NHL Playoffs Predictions Wrap Up

Oh thank you, thank you, thank you hockey gods. Last night the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup giving me one final correct prediction and making my full post season record a tiny bit better than flipping a coin.

Whew!

Here are my win/loss records per round:
First round: 6-2
Second round: 1-3
Third round: 1-1
Final round: 1-0

That gives me a record of 9-6. That looks like a 60% success rate to me. Much better than the 53% it would have been if Dallas had won. So even though I hate the Tampa Bay Lightning with a passion because they beat my Bruins in the second round, I have to tip my cap to them, congratulate them on their second(?) franchise championship, and thank them for making me look good in the end.

NHL Stanley Cup Finals Predictions

For a minute there, I was worried I was going to get both third round picks wrong. I hate you and you suck, Tampa Bay, but thank you for fulfilling my prophecy. Or something like that.

Going into the third round I was 7-5 for the playoffs. I was at risk of going into the finals at .500, but thankfully I’m still on top of things. I’m still better at this than flipping a coin.

My third round results:

Lightning vs Islanders: I picked the Lightning even though they are the slime that knocked out my Bruins. The Lightning won. I was right.

Golden Knights vs Stars: In Vegas, the house always wins in the end. I picked Vegas and Vegas beat me. Dallas won and I was wrong.

First round: 6-2
Second round: 1-3
Third round: 1-1
Total so far: 8-6

One round to go. The whole enchilada. The be all end all. The Stanley Cup Finals.

Stars vs Lightning: I have no idea. None at all. No clue. They’ve both screwed me over. The Lightning screwed me over by beating the Bruins. The Stars screwed me over three times by beating a team I picked. Should I go with Dallas just because of that? I don’t know. I think I have to pick Tampa Bay because… well… they are awesome and kinda deserve it. They deserved it last year too (it pains me so much to say that… I really freakin’ hate them) but choked in spectacular fashion. Will they choke again? Ah crud, who knows. I’m picking the Lightning.

The series starts tonight. The last hurrah for the bubble. During the pandemic in 1918 they made it to the finals before they canceled the season. This time, the bubble seems to be working. I think we’re going to have a champion this year. Unfortunately, it won’t be the Bruins. Crud.

Game Six

I really don’t want the Stanley Cup Finals to end tonight. I haven’t watched very much, but I’ve been following everything. Chicago is up three games to two and I hate the Blackhawks after they beat us in the finals a few years ago.

Tampa Bay in seven. Please.

Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Finals Predictions

Yippee, Bruins free NHL. Urgh.

Doesn’t it just suck that I have been super accurate in my predictions this year and one of the only pics I got wrong was on my favorite team? Jerks.

I correctly picked the winner in seven of eight first round series, and three of four second round series (friggin’ Bruins).

How’d I do with the two third round series?

I picked the hated Rangers over the more hated Canadiens. The Rangers won. I got it right.
I picked the Kings over the hated Blackhawks. The Kings won. I got it right.

So 7/8 in the first round plus 3/4 in the second round plus 2/2 in the third round gives me 12/14 overall for a winning percentage of 85.7%. Not bad, I guess. The only team I cared about happened to be one of the two I got wrong. (stupid Bruins).

This brings us to the Stanley Cup Finals. Before I make my pick, let me say that since the start of the season it has been a foregone conclusion that the only teams in the East with a prayer of beating the West were the Bruins and the Penguins. Are either of those teams in the finals? No? Can you guess who I’m picking?

Kings vs Rangers. The minute the Bruins lost I transferred my hockey allegiance to the Kings. That is irrelevant. The only way I could have possibly picked an Eastern Conference team in this match up would have been if the Bruins were the Eastern representative. For any other match up, I would pick the Western team. The West has been so good this year that they’ve made the East look like a youth league. I’m picking the Kings. I’m just really glad I get to pick a team I don’t hate.

There you have it, hockey fans. The dork who has been right 85% of the time this year is picking the Kings. Place your bets (but only if you’re dumb because I honestly have no clue what I’m doing)

Stanley Cup Finals Game Six – Please Don’t Let it End This Way

Hey Bruins.  One more game.  That’s all we want.  Just one more game after tonight.  This playoff run has been a blast.  Please don’t let it end tonight.  The schedule allows for one more game after tonight, so why not just win tonight and make use of it?  That would be pretty cool, right?  Extend this magical little run you guys are on for a couple of days and play that game seven.  All you need to do to keep the fun alive is win tonight.  That’s not a big deal, is it?  You’ve already beaten these Chicago pukes twice in this series, what’s one (two) more win?  Nothing, right?  So why not win tonight?  Then you get to go back to Chicago (where I’m sure it’s really nice to visit, despite the bandwagon and all) and play game seven on Wednesday.  I don’t want to look ahead to the ramifications of a game seven, I just want there to be a game seven.  Don’t you guys want that too?  I bet you do.  You’re so close, why not keep it alive for a few more days?

So go out there on the Garden ice tonight with your die hard fans backing you up and win the game.  No biggie, just win the game.  We all know you can do it.  Chicago is a good team, but so are the Bruins.  Go ahead, win game six.  We all know you wanna.

Go Bruins!

Stanley Cup Finals Game Five – Greetings from the Tobin Bridge

Hi everyone, I am writing this post whilst standing in line at the Tobin Bridge.  There are about 13,909 Bruins die hard fans here all  lined up to hurl themselves off the highest point on the bridge due to the sheer misery of last night’s loss.  I figured as my final act before throwing myself into oblivion with all of these other fine Bruins-obsessed folks, that I would talk to some people and maybe find out what is going through the minds of the fellowship of the miserable.

First I spoke to a man named John Doe.  He was wearing a Bruins hat, a Bruins replica game jersey (black), Bruins pajama pants, and had Bruins shoe laces on his black and gold sneakers.  He looked very tired, as if he hadn’t slept since “the good old days” which is how he referred to life as a Bruins fan prior to the start of game four.  “I can’t take it,” said Mr. Doe.  “I can’t stand the thought of losing to those damn Chicago Blackhawks with their damn bandwagon fans.  I watched game two in a bar on the South Side of Chicago and I had one guy ask me if a goal was worth seven points, like a touchdown.  Another ‘fan’ says to me, ‘so if the ‘hawks lose tonight they’re out of it, right?’  One other fan took me aside during a commercial break and asked me, ‘what is this icing thing they keep talking about?’  I wanted to slit my wrist right then and there, but then we won the game so I celebrated like crazy for a couple of days instead.”

Later I spoke to a curiously dressed woman who told me her name was Jane Roe.  She was wearing a wedding dress that had a big spoked B painted on it.  After last night’s loss she took a black sharpie and covered the dress with black ink.  She even colored her veil black.  I asked her why she was wearing a wedding dress on the Tobin Bridge and she said she couldn’t remember.  She thought it had something to do with trying to tie the happiest day of her life, her wedding day, to the happiest day of her hockey life, winning a second cup in three years, but she said the details were fuzzy.  “I’ve been drunk since overtime started in game four,” she said.  I asked her why she was on the bridge and all she could say was, “Bergeron’s in the hospital.  No Bergeron, no cup.”  She repeated it constantly before her turn on the edge arrived.  Just before she threw herself off she looked relieved and said, “I’ll never have to live in a world where we lost the Cup to the friggin’ Blackhawks.”

A third gentleman I saw was wearing an impeccable tuxedo and holding a home made tin foil replica of the Stanley Cup.  I tried to ask him his name and what brought him to the bridge, but all he would say was, “friggin’ Jagr.  So close.  No goals.  Friggin’ Jagr.”  He stood there patiently for a few hours as fan after fan ended it all in Stanley Cup misery.  Then out of nowhere he lost his head completely.  He started screaming obscenities and forced his way past the security to the front of the line and then lept into thin air yelling, “screw you, Corey Crawford!”  It was one chaotic moment in an otherwise orderly mass hockey suicide.

That pretty much sums up the scene here on the Tobin.  Most people won’t talk.  They just stand there, waiting patiently for their turn on the ledge.  Most look dazed, pale, confused.  They are wondering what happened.  They are unable to figure out how the Bruins could be down three games to two to Chicago and they frankly can’t take it anymore.  The line is moving at a steady clip.  I figure my turn should come right around the start of game Six tomorrow night.  Maybe if they can get off to a good start, those who are still in line might change their mind for a while.  Umm… Bruins?  Speaking on behalf of everyone here… we could really use a win tomorrow.  I mean… really.  Really, we could seriously use a win tomorrow.  Just saying.  No pressure or anything but.  We sort of NEED A WIN.  If you know what I mean.

Go Bruins!

Stanley Cup Finals Game Four – Oh Crap!

It’s just one game.  Keep telling myself that it’s just one game.  Don’t panic.  Don’t throw yourself off of the Tobin Bridge.  It’s just one game.  Just one game.

Last night the Blackhawks offense showed up, and the Bruins defense didn’t.  Fortunately, the Bruins offense showed up, and Cory Crawford’s glove hand didn’t. 

Once again we went to overtime, and this time it was the Blackhawks winning by a score of six to five.  It may have been the single most exciting game of the playoffs for the Bruins thus far, with apologies to game seven of the Toronto series which was just painful until the third period and then became awesome.

Both teams put on goal scoring shows, and just when you thought one team was pulling away… BAM the other team comes back and gains all the momentum.  It was an absolute blast to watch, and listen to on the radio, which I did for the third and the OT.  In overtime both teams had their chances but it seemed the Bruins were carrying the play a little bit more.  That might be because I was listening to the Boston radio broadcast, but it is definitely how it felt. 

So now what.  Instead of being up 3-1 we are tied 2-2.  There are three games remaining and two of them are in Chicago.  It’s down to a best of three.

I have to believe that the Bruins will play better in game five on Saturday.  I can’t imagine our defense being that weak for two games.  I still have confidence that the Bruins will win the series, but I am not as confident as I was.  For some reason, given the way the two teams played, being up 2-1 felt like being up 3.5-1.  It just wasn’t real.  I kept trying to tell myself not to underestimate Chicago, but I also kept finding myself underestimating Chicago.  I was actually talking about making plans to see the victory parade.  Can you believe that?  Me!  Mister Cautious Optimism was looking past potentially four games!

No more.

I believe the Bruins will win the series.  You might say I am cautiously optimistic.

Go Bruins!