Thursday, May 8, 2008


And then there were four.

Though I only guessed two correctly last time around (Sidsburgh and Detroit), and seriously waffled on my choice of Dallas, I therefore give myself a grade of 2½/4. (It's my blog, so I can do that.) Kris only got 1/4 but let's face it: he's in France illegally bootlegging pirated NHL games through WorldWide interwebs file sharing (or so Congress understands it)--he's a menace to société. Anyway, let's once again reset the teams and look at the conference finals:

Dallas Stars goalie Marty Turco speaks with reporters in preparation for Game 1 of the NHL hockey Western Conference finals against the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit, Wednesday, May 7, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)Clarence Campbell [Western] Conference
(1) Detroit vs. (5) Dallas

PLAYER YOU WILL BE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT: Johan Franzen. He's from Europe! He will disappear this round, as Turc 1.73 is 1000% better than Josie Theodoormat.
PLAYER THEY SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT: Mike Modano. Last time I checked we're in America dammit, and now that the Canadians have already turned their attention to the IIHF, curling and competitive drinking, it's time to salute the "best American born forward married to a hot wife".
PLAYER THAT WILL MAKE YOU HATE NHL HOCKEY: Chris Chelios. I don't hate him per sé, just the fact that he's worn out his welcome and really should retire already. I am currently tied for playoff points with him, and I haven't skated in over a year.
PLAYER THAT WILL BREAK OUT THIS ROUND: Brad Richards. He's been lurking, but he's going to be a force in this series.
BEST PLAYOFF BEARD: Marty Turco, who is looking positively Steven Segalian.
X-FACTOR: Chris Osgood. Now that The Dominator has been relegated to bench warmer, it will be up to Ozzy to step up. He won't.

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby skates by during drills at practice at Mellon Arena, in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, May 7, 2008 before they face the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference final playoff hockey series later this week. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)Prince of Wales [Eastern] Conference
(2) Pittsburgh vs. (6) Philadelphia

PLAYER YOU WILL BE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT: Sidney Crosby. Yeah, that's redundant since everyone but Penguins fans are sick of him (even though he lives up to the hype).
PLAYER THEY SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT: Dan "The Man" Briere. How is he not even on the Yahoo! NEB Top 10 Conn Smythe watch list (whatever the hell that is)? Oh, I see you're all in love with R.J. "Grilled" Umberger, who might one day be inducted into the Hall of Nice, but he's no Dan.
PLAYER THAT WILL MAKE YOU HATE NHL HOCKEY: Jarkko Ruutu is every bit a sharp pain in the spleen as Sean Avery, and now the entire country people who get VERSUS will get to meet him. Tied for first: nearly the entire Philthy Lyers squad, led by head douchebag Darien Hatcher.
PLAYER THAT WILL BREAK OUT THIS ROUND: Pascal Dupuis, mainly because I like saying his name. Try it with me: DOOO-PWEE. That's nice, isn't it?
BEST/WORST PLAYOFF BEARD: Dan "The Man" Briere/Sid "The Kid" Crosby. Their sad attempts to grow facial hair make Jack White look like Iron & Wine's Samuel Beam.
X-FACTOR: MAF. Has the #1 pick finally arrived? I'm not convinced he has, but the talent in front of him is scary good and he won't need to stand on his head (as Biron has been doing for Philthy) in order to win.


UPDATE (3:36 PM): Game 1 of the Philthy @ Sidsburgh series will NOT be broadcast in HD on VERSUS, instead pre-empted in the US by a standard def golf show/replay of the TPC. What a complete joke. I was going to say that this is a case for ESPN/ESPN2 picking up the NHL, but that would mean we'd have to see Don Cherry's grotesque zoot suits in HD. Once again, Bettman sucks.

UPDATE (12:32 AM): Kris, The Biggest Sabres Fan In France, finally chimed in with his picks, and they look quite familiar:

Dallas over Wings
Sidsburgh over PHILTHY

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