The second round is upon. Let’s see who’ll win, shall we?
They’re not getting eliminated any time soon and besides, they’re playing the Sharks. Those poor Sharks won’t know what hit them.
I’m really, really on the fence about this series. If Luongo plays really well and those creepy Sedins keep the offense going, I think the Canucks will win. But Chicago could win easily too.
1.) They have to win. Like, my sanity is riding on this.
2.) Holy crap, have you SEEN Halak? It’s crazy. I don’t know how he does it.
I really could not care less about this series. There’s no way I could be less disinterested. The only redeeming quality this series has is that it’s one giant middle finger to NBC. That being said, I feel like Boston might not have the upper hand. It’ll change if/when Savard comes back and Rask has to play really well, but I feel like the Flyers are trying to seek revenge on all of us for making fun of them.
Now, everyone always talks about an East Coast Bias in this league….and I’m no exception to it! Keeping that in mind, I will proceed to pick the winners of the Western Conference first round series. They will all be wrong. I won’t say how many games because I’m always more wrong with those.
Because let’s face it, the Sharks are never getting out of the first round.
They’re a pretty darn good team from what I’ve seen, and besides, the team that will beat them is….
Phoenix, I’m really, really sorry. This sucks. You deserve so much better.
I’m basing this solely on Henrik Sedin. Like, that is the only thing affecting my choice. Whatever.
I’ll do the east later today/tomorrow. Because those predictions will be just as valuable as these!
I’m so tired. I had six million tests today and I have forty-three million over the three days of class I have next week. One of those tests is on material we have not ever learned. None of this paragraph is an exaggeration.
I’m really glad the Sabres beat the Leafs because I’m too tired to come up with anything better to say. Toskala makes me L.O.L.
Stupid Vancouver just effing tied it up. And then Lars lost a faceoff, making it even worse. Chris Clark scored while I was in the car. Bless him, he’s shy.
If it turns out Jeff Carter really did sleep Scott Hartnell’s wife, that just might be the best gift I get this holiday season.
If I make it to the Sabres/Caps game (!!!!!!) Wednesday night it will be a Christmas miracle.
Thus ends my scintillating commentary.
But first, thoughts on last night’s game.
OH MY GOD, THOSE LITTLE BASTARDS CAME BACK IN OVERTIME TO FORCE A GAME 7.
Okay, I’m better now.
But, seriously? Game 7, Washington? If you were going to win – and win in overtime, at that! – why couldn’t you have done it already and just ended this stressful series? I can’t take much more if it, I simply can’t. That game was one big mess of scoring and lead changes and me literally jumping around in my seat because I couldn’t sit still. It was awful. I was a wreck in overtime, and then then they scored my reaction was similar to Bruce’s. Bruce’s reaction, in case you didn’t see it, was absolutely priceless.
And, whoa, DAVID STECKEL!! I was so pissed at David but then he went and scored an overtime winner to keep the series alive. Apparently it’s just what the doctor ordered. And apparently he was totally torn up about missing the WIDE OPEN NET back in Washington? Hmm, maybe I feel a little bit bad about being so mean to him.
I got to do my impression of Tomas Fleishmann doing an impression of Jim Carey in “Dumb and Dumber” when he scored last night. It’s so bad but I love doing it.
I had just finished putting a pox on Viktor Kozlov’s house and he scored. Then, when I was explaining the aforementioned pox to my mother, he scored again. Must remember this tomorrow night.
Semin got a goal, but I still haven’t seen the old Michael we all know and love. I fear that his terrifying mohawk has addled his brains.
Watching David Steckel drink a water bottle is a lot like watching Chis Osgood eating a banana: totally terrifying. He devoured that thing.
Chicago killed Vancouver to clinch the series and move onto the conference finals. Congrats, Blackhawks! Thanks for proving me wrong in my predictions!
Yesterday the Cisco All-Access Pregame show featured this video. In it, our very own Lars Backstrom takes a tour of the Swedish embassy. Seriously, Dear Readers, just watch this video. Watch it several times, actually, and let it all sink in.
Let’s start at the beginning. Dear Readers, when I was in seventh grade I took a trip to Washington, D.C. Amongst other things, we took a tour of the Ethiopian Embassy. (I’m actually not positive if it was Ethiopia, all I remember is that it was an embassy from that area of the world. So I just tell people it was Ethiopia.) We all liked the concept of being on that country’s soil while you were in the embassy, so at the door we all announced that we were in the United States, took a step, and then said that we were in Ethiopia. Some of us, myself included, even stood with one leg in the U.S. and one in Ethiopia. This is the exact same thing Nicklas is doing, except he isn’t thirteen years old.
Next Lars discusses the view (which, by the way, is gorgeous). I can’t even really explain it, but you know how in videos or commercials sometimes they’ll show a character saying the same thing over and over again to emphasize it? Well, that’s what Lars is doing. He keeps talking about the view, because he loves it that much.
After being treated to the view, Lars is taken on his tour and is asked to point out his home town on a map of Sweden. We used to do this in preschool. “Okay, now, we all live in Orchard Park, and so we’re going to take turns finding it on a map. Next, we’ll take turns reciting our phone numbers since it was your homework last night!”
I was actually just as surprised as Lars was to learn that the design of the Coke bottle came from Sweden. That’s kind of cool. Just listen to his reaction. Rewind it and listen to it again. “Whoa!”
At this point I just shook my head and said, “Yes, Lars, it is very Swedish in the Swedish Embassy.”
When Lars reminded the ambassador that they had to behave because “we have the camera on,” I just chuckled because that lucky ambassador just got out of an afternoon of potty jokes.
Two things from when he sits down at the desk: First, awww look at that grin! Second, I used to like sitting at my dad’s office desk when I was a little kid and pretending that I was the boss. It was fun.
And that concludes Lars’s tour of the Swedish Embassy.
This video made me realize four things:
1. Lars Nicklas Backstrom is adorable. He is the Pie of the Capitals, if you will.
2. I really like the idea of players taking tours of their embassies. The NHL should do this more often.
3. The Sabres need to get cracking on really good videos next year. I’m dying for “Ladies Man” and “Roommates.”
4. I really miss the Sabres. I love the Capitals, but I wish I could still watch the Sabres play. Frowny face.
- Detroit was clearly out for revenge, as they thrashed Anaheim last night. Chicago also came back and won in overtime.
- Tonight the Caps and Pens play Game 4. I’m nervous, but I’m also a little annoyed with all these references to history repeating itself. Yes, I know, Washington always choked against the Penguins in the playoffs. But those were completely different teams. Didn’t Pittsburgh have Mario?
- A death threat was made against Alex yesterday, and while it was just a teenager, it still bothers me when people do that. Are there players in this league I really dislike? Yes. Am I going to threaten to kill them? No.
- My “got Ovechkin?” shirt came today. Heh. I’m putting it on for the game.
- A lot of the teachers at school are coming up with wacky quotes when discussing our finals with us. They’ve ranged from informing us that final exam day is a day of beginnings and emotional awakening, and telling us that final exam day is the big game our teacher, a.k.a. the coach, has been preparing us for all year. Please, teachers, just tell us where and when.
- One of the girls in my science class today overheard a kid asking who was still in the playoffs – he was actually asking about the NBA – and said Pittsburgh. I told her that Pittsburgh was going down, and she told me that first of all, they weren’t, and second of all, was I rooting against them? I told her that I’m kind of a huge Caps fan. She asked me if that’s who the Penguins were playing. I really hate when people try to be huge fans for a team and then have no idea what said team is even doing.
- It will be really interesting to see how Washington plays tonight. I just hope they play the way Simeon deserves. He has been absolutely crazy. Even my mother has fallen in love with him, which is a big deal. She doesn’t fall in love with players easily.
- The fact that Michael has once again disappeared. Yo, Mike, you’re an important part of this team. Get your act together.
- Chris Kunitz wasn’t suspended. His hit on Simeon was vicious, and there should have been more punishment than just a fine.
- I didn’t see it, but apparently Detroit got completely jobbed by an early whistle? That sucks. Even when I’m not a fan of the team, I always feel bad when legit goals were overturned because referees got whistle-happy.
- I didn’t see this either, but I’m hearing the Canucks were painfully boring last night? Come on, Vancouver. This is playoff hockey. Please be exciting.
- Sidney informing us that he was only politely asking the referees to have a PA announcement made that the fans should stop throwing hats so that the game could resume. Pittsburgh was down by two goals in the second game of their playoffs series, and what was the captain doing when he had five minutes to talk with the coach and the rest of the team to try and form a plan? He was whining to the refs. He wouldn’t have asked for the hat-throwing to stop if it had been for him in Pittsburgh. See, it’s the things like this that I find unnecessary. Sid, shut your mouth.
- The Coyotes might be moving to Southern Ontario? Um, no. Bad idea. It would completely screw things up.
- If for some weird reason the Coyotes were to move to Southern Ontario, I made up new divisions when I was bored last night. The four Eastern Canadian teams (the new one, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto); Boston, Buffalo, New York Rangers and Islanders; Florida, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Carolina; and then Pittsburgh, Washington, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. It would completely screw up everything, ranging from divisional rivalries to playoffs (although we’d get to keep the Pittsburgh/Philadelphia rivalry and gain a divisional Washington/Pittsburgh one), but whatever. I didn’t feel like studying for my French test. This was more interesting.
- We’re doing databases in the lame computer class I’m required to take to graduate, and for my final project I’m making a database of the Washington Capitals. It’s fun. I get to spend the whole period hanging out on their website “collecting data.”
I know people are saying that since the Caps managed to win a 2-1 game when it mattered the most, they’ll be able to play with Pittsburgh, but honestly, I’m not so sure. I don’t think Washington will win this series, which means that all of those crazy Crosby fans will make it seem like the ONLY REASON Pittsburgh managed to win is because CROSBY IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD AND NO ONE COMPARES. Forget that the Pens have a great goalie and Evgeni Malkin, the player who I actually think is better than Crosby. Merely because the Penguins have Sidney, they’ll win. Trust me. I know these things. My grandfather is one of those Crosby fan boys. A Don Cherry type, if you will. All he does is get on my case and tell me that if I think Alex is better than Crosby, I clearly don’t know hockey as well as he thought I did. And then when I go and tell him that Malkin and Alex are the two greatest players in the league – I’ll relent that Crosby is third – and so Crosby isn’t even the best player on his own team, he leaves the room. Yo, Grandpa, just because Alex and Geno are Russian doesn’t mean they’re automatically below Sidney on the list. Being Canadian does not equal being the best. Last time I checked, Sidney wasn’t even one of the three finalists for the Hart. They’re all Russians. Um, so, yeah.
But I digress. I have faith in Washington’s goaltending, which is an odd feeling to have, but they don’t have as much experience as Pittsburgh and they need to get their defensive game down perfectly. The Penguins have a tad bit more offense than the Rangers did. Washington needs keep their power play clicking and make sure their penalty kill is solid. Alex needs to try doing a little less, Nicklas needs to keep up his fabulousness, Michael needs to start playing like Michael, etc. I just…don’t like this match-up. I don’t like it one bit.
That being said, I think this series could be highly entertaining. The regular season games between these two always were, and I can’t wait to see Alex lay somebody out. I also can’t wait to see if Michael really has returned for good. I have a theory that he had some sort of cold. He sounded really congested when they interviewed him before Game 2, and sounded less stuffy before Game 6.
Carolina vs. Boston will be almost as good as the Pittsburgh vs. Boston series I had been hoping for. It’ll be interesting to see if Carolina’s momentum can carry over.
My apologies to the Hawks fans reading this, but I think Vancouver’s going to come out on top for this one.
Finally, Detroit over Anaheim. I love the Ducks, but come on. It’s Detroit.
- Vancouver completed the sweep last night. So long, St. Louis. Screws one of my predictions.
- Pittsburgh won. Ew. There were WAY too many people wearing Crosby jerseys at school today.
- Detroit also won, so they’ll most likely sweep in the next game. At least it was a good experience for Columbus, right? They looked so overwhelmed for the few minutes I watched.
- San Jose won as well. I was shocked.
- Carolina scored the game-winner with .2 seconds left in regulation. I was watching. The ‘Canes had been putting the pressure on and for no apparent reason, even with four seconds left I still thought they might pull it off. They did. This series is so going seven games.
- Last night there was a segment on E:60 about one Mr. Alexander Ovechkin. It was an epic twelve minutes, to say the least. I’m going to try and summarize it for you here: baby pictures, robot impressions, concern over lost licenses, Daddy Ovechkin in the Streetwear hat I want (seriously, Alex? You’ve got your father in one of those?), a personal shoutout to me (because that’s what it was when they mentioned the “fanatic following” he has, right?) and the quote of the night when he was asked what he does when he goes out. Apparently it’s not appropriate for television. I have only one thing to say about that. If those boys are going out and doing bad things, they BETTER NOT be bringing Nicklas with them. I don’t really care what shenanigans they get in to, but Nicklas has a bedtime. And he’s still innocent. If they’re scarring him, there’s going to be serious trouble.
- Speaking of Nicklas, while I was eating breakfast my dad told me that Nick Backstrom was having hip surgery and would be out six months. I choked on my banana bread, thinking he meant my Nick. Apologies to the Minnesota fans, that does kind of suck.
- I’m very conflicted about the Caps game tonight. On the one hand, when they went down 0-2 I knew they were done. Then Simeon came in, and after seeing the game Monday night, I feel hope. If being a Sabres fan has given me one thing, it’s the ability to hope against all hope, and hope even when only 12.7% of the teams that went down 2-1 came back to win it. These Capitals are a plucky little bunch. If there’s any team that could come back, now that they have a solid young goaltender, it’s them. But I don’t want to get too excited.
- P.S. to the Capitals: If you could keep this to a six-game series, I’d really appreciate it. It’s just that I have a huge test the morning after what would be game seven, and I need to study and don’t need the stress, and knowing my luck it would be one of those marathon overtime sessions. ‘Kaythxbye.
Last year, I didn’t know what to expect when I started rooting for the Caps. I didn’t know a lot about the team and probably couldn’t even have named all the players. I didn’t know how they would handle the playoffs and didn’t know if they could survive a series.
This year, I know this team. I know this team even better than I thought I did. That’s why I’m worried. Some people are saying the Caps will have no problem with the Rangers, but I’m more on the side of those who say they need to be careful. That’s why I’m picking the Caps, but I’m saying it’ll take them six games. Everyone is making a bid deal about how Sean Avery’s going to get in everyone’s head but the only player I’m worried about is Jose Theodore. Avery could probably psyche him out, but Alex doesn’t really seem like the kind of player who would let him get inside his head.
I honestly don’t know if they can win the Cup this year. Let’s be honest, their goaltending is questionable, they need to cut down on penalties, and need to improve their penalty killing. But they have to at least win a round. I might cry if they don’t.
I also might cry if Semie and Staal don’t fight again.
If they do win a round, but then lose to the Penguins, I’ll jump off a bridge.
My other picks:
Boston (1) vs. Montreal (8)
Boston hasn’t been as fantastic as they were earlier in the season, but as shaky as they’ve been, Montreal has been worse. The only reason the Habs even made the playoffs is because Florida and Buffalo blew it.
Bruins in six.
New Jersey (3) vs. Carolina (6)
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my grandfather on the phone. He’s 90, and is easily confused by the standings. I was explaining to him what the Sabres needed to do to move into the playoffs, and what games other teams needed to lose. At one point New Jersey came up, and I told him that beating New Jersey would be tough because I thought they would win it all this year.
Now, after the season is over, I think New Jersey has kind of crashed and burned, and I really don’t think they’ll go far. I feel bad for Devils fans, but I’m no longer seeing a Red Wings/Devils final with the Devils winning.
Carolina in six.
Pittsburgh (4) vs. Philadelphia (5)
As much as I hate Philadelphia, I hate Pittsburgh more. That being said, Philly’s goaltending is even more questionable than Washington’s and Pittsburgh has been on a tear. It’ll come down to whether or not Philly’s defense can keep Pittsburgh away from Biron, and then if their offense can get to Fleury.
It’ll take seven games, and as much as I hate to say it, I think Pittsburgh will move on to the next round.
San Jose (1) vs. Anaheim (8)
Yes, I know that San Jose won the Presidents’ Trophy. But I also know that the Sharks are some of the biggest chokers I have ever seen. Anaheim’s been pretty good as of late, and I honestly think they could beat the Sharks if they tried.
Anaheim in seven games.
Detroit (2) vs. Columbus (7)
Apologies to the Blackhawks fans out there (and there are more and more of you every day), but I adopted Columbus as my Western Conference Team a couple weeks ago. They’re cute, and they made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. And I had to write an article review about an article on them for gym, so I know all about these little Blue Jackets. Detroit is a scary postseason team, but Columbus beat them 8-2 earlier in the year. They have Steve Mason, and Detroit has their entire offense and defense.
This series will go one of two ways. Either Columbus finds that spark that got them to the playoffs and upset the Red Wings in seven games, or Detroit sweeps them.
Vancouver (3) vs. St. Louis (6)
Honestly, I have watched very little of either team this year. Like, I think I saw two games from each, and the St. Louis games were back when they sucked. I know very little about either of these teams, other than Jay McKee players for the Blues and the Sedins play for the Canucks. Hey, didn’t that bald Swedish guy sign with the Canucks halfway through the season too?
St. Louis in six.
Chicago (4) vs. Calgary (5)
I feel kind of bad for Calgary. They had a 13-point lead in their division and then kind of crapped out. And, um, 0-42 on the power play to end the season? That’s awful.
Chicago, on the other hand, has been pretty darn good for most of the season. AND they finished off the season by shutting out Detroit. That’s pretty good, ‘Hawks. They’ll win this series, but – and don’t kill me, Cari, Kim, or Clare!! – I’m not sure how much deeper they’ll get. Making the playoffs alone is a huge accomplishment for them, and winning a series would be great, but they still are a young team, and they’ve kind of looked young at times this season. But still, they’ll be fine against Calgary.
Chicago in five.
But I’ll still be watching the Caps the most. Let’s go Caps! Woo!!!
- SNOW DAY! And for once they canceled early enough for me to turn off my alarm before it went off six times and fall back asleep for two hours. Two whole hours. It was fabulous. The October Storm aside, I think we broke the record for the most snow days in the shortest period of time. Three snow days in less than two school weeks? Madness! The only bad thing is that now if we get another snow day they’ll chop days off our Memorial Weekend. Eh. (But why couldn’t this have happened tomorrow? I have to swim again tomorrow, and that pool is disgusting. I scrubbed in the shower last night and I still smell like chlorine.)
- Mats made his debut last night with the Canucks. They won, but Mats was held shotless and pointless. Ah, well. I can’t wait to see him skate on a line with the Sedins.
- Oh, the love that is a new Alex interview! This one is pretty good, Dear Readers. The guy they dubbed it with sounds kind of like a robot, but you occasionally get to hear Alex’s sexy Russian. (Speaking of Russian, I was totally jealous of Andre in the second question on my French quiz yesterday. He had just visited Russia!) I’m not sure which part was the best: the dancing, the lucky scissors, or the eggs. Just for the record, while I would probably camp out on his front step or something, I would never do anything as random as putting two eggs on the end of his driveway. (Kudos to whoever did, however. That’s a pretty spectacular idea)
- Montreal beat New York last night thanks to Robert Lang’s tour du chapeau. The third goal of it apparently came when New York had a 6-on-3? That’s hilarious. The Rangers couldn’t score when they had a three man advantage. Even Atlanta can do that. Buffalo needs the win tomorrow night, because New York is only six points ahead of them. All these teams are starting to fall apart! What is up with that?
- The standings are really close. We at TFF Headquarters were studying them last night and decided that it’s going to come right down to the wire. It’ll be really interesting to see who ends up in and who ends up out. (Washington is not that far behind Boston, guys. It’s actually starting to look like they might have a realistic chance to bump Boston out of the top spot.) We also decided last night that Buffalo has to move up in the standings so that they aren’t playing Washington this spring, because if we are faced with a Washington/Buffalo playoff series, I’m leaving the country. (My first hockey dream is to one day see the Sabres lift the Stanley Cup. My second is to see Alex lift that bad boy.)
- Timmy is coming back on Friday. We were also placing bets last night on how long he would last. I’ve got money on him tripping over himself on his third shift and being out for the rest of the season with a broken neck.
- East All Star Reserves getting named today. Tvan will be representing Buffalo, I’m sure of it. If there’s a more deserving player, I have yet to see him. It will be interesting to see who else makes the cut. Other than Alex, of course, because the league needs to have their annual press conference. You know, the one where Sid and Alex sit together and the reporters ask Sid questions for about twenty minutes and Alex politely sits there and then at the very end they ask him a stupid question about what it’s like “getting a chance to play with Sidney.”
- Andrew Peters is one of the most politically correct players I have ever heard. He is saying all the right things throughout this whole bite incident. And he’s absolutely right, too. I don’t care if “cannibalism” (oh Lindy, ILY!) is a dirty part of the game that’s kept hush-hush. Jarkko Ruutu is setting a bad example for all the kids who look up to hockey players. He’s making the sport look bad, and hockey should be on SportsCenter more often than when someone gets bit.