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. :)
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.
Everybody does it... And I am, too. Because I am susceptible to peer pressure.
Actually, most of my family makes predictions every year, and we compete to see who picked things the most accurately. So this can also be an opportunity to make my victory a matter of public record!
Here are my selections:
Vancouver (1) vs. Chicago (8)
Vancouver in 5.
San Jose (2) vs. Los Angeles (7)
San Jose in 5.
Detroit (3) vs. Phoenix (6)
Detroit in 7.
Anaheim (4) vs. Nashville (5)
Anaheim in 6.
Washington (1) vs. New York Rangers (8)
Washington in 6.
Philadelphia (2) vs. Buffalo (7)
Philadelphia in 5.
Boston (3) vs. Montreal (6)
Boston in 6.
Pittsburgh (4) vs. Tampa Bay (5)
Tampa Bay in 7.