled Colorado Avalanche and this is exactly the type of team that disappoints in the playoffs. Wild in six.

(2) St Louis vs (3) Chicago – What happened to the Blues? They were so good until recently. What could have changed such a great squad so dramatically? Could it have been the ridiculous trade for Ryan Miller?? They deserve the beat down they’re about to get. Hawks in five.

So yeah, there it is. If I’m not too ashamed, I’ll come back for more when round 2 is set.

And lastly, but most importantly, never forget that even though there are a lot of beavers in Canada, this is NOT the time of the season to be eating wood.




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