NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions – Wrap Up

Well folks, we’ve come to the end of another NHL Stanley Cup Playoff run and while we are all sad that the Boston Bruins did not win, we are all happy that the Montreal Canadiens didn’t win either.

The only question left is how did I do with my predictions, and did I do better than random chance? No. No I did not.

I tried to predict the outcome of every playoff series. I predicted the Lightning would win the Final and I was right. That gives me a painfully mediocre, but still on the winning side, record of eight correct and seven incorrect predictions. 8-7. My winning percentage is 53.3%. I’ll take it.

I also tested random selection by flipping a coin for some of the series. I excluded the three matchups that only had teams in the Bruins’ division. Two from the first round and one from the second. The coin flip also picked Tampa Bay in the Final so it ended the tournament with a record of eight correct and four incorrect. 8-4. The coin’s winning percentage was a staggering 66.7% It was right on two out of every three. So much for randomness, huh? What a jerk!

So now what? Barring any more Covid-19 shenanigans we should have an expansion draft and an entry draft and a free agency period this summer, followed by training camps in the fall and a new season in October. You know, the way things used to go prior to Covid-19’s colossal screwing. My hope for the summer is that the Bruins draft the best rookies and snag the best free agents and sometime next June they win another Stanley Cup. I don’t think that’s asking for too much, do you?

Tampa Bay Takes Game Two

I don’t see a lot of highlight clips from tonight’s game on the youtubes yet. This is the best I could do. All the goals are here, and all the noteworthy plays are here, but the one you want starts at 13:52.

The word you’re looking for is “gaffe”. I loved every second of this play. The Montreal defenseman was asleep at the wheel. Price in net must have been thinking about where he was going to go after the game ended, because he sure as hell wasn’t paying attention.

Maybe we have two more games filled with bone head plays by the Canadiens.

Good job, Tampa Bay. Even if they did outplay you all night.

Stanly Cup Final – Game Two – Second Intermission

Full disclosure. I have the game on the TV with the sound muted. At the same time I’m watching it, I’m also watching an old local access cable episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (the original Gamera!). So I am not paying full attention to the game.

Having said that, literally every time I look up Montreal is dominating. After two periods they lead the shot count 29 to 13. Fortunately for those who stand against evil, Tampa Bay is winner where it counts. 2-1 after two, thanks to a crazy diving goal in the final second of the period. Sweet.

Come on, Tampa Bay. Let’s put these evil bastards away quick and get this one over with.

Game One – First Intermission

I promise I am not going to give score updates after each period throughout this Stanley Cup Final series.

I am probably going to do it a lot though. I really, really want Montreal to lose.

In case you didn’t catch that, I really, really want Montreal to lose.

Game one, one period is in the books, and the Lightning lead 1-0. So far so good.

Game On – Game One

Game one of the Stanley Cup Final is underway. It’s time. Time to end the reign of evil. Time for Tampa Bay to start putting Montreal away.

It’s a best of seven series. Anything less than a Tampa Bay sweep is flirting with danger. Beat them soundly, Lightning. The world is counting on you.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Predictions – The Stanley Cup Final

We are in seriously dangerous territory. Montreal is in the finals. 28 NHL teams have failed in the world’s quest to keep Montreal from winning another Cup. There is only one team left who can stop this madness and it just happens to be the defending Stanley Cup Champs.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we talk about defeating the evil, let’s look at how my predictions have done thus far. Also, I flipped a coin for all but the first two round’s Northeast Division series so let’s see how the coin is doing (hint, the coin is doing better than I am).

After the first round my winning percentage was exactly .500. Six correct pics and six incorrect picks. 6-6. Pretty much the text book definition of mediocrity. The coin, with three fewer picks made, has a winning record at 5-4.

How did we do in the third round?

Lightning vs Islanders. It came down to a game seven but Tampa Bay was able to make both me and the coin look smart. We both picked Tampa so we were both right. I’m up to 7-6 and the coin is 6-4.

Golden Knights vs Canadiens. The horror. The horror. The horror. I picked Vegas because I hate the Canadiens with a passion that cannot be put into words. The coin sided with evil and picked Montreal. The coin was right (7-4) and I was heartbreakingly wrong (7-7).

And finally (pun definitely intended)……..

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens: So now we’ve arrived at the finals. There is so much more at stake than just the Cup, or my picks, or experiments in random selection, or anything like that. No, the fate of the universe is at stake. This isn’t hockey anymore, this is good vs evil with the defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning on the side of good, and the vile, hated Montreal Canadiens on the side of evil. This is literally Luke “Lightning” Skywalker vs Darth “Les Habitants” Vader. Clearly I am picking Tampa Bay because I stand against evil whenever I can. The coin, who has picked Montreal twice now, picks (heads for the higher seed, which according to the NHL iOS app is Tampa Bay) Tampa Bay! The coin finally chooses to side against the evil ones! Thanks, coin!

Game one is Monday night. If Tampa Bay wins I will finish the playoffs with an 8-7 record and I’ll get to pat myself on the back for finishing with a winning record. If I lose I’ll finish 7-8 but it won’t matter because the universe will have collapsed into evil and madness so no one will notice my awful prediction skills. The coin will end up with a winning record either way, because it’s an asshole.

GO LIGHTNING!

1-0 After Two

Two periods into game seven between the Islanders and the Lightning, and Tampa Bay is clinging to a 1-0 lead. They’ve been dominant for most of the game so far, but when the Islanders are clicking they are a little terrifying.

I am rooting for Tampa for three reasons. First, because I picked them. Second, because they are not from New York. Third, because I legitimately feel they will have a better chance at beating Montreal.

One period to go. How about you hang on to that lead, Tampa Bay?

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.