Are you ready for some football?
I am trying very hard to watch these games. Center Ice helps because I don't have to watch the OLN guys try to figure out how to broadcast a hockey game OJT-style.
Tonight, I was subjected to the Ducks/Flames game seven, which had all the makings of the Ducks' 2003 run to the Cup Finals. It made me think about a lot of hockey junk. For one, I'm a huge fan of the new NHL with the new changes. In 2003, when the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim made a run to the finals, a 2 goal lead was 'change the channel' time. Find another game, because that one is over. The Oilers wild four-goal third period against the Evil Empire on Thursday was about a million times more exciting. A fast, young team beat the Wings despite being down 2-0 with only 20 minutes to play.
Diggity-different and me likey.
I can only hope that the Ducks, who do not play a full-blown trap game, but have managed to slow down play somehow, get eliminated by the much more exciting Avs. Tons of scoring versus tons of defense. Come on scoring.
And the other big thing I was reminded of is that horrible name. The Ducks lost to the Devils in game seven two Cups ago. Which means we were just a couple bounces of luck away from having "Mighty Ducks of Anaheim" engraved (FOREVER) on the coolest trophy in sports. Yikes.
Under new ownership, the team from not-quite-LA is getting a name and logo change this summer, but if they win this year the travesty could still happen. Meanwhile, I'm sure they are going to lose the 'Mighty' crap and the back-asswards team name before location garbage, but the name is still going to 'incorporte' the name Duck.
Great. The OC Mallards? The Bedroom Community Whitebellies?
Jesus. Just scrap it all. People out there think they're attached to the Duck name, but give it two years and they'll all be saying, "what was I thinking? Dude."
On With The Crappy Predictions
1 Ottawa v 4 Buffalo
I like the way the Sabres have played, and I know that son of GT will be pulling for them, but they're about to run into a sickly talented team. Great goaltending, with Hasek waiting in the wings, nasty (Chara and Phillips) and mobile (Redden and Meszaros and Volchenkov) defensemen, and just a silly array of scoring forwards (too many to list, but they just added Havlat after a huge injury layoff this year and he leads the team in goals with 6 and points with 10).
I'd love to say Sabres, but Ottawa is just too sick right now. Sens in 5.
2 Carolina v 6 Jersey
Another series that is pulling me in two directions, I have a hard time going against NJ, even without Stevens and whatnot. But the Weight and Stillman factor and the excitement of Eric Staal and a young goalie in Cam Ward gives me reason to see the Blues in them. Our team could draft a younger Staal in just a few weeks and could have a youngster goalie start the new season in net. Maybe I'm grasping again, but I'd like to see the Canes get the win. Against NJ, I'll take 'em in 7.
5 San Jose v 8 Edmonton
Hey, great job Oilers in beating the Wings. We tip out cap. But the Sharks are a silly amount of good and will win this thing in 6. Thornton/Cheechoo are going to break out and soon. Unfortunately, we'll all be subjected to that lame-ass shark-chomp arm thing they do out there (when they're not all furiously checking their Blackberries en masse).
6 Ducks v 7 Colorado
Please, Q. Please. Keep up the scoring and get just good enough 'tending from Theodore and get the Ducks and their crap-ass style of play out. Please.
See, I'm saying please? Avs in 7.
Some of you liked my non-game predictions last round, so I'll add some more this week.