The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are upon us. Here’s a handy guide to the next bit of ice hockey watchingdom.
(This week’s Aw NHL Naw also includes a secret message that I’m sending out to my freemason masters. Can you crack the code? Put some Dover’s Powder in your gin and give it your best shot!)
The National Hockey League Presents: The X-Treme Corporate Synergy and Hey! Remember How Michael J. Fox Probably Something Nice About Us Stanley Cup Playoff Hoedown
Pittsburgh v. Ottawa (Injured Player on a Pole Series): Congratulations! You now have a strong opinion about Craig Anderson! As far bandwagon options go for the second round, Ottawa’s probably your best option. They’ve got an old guy hoping to finally win a cup (Daniel Alfredsson), a coach with a delightful mustache and a fanbase that isn’t immediately detestable. You have to numb yourself to the guilt of cheering for a team with Chris Neil on it (block out the shame by drinking it up, drunko!), but you can justify it if things pan out. Heck, if Matt Cooke doesn’t slash open Karlsson’s leg again (Eugene Melnyk has a file on you, you young punk!), #PeskySens could even pull off an upset made outta magic and pegasus glitter. It’s not likely, but why not choose fantasy over dispair? Pittsburgh’s goaltending has been hot garbage when Marc-Andre Fleury’s been between the pipes. (Where’s Darren McCord when you need him?) Maybe things will get nutty.
Prediction: Senators in 6
Toronto Boston v. New York (Taipei Deathmatch series): Here’s a quick rundown of the internal monologue of every Leafs fan yesterday.
Pregame: You know what? No matter what happens, I’m happy the Leafs made it this far. Not only are we in the playoffs, we’re pushing a recent Stanley Cup champ to the brink. How can I be upset with that? *puts grocery bags over shoes in preparation for how much cum might be on the subway train if the Leafs win*
For the first time in four decades, we’re getting a Bruins/Rangers playoff matchup. Remember those two clubs that underachieved for big chunks of the first round? You’re gonna get more of that! Hooray! *NBC shoots colourful streamers out its butt* Get ready for some hot Andrew Ference injury update action.
The Rangers are sort of an underrated joy to watch as a playoff team. It’s fun seeing Henrik Lundqvist play the role of frustrated matriarch figure that does so much for their family, BUT HOLY SHIT YOU CAN’T JUST LIFT A FINGER AND HELP OUT FOR ONCE, CAN YOU? I’M NOT MAD, I’M JUST DISAPPOINTED, NO WAIT, I’M MAD, THAT’S WHY I’M POPPING AND CAPS LOCKING RIGHT NOW! Rick Nash and Brad Richards should really just be harvested for body parts in case Derick Brassard needs any sort of medical assistance. If Richards keeps playing at the level he is now, the Rangers should really just snatch Adam Graves from a Wegmans opening and scratch Richards for the remainder of the season.
Prediction: Rangers in 6
PSA Break: Yakov’s first base coach seems a bit rude.
Chicago v. Detroit (Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal series): Detroit’s moving to the Eastern Conference next year (no champ, it’s not anything you did, it’s just sometimes a franchise needs to leave home to…find itself), so this will be the last Hawks/Wings series for potentially a long-ass time.
I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say this out loud, but I find Detroit oppressively boring.I mean the hockey club, not the city. The city of Detroit seems exciting. Like a city where shit’s Streets of Rage 2 all the time. The Red Wings are not Streets of Rage 2. They’re dull. A club that wins because they “limit mistakes?” Fuck off. Chicago will have mistakes all up over that motherfucker and it’ll be glorious. There’s a strong possibility that Corey Crawford might just explode into a series of baby kangaroos (or “joeys”) midway through the second period of game one.
Prediction: Hawks in 5
Los Angeles v. San Jose (Clockwork Orange House of Fun series): Awfully nice of the Western Conference to have things play out in a way that matches up the Pacific Time Zone clubs. It’s a big help. Instead of watching Baggage and eating a salad bowl full of frozen corn, I’ll watch Kings/Sharks and eat a salad bowl full of frozen corn. Adulthood: Catch The Fever!
Is Antti Neimi (not to be confused with Pro Neimi) going to solve all of San Jose’s playoff woes? Probably not, but I don’t have any money riding on this series, so I can make all the goofy ass predictions I want. The Sharks are kinda neat because they’re a who’s who of “oh, that’s where they ended up?” (I’m one of those east-y goons that had no idea that Brent Burns is currently playing right wing.) I dream of a world where Sharky’s foam mouthed antics make their way to the White House and I can’t sit around until he’s a congressman. San Jose just might take this thing.
Prediction: Sharks in 7
Have a good second round hockel.