It's the most wonderful time of the year.
The NHL playoffs start tomorrow, and I can't wait for this baby to pop out so I can change its diapers instead of watching the games.
Here are my predictions for the results of the first round matchups.
1) NYR vs. 8 ) OTT -- Rangers in 7
2) BOS vs. 7) WSH -- Bruins in 5
3) FLA vs. 6) NJ -- Devils in 6
4) PIT vs. 5) PHI -- Penguins in 6
1) VAN vs. 8 ) LA -- Canucks in 6
2) STL vs. 7) SJ -- Blues in 5
3) PHX vs. 6) CHI -- Coyotes in 7
4) NSH vs. 5) DET -- Red Wings in 6
All of that said, here are the teams I would prefer to see win:
I can't wait to see how it all plays out! Hopefully baby will enjoy sitting on the couch and watching with me. :)
Life has been moving along at a pretty rapid pace over the past several weeks. I thought I'd take the opportunity to share a brief update.
Two weeks ago Larissa and I moved into a new two-bedroom suite in one of Victoria's suburbs. We have at least three times as much floor space here, and we love it!
In addition to going from a single bedroom to two bedrooms, we also now have a separate kitchen and living room, a small dining room, and an office for me to work in.
Getting out of downtown has been nice for a lot of different reasons. For one, there's no street noise outside when we're trying to go to sleep. Larissa used to wake up sometimes from all the cars streaming past after the bars closed. Another benefit is that it's so much nicer to go for walks in and around all the little suburbs and winding streets. We're only a 15-minute walk away from the beach, too.
We took advantage of all the extra space this weekend to have a bunch of friends over for a combined board game night and DISCOVERY prerelease party. (Sneaky little writing update: I sent in the order for the first print run of DISCOVERY on Saturday. I should be able to start sending out people's orders by the end of the month.)
Of course, the main reason we moved was so that we would have space for Baby. It's only three weeks until Larissa's due date! We went on a hospital tour last week and got to see the facilities where Baby will be welcomed into the world. It made a few things seem a lot more "real" for me. I'm getting so excited for that day to come.
I've been telling Larissa that one of the things I'm really looking forward to is sitting on the couch holding Baby while I'm watching playoff hockey later in April. Gotta get the kid started on the right foot, eh? Go Canucks go!
If you're a Canucks fan, you've probably heard about the trade Mike Gillis pulled off today with Vancouver's favourite trading partner, the Florida Panthers. Here's a breakdown of the trade, and my thoughts on it. (If you aren't a hockey fan, feel free to ignore this post! You won't hurt my feelings.)
2013 third-round draft pick
The question that always gets asked after a trade is, "Which team won?" In this deal, I think both teams have reason to feel that they've gotten what they wanted and paid a fair price for it. If I had to give an edge to one team, I'd say the Canucks are the slight winners, but that will depend on how David Booth plays over the next year or three.
Read on for more details of what each team gets out of the trade.
Yesterday the Philadelphia Flyers signed Ilya Bryzgalov and traded away both Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.
Those moves were huge. Really big. They got a great goalie, which is something they've needed for years, and the packages they received for Carter and Richards hold some very good pieces, most notably Brayden Schenn and an 8th overall pick in this year's draft.
But I have to be honest: this is forcing me to reevaluate whether I want the Flyers to be my second favourite team in the East.
Last summer I decided to devote a bit more attention to a few more NHL teams, rather than just the Canucks. I picked the Tampa Bay Lightning as my #1 Eastern Conference team, due to their youth, speed, and star power, and they rewarded me handsomely. I picked the Phoenix Coyotes as my #2 team in the West, after the Canucks, and they once again made the playoffs despite a pretty noticeable lack of starpower. I waffled on my East #2, initially thinking about the New Jersey Devils or even the Toronto Maple Leafs, but I eventually went with the Flyers, because of their great depth, especially at forward, and the number of exciting two-way players they had.
Now I have to rethink my choice.
To be clear, I haven't become totally disillusioned with the Flyers just because they traded away my favourite player on their team (Mike Richards). I think they made good, smart hockey moves, and I can respect that. But it does kind of feel like they ripped a little piece of my heart out.
I still love Claude Giroux, and I respect James VanRiemsdyk. They still have Briere and Zherdev and Hartnell, and you have to believe they're going to do everything they can to re-sign Ville Leino. That's a lot of great forwards, and plenty to be excited about, especially if Schenn can make the jump and join them. But who is going to center their top two lines? I have to think they're going to make a move, either via trade or in free agency, to find a number one center now, and that means more shaking up, either to clear cap space to sign a Brad Richards type, or to make a deal for a Mike Richards replacement. EDIT: I'm a bad fan. It seems both Briere and Giroux play Centre, despite the Flyers website listing them as wingers in their bios.
Ultimately, I think July 1 is probably going to be when I make my decision about who to follow in my East #2 spot next year. It may still be Philadelphia, or maybe it'll be the Devils (especially if they can re-sign Parise and keep him healthy). The Hurricanes and the Islanders have some pieces I'm interested in, too.
When I make my choice, I'll let you know. And I'll stick to it for at least a year.
I haven't really stayed on top of this, have I?
I predicted that Tampa Bay would win in 6, and they won in 4.
I predicted that Philadelphia would win, but Boston won.
I predicted that Vancouver would win in 5, and they won in 6.
I predicted that Detroit would win in 7, but San Jose won in 7.
I think that's all accurate, from what I remember.
My predictions from this round are that Vancouver will beat San Jose in 6 games, and Tampa Bay will beat Boston in games.
I hope I'm right! Then the Canucks can beat the Lightning in the Finals, and everything will be awesome.