The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Wednesday, and although it is considered an incontrovertible truth that the Cup is a better entertainment than the NBA Playoffs, it is also its own disaster in singularly strange ways, starting with this.
In a nutshell, Bob Cole can not retire yet, and to put this in perspective for the rest of you, the game hockey game is for Mike Emrick (who is gold) as Mike Emrick for Bob Cole, and with so many stations that we revere Him, one of them could show enthusiasm to make him work longer. Clearly, he's retiring too early at 85, but Chris Chelios played until he was 82, so Cole probably has more words in him. Maybe he could work from home, even with a couple of potatoes inside after dinner. Absolutely would transmit it doing Canucks-Senators with half load.
Which brings us to the next question: the interest in the roots. If you have a soul (and when reading this website, I'm relatively sure not, having sold it in your freshman year in college for a bit of weed and answers from a struggling English teacher), you want a Canadian team win, preferably Winnipeg. The Jets have had what can only be called two checkered stories, the one that sent them to Arizona and the one that delivered them from Atlanta, and now that they are established as something more than a flash in the tray, why not them? The smallest town in the league should get a parade just because it should, even better if it's snowing the day of the parade, and the vision of seeing Dustin Byfuglien drinking from the Cup while holding it with one hand will sustain us throughout the year. The warm days ahead. Oh, we would take Calgary or even Toronto, but Winnipeg is … well, it's Winnipeg, and that beats any other explanation.
But you're not reading this for the Mark Scheifele or Patrik Laine-is-the-Connor updates McDavid-you-can-see-long by Katie Baker or the latest disgusted look from Paul Maurice, but because you have your own favorite team, so I'll do it in the easiest and cheapest way, and we'll go series by series. In addition, we will only do the first round so that comrades Petchesky and Theisen can use the same weasel trick for the second round.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Columbus Blue Jackets
Having a wider margin with each other and the second best team than anyone since the Cheat Code Canadiens of 1977, the Lightnings are considered almost deadly locks to win their first Cup since 2004. They are loaded everywhere, they are one of the 10 best scores . teams in the history of the league, and their fifth line would be better than the second of most teams. Compared to that, Columbus is a kind of unhappy ball, from the stereotype of John Tortorella to the speed with which I can get out of here Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky, and they just fought in Montreal for the final. Spot in the east.
What experts believe will happen: Lightning in three.
What will happen: Lightning in five.
What should happen: Lightning in seven, because every time a series does not produce a seventh game, a child's pet gets sick.
Boston Bruins – Toronto Maple Leafs
The clearest proof that the league has ruined its playoff format is that this would be the most entertaining conference final. The Bruins are better, they do not have to carry the weight of an annoying nation that shouts "52 YEARS!" Like a nine-year adrenaline girl, and they are a typically malicious Bruin team that makes Don Cherry approach as much as a man . We reach the ovulation audibly. Brad Marchand is still a crank badger, David Pastrnak has no skill in the power play, and Zdeno Chara will be the next player in the league's 82-year-old league. The Leafs are a fascinating team that is just now leaving the Big Big status of Next and is heading to see something now.
What experts believe will happen: Sheets in seven, because the experts support the narratives.
What will happen: Bruins in six because better is better sometimes.
What should happen: Seven games with four extensions, and your choices for the winning goal are Patrick Marleau and Charlie Coyle.
Washington Capitals – Carolina Hurricanes
The defending champions face Bunch Of Jerks (copyright pending) in a series in which the purists will be outraged in any way. The Caps spent a lot of time trying to remember why they won a year ago, then they did, and they ran across the field, including the foolish islanders, for the right to play against a stealthily good Carolina team whose owner just closed the Alliance of American Football and I threw the cardboard boxes of all in the snow. You know all the members of the Ovechkin family, but you're about to learn about Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams and Jordan Staal and Jaccob Slavin and the Jack Adams candidate Rod Brind & Amour and Storm Surge and Cheaters Never Win singing, more The Canes have the additional motivation to wonder if Tom Dundon will close the franchise at will as he did with the AAF. It will not be enough, but I would like it to be because a Carolina-Winnipeg final would be very fun and (expect) a spectacular disaster at the same time.
What experts believe will happen: Caps in five.
What will happen: Caps in six.
What should happen: Canes in seven, doing an adaptation of The Red Wedding after beating the angry howls of the Caps fans, are still upset because general manager Brian MacLellan could not find a way to keep Bryce Harper.
The New York Islanders – the Pittsburgh Penguins
The Islands have partially retired from their Brooklyn error back to the ghostly place of the Nbadau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, with no particular effect on the team's greatest strength, the interchangeable Robin Lehner-Thomas Greiss goal convertor. Lehner has the best percentage of savings and will probably start the playoffs as the player, but coach Barry Trotz has enough faith in his defensive structure (they were the second best team in the league for people who like to bet on hockey) that do not you will mind changing halfway through the game two or three times if necessary. The most pleasant watch of the islands is the Mathew Barzal center. In rebuttal, the penguins have Sidney Crosby.
What experts believe will happen: Penguins in five.
What will happen: Penguins in six.
What should happen: The islanders in seven, only to see Gary Bettman tear his head off.
Calgary Flames – Colorado Avalanche
The Flames have been the best news story of the season outside of Raleigh, while Colorado has only been quite strange, having to hit the turbos to survive Arizona (yes, that Arizona) in the final stretch. The most important player in Calgary has been, is and will remain defender Mark Giordano, but the irritating possibilities (in good manners) of Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, Derek Ryan and Sean Monahan, plus the postseason potential offered by James Neal after One of the bad season and the lean back but back in place of Mike Smith and David Rittich has made them the best team in a disappointing division. Colorado is the strange backlash that finished fifth in their division, but managed to get Gabriel Landeskog back just in time to join Nathan MacKinnon and Carl Soderberg, and the superb goalkeeper of Philipp Grubauer to create his clbadic challenge. The Lanche could win this if Grubauer is willing to shoot a middle finger at all the odds, but that is not the way to bet.
What experts believe will happen: Flames in six, because Canada.
What will happen: Flames in six, because Giordano.
What should happen: Flames in seven, because Edmonton's inability to arm himself completely around Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will be enough cause for the children to badault them on Highway 2. Hurray radiated misery!
Nashville Predators – Dallas Stars
Pekka Rinne against Ben Bishop. It's more complicated than that, of course, but as I suspect this will be the most difficult series for the untrained eye and the hardest to find on your tablet, phone or Etch A Sketch, there's a lot of badysis here (or whatever) this is supposed to be) probably wasted on the disinterested.
What experts believe will happen: Predators in five because when they are right, they are right.
What will happen: Predators in five because the experts are absolutely right from time to time.
What should happen: Predators in seven because how will the two extra games hurt you? Shut up and look, or shut up and do not look. The decision is completely yours.
San Jose Sharks – Vegas Golden Knights
This was supposed to be the best first round series because it was the safest to happen the longest, plus the Sharks got Erik Karlsson and the Knights got Max Pacioretty and both teams were clearly going for it. Then Vegas became Arizona for most of the last half of the season and San Jose became New Jersey for the last month, and now it looks like a potentially great series that came out of the boil. Marc-Andre Fleury, who could teach the charm to Steve Bannon, could be back, which is good news for Knights' inconsistencies in terms of objectives, while Martin Jones never went anywhere, which has It was bad news for the consistencies of the Sharks. Maybe San Jose overcomes its history if Karlsson has completely cured himself of the mother of all intakes (he played Saturday against Colorado), but even if he does, the Sharks will have to score a lot to win, and not just in this series.
What experts believe will happen: Knights in six because all the people who trusted the Sharks in October now tell you that they never trusted the Sharks.
What will happen: Sharks in six, with no earthly reason, because there is always a team that cheats on the lawn mower when it probably should not.
What should happen: Knights in seven, on the road, with the seventh game that looks a lot like their last regular season game in which both teams decided to beat each other.
Winnipeg Jets – St. Louis Blues
And this will be the best series, that is, if Winnipeg can get his head in time to turn it into one. The Blues have been the second best team in hockey since general manager Doug Armstrong resisted the temptation to sell all the living bodies and promoted the ridiculous and good goalie, Jordan Binnington. It's not just him, look. Craig Berube, the living incarnation of the interim coach when he was hired, has boosted the roster to such an extent that many people who should know better think that traditionally low-performing Blues might be the best hope for anyone who does not want Tampa. have a parade Winnipeg is still better (Scheifele and Laine can make the dead twist, and Blake Wheeler is still solid and solid), but the Jets have spent fewer months than the sum of their parts, while St. Louis has been the opposite .
What experts believe will happen: Blues in seven because the current bias is great.
What will happen: Jets in seven because it blows the bias of today.
What should happen: A series of the best of 13, and let the rest of the world hang up.
And now, as an extra extra, badysis of the NBA playoffs.
Golden State Warriors – Any
Warriors in three because this festive anticlimax can not end soon enough.
Ray Ratto wants Bob Cole to do his praise.