The Western Conference is a guilty pleasure of ours. We can easily root for three teams in the same division without even blinking an eye unlike the Eastern Conference.
Henrik is the only one who has no qualms about being a Rangers fan and a Penguins fan at the same time.
Some of our favorite teams are in the playoffs for the first time in years and we can't wait to see how it all pans out.
For our playoff preview, we are doing three things. First is a little recap of who it is playing and why they suck/don't suck. Second is the S Factor or Stanley Cup Factor, the player who we think can take them to the second round. And thirds is our predictions on who will make it out of the round alive.
#1 San Jose Sharks / #8 Anaheim Ducks
The battle for the eighth seed was interesting in the WC. At one point there were five teams in play for the eighth. But Anaheim lucked out and beat everyone for it.
This will be the first time that the two California teams will play each other in the playoffs. Article. And it should be interesting because of how much the teams hate each other.
We will honestly be shocked if this series doesn't go seven games.
Sharks: Patrick Marleau - The Sharks captain has been awesome this season with all his game-winning goals and for the Sharks to keep going, he has to keep going.
Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf - We would say Hiller but that's a little too obvious. We're picking Getzlaf because he is the heartbeat of the offense and if he isn't doing anything then the Ducks aren't either.
How are the Sharks preparing for the tilt...link.
Noodles - Sharks
Henrik - Sharks
#2 Detroit Red Wings / #7 Columbus Blue Jackets
Oh what a series. This has to be a joke. We just don't even know right now. Our cynical side says that the Jackets are going to get crushed by the Wings. We've seen it happen.
The way the Wings play is sneaky, they are unassuming and quiet and European but they suddenly bite your head off when you least expect it. Or maybe we're just bitter and know nothing.
The PuckHuffers are guaranteeing a sweep. We don't know how to feel about that but fuck would that be awesome.
Chris Osgood is guaranteeing that he won't let in a soft goal...link.
Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg - Where has he been? It's been a very quiet year for the Conn Smythe winner. If he shows up then who the hell knows what's going down in Detroit this post season, they could win again.
What a scary face.
Blue Jackets: Steve Mason - Oh Stevie, if you only knew how many hopes of Stanley Cup aspirations are resting on your shoulders. He has the ability to single-handedly kill Detroit. He shutout the Caps, which is the greatest team in the NHL history and he should get the Vezina just for stopping 'the' Mike Green. He can do it.
The Blue Jackets are so excited that they created an entire page on their website dedicated to the playoffs...link.
Rick Nash is ready...link.
Noodles - Wings
Henrik - Wings
#3 Vancouver Canucks / #6 St. Louis Blues
People are excited that the Blue Jackets finally made it into the post season for the first time ever. We are too, don't get us wrong, but the fact that the Blues made it is killing us. We are too fucking excited.
Henrik wants Brad Boyes to birth her illegitimate man-children because of his power play goals. And Noodles is caught up in the Oshie-phenomenon. It's a disease.
Their site is awesomely amazing for the playoffs...link.
But we also really like the Canucks. There are so many players that we like and their mothers are adorable and they're actually pretty fun to watch sometimes. Plus, they have playoff hockey cards...Kukla's Korner.
We are so torn.
Canucks: Mats Sundin - The big question for this is if Sundin can be the playoff performer that the Canucks need him to be. We can't see why not, he is paid the big bucks so maybe he won't disappoint.
Blues: their power play - One of the most exciting parts of watching a Blues game is their power play. Even without the "star" or "stud" defenseman patrolling the blueline the Blues can dominate on the power play.
Noodles - Canucks (It kills to pick them over the Blues)
Henrik - Blues, yaya.
#4 Chicago Blackhawks / #5 Calgary Flames
As if the Blues making the playoffs wasn't enough, the Hawks had to as well. Noodles had one thing to say, "Tazer is getting the Conn Smythe." She is delusional, we know.
The matchup of Mike Cammalleri and Patrick Sharp might be the death of us but we are expecting an amazing series. The Hawks dominated the Flames during regular season play but this is the playoffs so that means nothing.
On the Flames, two of their top players have never even sniffed the playoffs before. Olli Jokinen, as everyone knows, has never made it. And Mike Cammalleri has been in LA where defensemen go to die. Playoff virgins!
Blackhawks: Nikolai Khabibulin - Huet has been off and on this season and not what Tallon expected when he signed him. But Khabibulin has been pretty hot as of lately, he even shutout the Wings in the last home game of the season.
Flames: Miikka Kiprusoff - Without him the Flames are nothing more than the dregs of the NHL. Okay, so maybe that's going a little too far. We shall call them the Rangers of the West. He has to play on his head for them to go far.
Noodles - Hawks
Henrik - Hawks
Most of our predictions are hopeful at best and uneducated like always. We love this time of year because of games like Game 5 of the 2008 SCF. You can mention that to any Pens fan and they know immediately what you are speaking of.
We can't wait to be shaking and holding hands during an overtime that will decide the fate of our favorite teams. That is what the playoffs are all about.
A couple of articles to pass the time until Wednesday:
- Just in case you weren't sure how to enjoy the playoffs...link.
- Team Canada named the roster for their World Championships. Roster. A blueline with Luke Schenn and Shea Weber? We may die.
- Bob and Paul were talking on and on about an article being written by Starkey that had every tidbit about Coachy in it. Article. And we read it and cried. We love him even more now.
- We screenshotted this from ESPN.com in October and are amazed that we even still have it. But it says a lot about how much everyone knows about hockey.