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Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:32 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:07 pm 
 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Tampa Bay Lightning (1st in Atlantic Division) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (2nd Eastern Conference wild card)
The Tampa Bay Lightning were the top team in the NHL during the regular season, and tied an NHL record with 62 wins. They are considered by most to be the main favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup. Tampa Bay have only one once so far in franchise history (in 2004, when they defeated the Calgary Flames in seven games), and most recently qualified for the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015, when they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Their opponent, the Columbus Blue Jackets, are the only NHL franchise who have yet to advance beyond the first round of the playoffs. Tampa Bay defeated Columbus in all three regular season meetings. This marks the first time Tampa Bay and Columbus have met in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Prediction: Tampa Bay in five games.

Washington Capitals (1st in Metropolitan Division) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (1st Eastern Conference wild card)
The Washington Capitals finally won their first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 2018, defeating the Vegas Golden Knights four games to one in the Stanley Cup Finals. They open up the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs hungry for a repeat. They will face the Carolina Hurricanes first. Carolina is making their first Stanley Cup Playoffs appearance since 2009, ending the longest active drought between playoff appearances (the Buffalo Sabres, who have not qualified since 2011, now have the longest active drought). Under the very solid coaching of first year coach Rod BrindAmour (who was the team captain when the Hurricanes won their only Stanley Cup ever in 2006), the Hurricanes sure hope to make up for the years of pain they endured earlier in the decade. This marks the first time the Capitals and the Hurricanes face each other in the playoffs. Washington won all four regular season meetings between the two teams.

Prediction: Washington in six games.

Boston Bruins (2nd in Atlantic Division) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3rd in Atlantic Division)
The 2019 playoffs see Boston and Toronto facing against each other in the first round for the second consecutive season. Boston had the second best record in the NHL, as their 107 points were only bettered by their division rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who had 128. Toronto stumbled down the stretch, having gong 4-7-3 towards the end of the season. During the regular season, the Bruins and Leafs met four times, with Boston winning three of the four games. The Leafs have the longest Stanley Cup drought, not having hoisted the Stanley Cup since 1967; they have not made the Stanley Cup Finals even once since then. Boston last won the Stanley Cup in 2011; their most recent Stanley Cup Finals appearance was in 2013, when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.

Prediction: Boston in four games.

New York Islanders (2nd in Metropolitan Division) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3rd in Metropolitan Division)
The New York Islanders may have been the most surprising team in the NHL in the 2018-19 season. Predicted by many to finish in last place in the Metropolitan Division, they not only surprised the critics and fans by making the playoffs, but they even open the playoffs with home ice advantage for the first time since 1988. They face the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won two Stanley Cups so far this decade (2016 and 2017). The Penguins and Islanders have met four times so far in the playoffs; the Islanders won the first three, whereas the Penguins won the most recent series against the Islanders (2013). In the regular season, the Islanders and Penguins met four times, with both teams going 2-1-1 against each other.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in seven games.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Calgary Flames (1st in Pacific Division) vs. Colorado Avalance (2nd Western Conference wild card)
The Calgary Flames had their best regular season since 1988-89, which is also the only time in franchise history they hoisted the Stanley Cup. They open up the playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche, who were the second wild card team in the Western Conference for the second straight season. Calgary won all three regular season matchups against the Avalanche during the regular season. However, Colorado went 8-1-2 in their last 11 games, and hope to continue playing the type of game they've played in the past month if they are to pull off an upset. This marks the first playoff matchup between the Flames and Avalanche.

Prediction: Calgary in six games.

Nashville Predators (1st in Central Division) vs. Dallas Stars (1st Western Conference wild card)
The Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars meet each other in the playoffs for the first time. Dallas has qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2016; Nashville qualified for the fifth consecutive season. The only time Dallas won the Stanley Cup was in 1999, when they defeated the Buffalo Sabres in six games; they have made three other Stanley Cup Finals appearances, with the most recent being in 2000, when they lost to the New Jersey Devils. Nashville's only Stanley Cup Finals appearance thus far was in 2017, when they were defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The Predators and Stars went 2-1-2 against each other in the regular season series.

Prediction: Nashville in seven games.

Winnipeg Jets (2nd in Central Division) vs. St. Louis Blues (3rd in Central Division)
The St. Louis Blues were well out of the playoffs at Christmastime, but once January came, the Blues caught fire, and after February 1, had a record of 23-6-4 (only the Tampa Bay Lightning, who went 25-5-2, had a better record from February 1 onward). This is the second consecutive year the Jets have made the playoffs, and last year's playoff run saw the team advance beyond the opening round of the playoffs for the first time ever, where they fell to the Vegas Golden Knights in the third round. They hope to build upon that and get to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time ever. This is the first playoff series between the two franchises; in the regular season, Winnipeg won three of the four matchups.

Prediction: Winnipeg in six games.

San Jose Sharks (2nd in Pacific Division) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (3rd in Pacific Division)
In their first NHL season, the Vegas Golden Knights had by far the greatest debut season by an expansion team, by not only making the playoffs, but going all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they fell to the Washington Capitals in five games. The phenomenal debut season would not be considered a fluke as long as they returned to the playoffs the following season, and Vegas have done that. Now they hope to make another Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Their first opponent is the San Jose Sharks, whom the Golden Knights defeated in six games in the second round last year. In the regular season, the Golden Knights and the Sharks met four times; San Jose won two and Vegas won the other two.

Prediction: Vegas in seven games.
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kluseba
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:36 am
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:40 pm 
 

Awesome! I had just been thinking about creating such a thread.

My favourite team in the Eastern Conference, the Ottawa Senators, haven't made the playoffs and have actually finished dead last in the regular season. The Senators had a terrible season with a coach change, destructive trades and often terrible efforts. I went to the last home game yesterday and was hoping the team would show up in front of a nearly sold-out arena but the Senators played dreadfully to be honest. At least, some of the young guns have already been playing great hockey like Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot and Drake Batherson.

That being said, I'm quite neutral about the playoffs. I'm not rooting for any team. Being a hockey fan, I'm still looking forward to actively watching the games. These are my predictions for the first round.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Tampa Bay Lightning (1st in Atlantic Division) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (2nd Eastern Conference wild card)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have played an absolutely outstanding regular season and broken numerous records. The band's offensive qualities are incredible, the defense looks solid and even the goalkeepers have improved over the past few seasons. The Columbus Blue Jackets have gone all in with a few risky trades that brought Ryan Dzingel and Matt Duchene to Ohio. They have numerous other great players, especially Artemi Panarin and Pierre-Luc Dubois that need to be pointed out. Their goalkeeper tandem of Bobrovsky and Korpisalo is also very good. If the Blue Jackets had played against any other team in the playoffs, I would have predicted them to keep the momentum of the last few regular season games and win the series. However, I can't imagine them beat the incredibly strong Tampa Bay Lightning. To be honest, I can't actually see any team beat the Tampa Bay Lightning

Prediction: Tampa Bay in six games.

Washington Capitals (1st in Metropolitan Division) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (1st Eastern Conference wild card)

The Washington Capitals are the defending Stanley Cup champions and even though they pretty much have the same team that won last season's honours, the team's regular season was less stunning this time around. The Carolina Hurricanes have developed excellent team spirit with a solid mixture of promising youngsters and motivated veterans that has even brought respectable crowds back to Raleigh. The future for this team looks quite bright and I admire this franchise's resilience. They won't move to Quebec City or Hamilton anytime soon and that's a good thing. The players are certainly everything but a bunch of jerks. Still, the Washington Capitals have the better line-up and much more experience that should pay off in this series.

Prediction: Washington in five games.

Boston Bruins (2nd in Atlantic Division) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (3rd in Atlantic Division)

The rivalry between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs has intensified over the past few years because of some intense playoff duels. I'm looking forward to watching this series in particular and I'm expecting plenty of new intense and memorable games. The Boston Bruins have numerous outstanding veterans on their roster and it might be their last occasion to actively compete for a Stanley Cup. I'm sure they will be particularly motivated and the constant high-quality season the team has played will carry on throughout the post-season. The Toronto Maple Leafs rather consist of younger players that might compete for a Stanley Cup in three to five years. Their regular season had significant ups and downs and especially the last few regular season games were worrisome regarding the team's defensive efforts and goaltending. Boston has the momentum here and will become the most hated sports team in the Greater Toronto Area.

Prediction: Boston in six games.

New York Islanders (2nd in Metropolitan Division) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (3rd in Metropolitan Division)

The New York Islanders have unquestionably been the biggest positive surprise of this past regular season. Despite a new coach and the departure of star player Tavares, the young team has played great hockey in its small arena in front of small crowds and has become a resilient underdog. The Pittsburgh Penguins have played less convincingly throughout the season but have ended the regular season on a rather strong note with their numerous star players. Theses veterans might have one more shot at winning a Stanley Cup before they will become too old to compete at the very highest post-season level. Right now, I still see Pittsburgh's experience, motivation and quality a notch above the New York Islanders.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in six games.

My Western Conference predictions will be following shortly.
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Dragunov
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:34 am 
 

I just want to see my Bruins beat the Leafs. After that, it's all gravy, because nobody from the East is beating Tampa in a series this year, barring some unfortunate injury to their back end or Vasilevskiy. Even then, it's hard to pick against them...

Hoping for a rematch of the '04 SCF, and it would be sweet to see Stammers finally raise the Cup. He and his team fully deserve it if they play the way they have been all year.

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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:29 pm 
 

Well, the President’s Trophy winner has only won the Stanley Cup less than 40% of the time, but in most years there is a race for the President’s Trophy. This year saw Tampa just appallingly dominant in all facets of the game* so I feel comfortable awarding them the Stanley Cup in advance.
Much as I’d love to see the Isles knock off Pittsburgh because they’ve been the league’s hard-luck case for about 25 years now, it won’t happen :(
Lightning beat Penguins in the Eastern final; and go on to beat either the Sharks or Preds who’ll win the West - I’m not sure which of those two to pick in the Western final, because I’m unclear which of them would be the home team... can anyone enlighten me on that point?
The only big surprise I’m picking in Round 1 is, that I believe in the Storm Surge!!! I’m taking Carolina 4-3 over Washington.

*that said, Tampa Bay might be vulnerable t thinking they’re so good they can win just by showing up. Which would explain why my last place Ottawa Senators beat them once and pushed them to OT another!
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Dragunov
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:26 am 
 

severzhavnost wrote:
I’m not sure which of those two to pick in the Western final, because I’m unclear which of them would be the home team... can anyone enlighten me on that point?


Preds would have home ice in that situation, and I think I'd pick them to win for that reason as well!

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kluseba
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:19 pm 
 

As I have mentioned earlier, my favourite teams haven't qualified for the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. My favourite team in the Western Conference, the Arizona Coyotes, have however had the best season since 2012-2013 and I admired the team's resilience despite numerous injured players. The team was actually quite close to make the playoffs and only missed it by four points. This team has never given up, the veterans have shown great leadership and the young guns have been clawing and scratching. The future looks bright. Once the team makes the playoffs, I'm planning on traveling there and attending a few home games. Anyway, here are my predictions for the Western Conference playoffs.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Calgary Flames (1st in Pacific Division) vs. Colorado Avalance (2nd Western Conference wild card)

This series isn't as easy to predict as it seems. The Calgary Flames have had some goaltending issues. Mike Smith isn't as great as he used to be seven to five years ago and David Rittich is rather a good average back-up goaltender. The question is whether the Flames' offense is strong enough to score more goals than its average defense and at times poor goaltenders concede. As for the Colorado Avalanche, they have had an overall underwhelming season but managed to make the playoffs thanks to an impressive late season push with eight victories in the last eleven games. The team has momentum and its offensive qualities shouldn't be underestimated. I could imagine Colorado create a big surprise in this tight series.

Prediction: Colorado in seven games.

Nashville Predators (1st in Central Division) vs. Dallas Stars (1st Western Conference wild card)

The Nashville Predators have been playing great hockey over the past few years and their window for a Stanley Cup win is still open as we speak. The team has one of the greatest starting goaltenders and one of the best back-up goaltenders. Their defense might be the strongest in the entire league. The attacking players aren't as spectacular but still above average. Dallas has had a season with ups and downs and only the team's sharp offense can compete with Nashville. The Predators are simply the more complete team.

Prediction: Nashville in five games.

Winnipeg Jets (2nd in Central Division) vs. St. Louis Blues (3rd in Central Division)

The Winnipeg Jets have some of the league's most impressive offensive players and even though some of them had draughts throughout the season, one must expect these players to be ready for the playoffs. The St. Louis Blues have had a horrible beginning of the season but somehow managed to improve and make the playoffs thanks to an outstanding rookie goaltender. That won't be enough to compete with the strong Winnipeg Jets.

Prediction: Winnipeg in six games.

San Jose Sharks (2nd in Pacific Division) vs. Vegas Golden Knights (3rd in Pacific Division)

I expected the San Jose Sharks to be a contender for winning the Western Conference with a team consisting of outstanding veterans and the addition of star defender Erik Karlsson before the season. However, the team's performances haven't quite lived up to the potential. The Vegas Golden Knights have also had an average start of the season but managed to improve step by step and have added an outstanding leader with Mark Stone before the trade deadline. Even though the Sharks have more experience, I believe the Golden Knights have a tighter team spirit. This is why I believe them to beat the San Jose Sharks again like last year.

Prediction: Vegas in six games.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:00 pm 
 

I don’t even like the Buffalo Sabres, but here I am as Dallas and Nashville enter OT, and the CBC puts the Stars’ illegal Stanley Cup-winning goal from ‘99 in their “Overtime Magic” highlights segment. That’s just wrong o_O
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kluseba
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:12 pm 
 

Mike Smith is still my favourite goaltender in the National Hockey League. He was absolutely spectacular last game and is also rock solid so far tonight. I wish this former Coyote all the best!
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:30 am 
 

Soooo..how about TBL getting their asses handed to them by the Blue Jackets? Could be a sweep. Totally insane upset.
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Dragunov
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:18 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Soooo..how about TBL getting their asses handed to them by the Blue Jackets? Could be a sweep. Totally insane upset.


Third year in a row TBL have ruined my bracket. I knew CBJ were a good team and weren't to be underestimated, but...damn.

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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:42 pm 
 

Columbus done it!!!! What can be said about such a stunning turn of events but HOLY FREAKING ASS
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Dragunov
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:57 am 
 

Panarin-Kucherov handshake line encounter :lol:

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PhilosophicalFrog
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:20 am 
 

severzhavnost wrote:
Columbus done it!!!! What can be said about such a stunning turn of events but HOLY FREAKING ASS


BRO that was INSANE.

Also, that knockout in the caps game - damn!
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:56 pm 
 

Haha, holy shit what an upset. TBL vaguely annoy me so I'm very happy to see Columbus annihilate them like that and move on in the playoffs for the first time ever.

And yeah, Ovie's knockout was hilarious. I dunno if I've ever seen someone punch a guy square in the helmet and straight up knock him out like that.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:47 pm 
 

Columbus sweeping Tampa Bay is definitely one of the biggest upsets of all time. It's definitely the most shocking sweep of all time.

It's hard to believe after tying the regular season record for wins, Tampa Bay didn't even win a single playoff game. Even if Columbus beat them in seven, it would be a huge upset, but the fact that it's a sweep makes it that much more shocking.

People will be talking about this upset for years to come.
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The_Apex_of_Collapse
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:48 pm 
 

Toronto now leads series 3-2 against Boston.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:40 pm 
 

The_Apex_of_Collapse wrote:
Toronto now leads series 3-2 against Boston.


Very disappointed about that. Toronto is the one team I am not okay with winning the Stanley Cup. Let's hope Boston annihilates them the next two games.
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The_Apex_of_Collapse
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:32 pm 
 

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The_Apex_of_Collapse wrote:
Toronto now leads series 3-2 against Boston.


Very disappointed about that. Toronto is the one team I am not okay with winning the Stanley Cup. Let's hope Boston annihilates them the next two games.


Why the hate? I am actually liking what they have done with the team in the last few years.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:30 pm 
 

Me too, and I’m a Sens fan :) Wouldn’t have been caught dead well-wishing the Leafs 10 years ago, but I guess time heals all wounds.
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Dragunov
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:23 am 
 

Bruins keep taking games off, this series should've ended in 5. Kuraly/Miller didn't get healthy in time, and Tuukka's good performances are soiled by careless defensive mistakes and an almost unwillingness to fight for the puck in the corners. Toronto deserves to move forward if the B's play like they did in games 1 and 5.

Colorado, Dallas, and St. Louis keep surprising me, especially STL. This postseason has been so good, even if my team isn't ahead in their series.

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Unorthodox
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:59 am 
 

All I can say is that I'm tremendously into the Avalanche and have been since seeing them win the cup in 2000-2001 as a seven year old. This team of kids that Joe Sakic has put together is fucking incredible, and it's been great to see them wipe the floor of the Calgary Flames. Hope they get to the cup, it would be a pleasant surprise!
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Dragunov
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:43 am 
 

That top line of MacKinnon, Rantanen, and Landeskog is almost unfair. I lost count of how many times I've seen each of them turn decent defenders into pylons.

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DrummingEdge133
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:57 pm 
 

Hoping my team (the Caps) can pull out a game 6 win and get sent to round 2. If they play tonight like they did on Saturday, it should be another convincing win. The bunch of jerks need to go down!
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 6:47 pm 
 

I like the Storm Surge! They don’t it to show up their opponents; it’s just harmless goofing around. Hockey players have among the most boring public personas in all of sport, so I welcome anything that's a little oddball and fun.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:48 pm 
 

Carolina just beat Washington 5-2, and a seventh game is coming. So far the home team has won every game of the series.
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DrummingEdge133
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:00 pm 
 

severzhavnost wrote:
I like the Storm Surge! They don’t it to show up their opponents; it’s just harmless goofing around. Hockey players have among the most boring public personas in all of sport, so I welcome anything that's a little oddball and fun.


I liked it until I saw how 'bunch of jerks' they actually play. And their head coach is a basket case of weird and bizarre commentary, acting like he's never played hockey before. "Sick to my stomach" after the fight? Really? Not to mention some of the dirty hits they've done, especially the one on Oshie.

So yeah, I consider them an actual bunch of jerks now.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:52 pm 
 

Oh now I get it! You think they’re just a bunch of jerks for various reasons, rather than the bunch of jerks nickname that specifically came from the postgame celebrations.
Well, I definitely agree, Brind’Amour whining about the Svechnikov knockout was bullshit. Still, any time a team hasn’t won a playoff round in 10 years, I can’t help but pity the fools.
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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:53 pm 
 

As somebody who got really excited about the AAF and truly wanted it to succeed, only for Tom Dundon to swoop in to get his hands on the primo gambling tech the of the official app to just instantly fold the season halfway through, I really hope the Canes not only lose, but get blown out so hard that every member of the team gets horrifyingly injured.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:36 pm 
 

Ah, that's my Caps. I missed you guys.

Seriously, that game-winning goal was pretty nuts. It was clear during all of OT who the younger, more energetic team was.

I don't really care about the outcome of Canes/Isles as I don't like either team. I'm rooting for Columbus to beat Boston (a sweep? not likely, but maybe in five), then to go on to the finals, which I'm thinking will be against the Blues.
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kluseba
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:47 pm 
 

Yes! The current champions have been eliminated and the sympathetic bunch of jerks advances to the next round. Funny enough, Barry Trotz, last season's head coach of the Capitals, has advanced to the next round with the New York Islanders. As if that weren't enough, the terrible Leafs got eliminated once more by the Bruins to keep traditions going in style. Funny enough, John Tavares former team, the New York Islanders, have advanced to the next round. It's impossible to predict which team is going to win the Stanley Cup at this point and that's what's so great about it! I like it!

Here are my predictions for the second round:

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Boston Bruins: Columbus in five

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders: New York in six

Dallas Stars vs. St. Louis Blues: Dallas in seven

Colorado Hurricanes vs. San Jose Sharks: Colorado in six
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severzhavnost
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Location: Ottawa
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:25 am 
 

I don’t get to do this very often, so I’ll enjoy it now.
Quote:
The only big surprise I’m picking in Round 1 is, that I believe in the Storm Surge!!! I’m taking Carolina 4-3 over Washington.

Pretty much nobody else in the world called this, but I did :D
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Dragunov
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:34 pm
Posts: 2236
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:41 pm 
 

Bruins get Clifton and Wagner back in the lineup. If Pastrnak can do literally anything other than turn the puck over, this is looking like another 6-7 game series. I see this one being very high scoring, as each time these teams played during the regular season, there were a fuckton of odd-man rushes and breakaways due to both teams having a defense corps that likes to take chances jumping into the play on the rush. Can't really give a winner prediction here, Bruins decide to show up every other game, and this CBJ team is a real anomaly...but I wouldn't be surprised if this one went the distance.

Isles over Canes in 6-7.

Blues over Stars in 5-6.

Avs over Sharks in 7.

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