Thanks to the ownership failures of the Atlanta Thrashers (sorry, Hildy), this year's re-alignment brings with it a fun new playoff format which sees a (partial) return to divisional playoffs. Which also makes it possible to fill out a Stanley Cup Playoffs bracket much like the NCAA March Madness. The NHL likely set this up with wet dreams of getting hockey bracket pools going through every office in North America, which would hopefully translate to higher TV ratings. You can even fill one out & enter the NHL's Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge.
Or you can enter this much cooler pool and have (a probably much higher) chance to win prizes right here on SBNation!
Introducing the 1st Annual St. Louis Game Time Postseason Bracket Contest That In No Way Infringes Upon NHL Copyrights!
Q: How does it work?
A: Starting right now, make your picks for this postseason on who you think will win each series and subsequently, the 2014 Stanley Cup. Each correct pick in the first round gains you two (2) points, and it doubles each round after that (4 in the second round, 8 in the conference finals, & 16 for correctly picking the Stanley Cup winner). You can also predict how many games each series will last for bonus points - 1 point for round one, 2 for the second, 4 points in the conference finals, & 8 in the SCF. Bonus points only count if you correctly pick the winner as well. For example, if you pick the Rangers to defeat the Flyers in 5 games and that happens, that's good for 3 points. If the Rangers win in 6, that's 2 points. If the Flyers beat New York in 5 games, no points. As a tie-breaker, predict how many points the postseason's leading scoring will collect.
An example of a complete entry would look like this:
BOS over DET in 6 games
MON over TB in 7 games
PIT over CLB in 5 games
NYR over PHI in 5 games
MIN over COL in 7 games
CHI over STL in 4 games
DAL over ANA in 7 games
SJ over LA in 6 games
MON over BOS in 7 games
PIT over NYR in 5 games
CHI over MIN in 6 games
SJ over DAL in 6 games
PIT over MON in 6 games
SJ over CHI in 7 games
SJ over PIT in 7 games
Leading scorer: 29 points (Joe Pavelski)
Q: Is there an entry fee of any kind?
A: No. No there is not.
Q: What could I win?
A: That's partially up to you, as it depends on how many entries we have. If we get fewer than 50 contestants, the winner will be awarded a T-Shirt of the NHL team of their choosing. If we get between 50-99, the first place winner will receive a $50 gift card to a retailer/restaurant to be named later, with the second place finisher receiving a T-shirt of their choosing. If we break 100 entries, the winner will win an NHL jersey of the team of their choosing (no name plate or numbers - no entry fees, remember?), while the 2nd place finisher gets the gift card and 3rd place gets the T-Shirt.
Q: The more people who enter, the better the prizes? I better share this with as many people as I can!
A: Yes. Yes you should.
Q: How do I enter?
A: All you need to do is email me your picks for the entire postseason at jasonmcadams1120 AT gmail DOT com. Please send me all of the following along with your predictions: A) your name (SBN screen name is acceptable), B) your Twitter handle (if you don't have a Twitter account, get one), & C) a return email address. Deadline for entrees are 5:00pm Central Daylight Time Wednesday, April 16th.
Q: Who is eligible to enter?
A: Absolutely anyone, with one two (2) exceptions: myself, and Patrick Kane.
Fuck Patrick Kane.
Q: Wait, so if this is based off of an NCAA March Madness pool, does that mean I can send in 15 different entries to get better prizes & to increase my chances of winning?
A: Fuck you, no. Only one (1) entry per person. Have integrity, son.
A: Yes you would. As long as you have the winner of that series correct, it doesn't matter who they beat.
Q: What if I send you my picks now, but forget them in a few weeks? How will I know how well I'm doing?
A: I will be posting updates after every round ends with the top 10 leading point getters. If you don't make the top 10 but you still wish to know your total, you may ask me directly via Twitter (@JMill1120) or, again, email me at jasonmcadams1120 AT gmail DOT com.
A: That doesn't directly have anything to do with the rules of this contest. But probably not.
If you have any other questions, either ask them below or find me on Twitter or email. Once again, be sure to get your entries in to me by 5:00pm Central Daylight Time on Wednesday, April 16th.
Good luck to your brackets, and the best of luck to the Blues - and the worst luck to all of the non-Blues teams!