NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions – Round Three

I am not good at the second round. Every year it’s the same thing. First round, good. Second round, awful.

After one round I was 5-3 because the Maple Leafs suck. My coin flip was 2-4, again because the Leafs suck.

How’s it look after the second round?

The Bruins and the Islanders. Shut up. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Stop being such a butt munch, you jerk. I am now 5-4.

Hurricanes and Lightning. The coin and I both picked the lightning. Good work, me. I am 6-4 and the coin is 3-4. That’s it for good news for me.

Avalanche and Golden Knights. Welp… my pick to win it all is out of it. I picked the Avs and the coin picked Vegas. I am 6-5 and the coin is 4-4.

Canadiens vs Jets. Oh for fucks sake. I picked the Jets and the coin picked Montreal. Montreal won because they suck and also because the Leafs suck. I am 6-6 and the coin is 5-4.

So I guess that leaves us with the third round. They don’t seem to be calling it the Conference Finals this year. Instead it is the Stanley Cup Semifinals. Whatever, the Bruins aren’t in it so I hate it.

No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs No. 4 New York Islanders: I hate them both. I hate Tampa because they beat us… last year was it? I don’t care, I hate them. I hate the Islanders more though because they beat us last week and they are from New York, even though they aren’t the real hockey team from New York (The Rangers didn’t make it this year because they suck). So I guess I am picking Tampa because I hate them slightly less. The coin flip (heads for the higher seed, tails for the lower) also picked Tampa.

No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights vs No. 4 Montreal Canadiens: Again, I hate them both. I didn’t hate Vegas a few days ago, but then they beat the team I was expecting to win it all so I hate them now. Montreal though… Can you feel the hate flowing through me? I hate the Montreal Canadiens the way a Sith Lord hates the Jedi. I hate them the way stormtroopers hate shooting straight. I hate them the way Tribbles hate Klingons. I hate them the way Science Fiction nerds hate it when blog writers mix Star Wars and Star Trek metaphors. Again, I am picking the lesser of the two hates and predicting a win for Vegas. The coin flip, for the second round in a row, picks Montreal. I hate that effin’ coin.

What does all of this mean?

It means the Bruins are out of it and it makes me sad. I could really used a Cup win this year. Thanks a bunch, guys.

Hockey Stuff

I haven’t been stressing over hockey much because I have been stressing over real life. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping an eye on things, it just means I haven’t been hanging on every moment.

The Bruins are down three games to two against the Islanders. Apparently we have a goalie controversy now? You miss stuff like that when you aren’t following the press too closely. Game six is tonight and lots of smart hockey pundits are calling for a rookie back up to start in place of Tuukka Rask. We are facing elimination and must win tonight to stay alive.

And we must stay alive.

Not just because I’m a Bruins fan and want my team to keep playing, and not just because I picked the B’s to advance in my predictions post but…

…but…

Montreal.

The Canadians have already advanced to the third round. As ridiculous as that sounds, it poses an interesting possibility*

The Bruins are in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens are in the Western Conference, thanks Covid-19.

There is still a chance that the Stanley Cup Finals could be a match up between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. I don’t know if the rest of the NHL sees that as the greatest rivalry in the league, but I sure do. This is the Hockey equivalent of Red Sox vs Yankees. There is also one additional reason to want this finals matchup.

Payback.

The Bruins and Canadiens met in the finals a couple of times in the mid/late 70’s. The Canadiens won each time. We could get some payback. I don’t remember those Finals series. I didn’t start paying close attention until some time in the 80’s. I remember the year that the Bruins finally broke their infinite streak of playoff loses to Montreal. I remember what a big deal that was for us. Losing twice in the Finals was part of that, and we’ve beaten them a few times since, including a round in the 2011 Cup championship season… but guys… we could get some payback in the Finals.

Goodness gracious, kids… we have to win tonight. We have to win the series. We have to beat Tampa Bay in the next round. We have to be there waiting on the off chance Montreal can advance too (they won’t, Colorado will destroy them). There’s a chance… we need that to come true.

Go Bruins! Please, go Bruins! Stay alive, no matter what occurs!


*I understand that literally every Bruins fan on Earth has already thought of this. Give me a break, folks. There’s a lot of shit going on that’s more important than hockey. Forgive me for being late to the party.

Overtime Again

The Bruins held their 1-0 lead over the Islanders until late in the third when, wouldn’t you know it, the Isles tied the game. Now we are going into overtime yet again. Three overtime games in round one, and now two in round two. Too much stress, man. Too much playoff stress.

I brought dinner with me to my parents house tonight. I didn’t get to eat it until after 7:00. I also brought a bag of chips and I was going to eat that son of a bitch bag if it killed me. I did, but I didn’t finish it until 9:10… 10 minutes after my normal intermittent fasting start time. Oh well. Something tells me that I won’t be able to hold off from eating again until 1:10 tomorrow. Methinks that it’s going to be a fasting-fail day.

It’ll be worth it if the Bruins win. Also, they need to win quickly because the caffeine I was freebasing all day is starting to wear off and the red head is getting sleepy.


Addendum: The NBCSN team covering the Bruins game tonight keeps waxing nostalgic about Nassau County Colosseum. The building is closing after this season and they keep talking about it like it’s some hallowed hall. Has there ever been a time, even back in the Islanders four year Stanley Cup dynasty from 1980-83, when that building was considered to be anything but a shit hole? I always heard that it was so awful it made the old Boston Garden look luxurious. Am I wrong about that or is the team commentating the game just cupping the Islanders fans’ nut sacks?


Addendum #2: The Bruins just won. Marchand scores in the first overtime to put the Bruins back up 2 games to one in the series. Kick ass, dude!

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but ever since I got to my mother’s house I have had this sense of impending doom. Like, take Star Wars super fandom out of the equation and say, I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I don’t know what the bad feeling is, and I don’t even know what it’s referring to. I just feel like the hammer is about to fall and it’s likely going to fall right on top of my fat head.

Please note that I am not thinking about The Bruins. They are up 1-0 after one period and I am fairly optimistic they will come out of this game with a lead in the series. Even after getting seriously outplayed for a chunk of game two, they still took it to overtime. I think they are going to be okay.

I also don’t think this has anything to do with Jen and the kids. All is well at home. There is nothing on the horizon that we can’t handle, and that includes the imminent empty nest. I am fully happy and content and confident with home life.

Everything else is fucked. Why do I feel this way? What the hell is wrong with me? It’s summer. Lighten up, Francis.

Game Night

It’s game night. Bruins and Islanders game #3 from Long Island. The Bruins need to bounce back after the overtime loss and regain the home ice advantage.

I’m at home right now, starting the work day, but tonight I will be at my parents’ house. I was a day late but I was able to watch this week’s The Handmaid’s Tale this morning before work, so I won’t be distracted by that come game time tonight. Of course, I have the attention span of a gnat these days so I will probably find something to watch at the same time I watch the game. So many choices, so many screens.

Tomorrow I’ll sneak in this week’s episode of The Bad Batch before work, then I’ll get through most of the work day, and then my father will come home. I have no idea how things will work once he’s home, but we will continue as we currently are for a while. The goal is to get him back to a point where he doesn’t need us at the house 24/7. Once things level out we’ll have to have some hard conversations about how we avoid letting this happen again.

Until then, work… and then Bruins.

Go Bruins.

Not Game Day

When I woke up this morning I was positive the Bruins game was tonight. I even wore a Bruins t-shit to celebrate.

Unfortunately game three is not tonight, it’s tomorrow night. Even worse, game one between the Jets and Canadiens is tonight and the Canadiens are up 3-1 late in the second.

What the hell, bro??

Nana Sitting – One Day Early

Tomorrow night was supposed to be my next Nana Sitting night, but my brother and I swapped so I could go to Vermont on Tuesday and he could go to his daughter’s soccer games near the Cape tomorrow. I got here about 6:40 and my mother was asleep. My sister woke her up to say goodbye and she immediately fell back to sleep. She woke up as I was walking into her room to give her the 8:00pm meds. She’s heating up some leftovers for dinner now. I have a feeling it’s going to be a late night, but hopefully it’s a late night with manageable pain levels. Fingers crossed.

I watched the third period of the Lightning/Hurricanes game. As expected, Tampa Bay won. The Avalanche/Golden Knights game just started and the Avs are already up 1-0. As expected.

We had a very nice low key anniversary today. We went to a bakery in Windham that the kids clued us in to and picked up our anniversary cake. Then we just went for a drive. It was lovely. It dawned on me that as I am now 50 years old, driving around to nowhere on a Sunday morning officially makes me a “Sunday Driver”. I joked about trying to find a Bennigans or a Waffle House and Jen joked back that we should go to Cracker Barrel. Getting old sucks, but if you can’t crack wise at your own expense, what good is it?

The Avalanche just scored again. 2-0, halfway through the first.

When we got home the kids came over for an hour or so. We ate the fantastic cake and just spent some quality family time. It was awesome. Unfortunately, I think that’s the last time the four of us will be together before Bellana moves into her apartment in Vermont. We’ll see her tomorrow, but Harry won’t be there. If I stop and think about that, it’s painful. Instead I am choosing not to think about it. I’m choosing to focus on today.

Now I’m here at my mother’s house and I am missing my bride like crazy.

I love you, Jen.

Sunday Morning Thoughts

The Bruins won game one of their second round series last night. The Maple Leafs lost game six of their first round series last night. A Bruins win and a Leaf’s first round lost sounds about normal to me.

What else is going on? It’s a dad weekend for the kids but they are coming over for lunch to celebrate our Anniversary. Jen and I just came back from the bakery. There will be cake. Oh, such cake.

I need to shave, but the Bruins are in the playoffs. Oh, what to do.

I don’t know what brought it on, but a couple of weeks ago I had the urge to watch a little Mystery Science Theater 3000. I joined a Facebook fan group too. I knew that Netflix had dropped the current incarnation of the show, but I did not know that on the day I joined that BookFayce group they were kicking off a Kick Starter (hehe pun) campaign to fan fund a new season. They hit their goal on the first day. How cool is that? It made me want to watch the show even more.

Last night I went looking around to see which streaming services had episodes. Netflix used to, but now they only have the Netflix version of the show. Hulu had the movie. HBO had nuttin’, but that was expected. Amazon Prime Video had a bunch but I was signed in as me and our Prime account is Jen’s. I tried to log in as her but got prompted for two factor authentication and just gave up.

Last night, just before bed, as the Bruins game was wrapping up, someone posted a list of free streaming services that had episodes. What the hell, let’s check one out. I downloaded the Pluto TV app on my iPhone. Not only do they have episodes, but they have a continuous channel that only runs MST3K episodes. Jackpot! WOOHOO! Turns out they have a channel for RiffTrax episodes too! (RiffTrax is made up of former MST3K writers and they riff on movies in the same way. It’s basically MST3K without the cut scenes… or maybe they have cut scenes too… I can’t remember. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes) Safe to say I am going to be using the Pluto TV app pretty frequently for a while.

Nana sitting over night tonight into tomorrow. Packing up the cars and having a little Memorial Day cookout after I get home tomorrow. Driving to Vermont and helping Bellana move in on Tuesday. It’s gonna be a busy couple of days and that doesn’t even include the Bruins tomorrow night and oodles of MST3K.


Addendum: I edited the post. I originally said that Pluto TV had a Cinematic Titanic channel. It doesn’t. It’s RiffTrax. I fixed it. Also, they have a desktop app for Mac too!

NHL STanley Cup Playoffs Predictions – Round Two

Dude, you literally just said you weren’t going to do a predictions post until the Canadian Division’s first round was over, Yeah, well I say a lot of things that don’t come true, don’t I.

I will add an addendum to this after the Maple Leafs beat the Canadiens, because we all know that the Maple Leafs are going to beat the Canadiens. I will review all of my picks, and my coin flip picks, as they stand now and when the Canadiens are eliminated (likely sometime tonight) I’ll finalize everything. The second round is going to start tonight though so I should do something before then and this is it.

Let’s review 7/8ths of the first round and see how I did. Also, remember that in all but the East Division I made my pick and flipped a coin, so let’s also see how the coin is doing.

First, the East Division.

The Penguins and the Islanders. I picked the Penguins because I hate New York and the Penguins lost because I hate the Penguins and apparently they hate me right back. The Islanders won and I am officially 0-1.

The Capitals and the Bruins. I picked the Bruins but I thought it would be a tough series. It started out pretty tough with overtime in the first three games, but now that it’s over we have to ask ourselves if the Capitals ever really had a chance. I picked the Mighty Mighty Bruins and the Mighty Mighty Bruins won! WOOHOO! I am now 1-1.

Next up is the North Division.

The Maple Leafs vs the Canadiens. Winner still TBD, and by TBD I mean the Leafs are likely going to murderize the Habs in game six tonight. Until they make it official, I am still 1-1 and the coin flip is nil-nil.

The Oilers and the Jets. You know, dumbass, you literally said you wanted to pick the upset on this series but nooooo, you went and picked the higher seed. The stupid coin flip picked the same and we both look stupid, We picked the Oilers and the Jets won in a four game sweep. Smooth move, ex-lax. I am now 1-2 and the coin flip is 0-1.

On to the West division. Have you noticed that I forgot to do the Central? I sure did. Looking at my previous post I went and scrolled right over them to get to Canada. I’ll double back in a minute.

The Avalanche vs The Blues. I picked the Avs. The coin picked the Blues. One of us was right and one of us was wrong. The Avalanche won in a four game sweep. I picked the Avalanche. The coin picked the Blues. I was right. It was wrong. Suck it, Blues and suck it, coin. I am now 2-2 and the coin is a pathetic 0-2.

The Golden Knights vs The Wild. This series has the honor of being the first hockey I watched this season that didn’t have the Bruins on the ice, and that was last night. I picked Vegas and Vegas won and I was right. The coin picked the Wild and the Wild lost and the coin was wrong. I am now 3-2 and the coin is a shameful 0-3.

Oh hey look, it’s the Central Division. Remember them?

The Hurricanes and the Predators. The coin and I both picked the Whale and we were both correct because the Whale won it in six games. I am now 4-2 and the coin is on the board at last at 1-3.

The Panthers and the Lightning. I went with the upset and picked the Lightning. The coin did as well, though I don’t think its choice was based on the same logic. I think its choice was based on randomness or some shit. The Lightning won, regardless of the reason. I am now 5-2 and the coin is 2-3.

So I had a pretty good first round. If the Leafs win I go 6-2. If they lose I’m still a decent 5-3. I can live with that. I usually have really bad luck in the second round though, so all the more reason for the Leafs to win. If the Leafs win the coin will be an even 3-3 which is exactly how this is supposed to go, right?

Now for the second round… well, 3/4 of the second round at least.

As always, we start with the East Division…

No. 3 Boston Bruins vs No. 4 New York Islanders: Can you guess who I’m picking? Go on, guess. Let me give you a hint. I hate everything about all New York sports teams. You still can’t guess? Okay, another hint. I live in Boston and once held partial season tickets to the Bruins and I am currently wearing a Boston Bruins t-shirt and if you cut me I would literally bleed black and gold. Still can’t guess? Are you serious? Okay, I’ll make my pick. The Bruins will win. Hopefully quickly and easily, but more likely it’ll be six or seven games. The Islanders scare me, and not just because they are from the effin’ New York.

In the Central, because I didn’t forget all about them this time…

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning: I’m not sure who to pick here. Do I go with the higher seed or the team that was unstoppable last year? I don’t know. Okay, I am going to pick the Lightning even though the idea of the Bruins facing them in round three yet again is kinda horrifying. No, I’m sticking to my gut and picking the Lightning to win. How about the coin flip? Heads for higher seed, tales for lower. The coin picks the Lightning too.

Go West, young man…

No 1. Colorado Avalanche vs No 2. Vegas Golden Knights: I want to say that this is a tough choice, and I guess on some level it is… but I’m pretty sure Colorado is going to win the Cup this year, so I am picking the Avs to win. Does our friend the coin flip agree? No. It disagrees. The coin picks Vegas and watch that son of a bitch be right. Stupid coin.

And finally the North division which isn’t even set yet…

Somebody vs No. 3 Winnipeg Jets: How about I make two picks for this round. One if the Leafs win and won if the Canadiens win. That sounds good. Then I don’t have to worry about the backlash when I pick later. Okay. I don’t think there is any doubt that the Maple Leafs are the team to beat in Canada. If the Maple Leafs advance to the second round they will win. If Montreal advances, Winnipeg will spank their asses the way Toronto should have, and the Jets will win. For Mr Coin Flip, if the Leafs advance they are the higher seed so heads is the Leafs. In that case the coin picks the Leafs. If Montreal wins they are the lower seed so the Jets would be heads. Should I do a separate flip or use the first flip? Screw it, I’ll use a separate flip. It’s my friggin’ blog post, I can make any stupid rules I want. It’s tails, so if the Canadiens advance, the Canadiens will win.

So there you have it. I technically don’t need to add an addendum after the Maple Leafs dismember the Canadiens tonight (or in game seven, if needed, but most likely tonight), but I probably will anyway.

The second round starts tonight with the Islanders at the Bruins at 8:00pm. Go Bruins! Stanley Cup or bust!