Each of the four remaining playoff teams has won a championship in the last four years. We’re just recycling winners at this point. There’s no point in watching anymore. There’s no point in anything. Our Capitals have been eliminated, and I can’ t think of any good reason to get out of bed in the morning except for summer weather, two good regional baseball teams, bathing suits, watermelons, Joss Whedon’s commentary track for Avengers, and a new Janelle Monae album.
Other than that, life is a wasteland.
Nonetheless, Ian and I made a promise to publish our awful, hastily assembled predictions on who would win each round of the playoffs. As you remember, I got smacked down in the quarterfinal round, but I’m feeling a little better about the enterprise right now….
…cause last round I went 4 for 4, baby!
Here’s how the semifinals shook out:
Peter: 100% (Peter rules)
Ian: 75% (Ian picked the Wings over the Hawks because n00b)
Reaction GIFs? Reaction GIFs.
First I was all
And then I was all
And Ian was all
But I was all
Okay. Quit goofing around. We’ve gotta do predictions for the conference finals.
Chicago Blackhawks (#1) vs Los Angeles Kings (#5)
Peter: Clash of the titans. These are the two best teams in the league, and I think either one could beat whoever comes out of the East. But the Kings have been my Cup pick since January, and I ain’t backing off now. I think Jonathan Quick is on the cusp of reclaiming 2012 #beastmode, but I ain’t gonna sleep on the Hawks, who dominated the regular season. While some folks are disappointed in Jonathan Teows’ solitary postseason goal, he is still driving play, and I’m pretty certain Brandon will give Kings fans a Saad at some point (audible groan at my own pun).
The Kings are playing a style of hockey I wish more teams (including the one I write about most) would imitate. Due for a breakout is Alec Martinez, but I’d do anything to see DJ’s brother Dwight King have a hero moment next week. But in the end I’m expecting east-coast boys like Carter and Richards to put the Kings over the top– with Quick as a competent backstop. Kings in 6.
Ian: Wings! Man, you guys had it RIGHT THERE. And then… Uggggg.
NO PIERRE NOT NOW I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT GAWDDDDDD
Focus, Ian. Focus. Okay, so Kings/Blackhawks. My brother made an interesting point about the Hawks when they were down 3-1. “The Blackhawks were consistently the best team in hockey this year, especially after they started the year with 24 straight wins,” he told me on Facebook chat after the Wings were up 3-1 in the series. “Winning three in a row now shouldn’t be too difficult for them.”
I laughed at him, saying the playoffs are a different beast, and then they went out and ruined my life. I think that’s the thing here. The Kings — by all advanced metrics — are a very special team. But it is so hard to repeat in the modern-day NHL and the Blackhawks are special too. I think the Hawks will be hungrier. I think Toews and his homebody Patty K, will take the Blackhawks to the Finals again. But it’ll be a struggle and a back-and-forth series. Hawks in 6.
Pittsburgh Penguins (#1) vs Boston Bruins (#4)
Peter: Ugh. Bluuweogubweofuwef. I guess I’m relieved that the Bruins beat the Rangers, but I really wanted it to end up like one of those episodes of Doctor Who where two sides are at war for so long that they’re all ruined and then I can run in wearing a cool suit and talk real fast and then leave them both to die. That’s what I think about pretty much every time the Caps aren’t playing.
I’ve been tempted to bet against the Penguins in every round– irrationally. You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but it also took me like 20 times eating guacamole to realize I was allergic to avocado, and this is just like that but with hockey teams. The Bruins are the strongest puck-possession team remaining with a goalie who, despite his face, might be able to halt the surging but unsustainable Pens’ offense. While I do think Crosby is the best player in the world, I doubt his point production will continue at its current pace. And Paul Martin’s absurd level of success in the postseason is gonna melt away like Nazi faces at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark revealing the shlub we all remember from 2011-2012.
You know, it’s possible I might be allowing my emotions to override my judgment somewhat. Whatever. Bruins in 6.
Ian: The Pens, man. Nobody in the East are close to them and you have no idea how much it disgusts me to write that. When I was in high school, every hockey fan at Frederick High was a Pens fan. I’d all walk into school with my Caps jersey on, and people would heckle me. AND I WAS THE FAN OF THE HOMETOWN TEAM.
The amount of swallowed and buried rage I have for the Pens, Mario, and their fans is not healthy. It’s not normal. Jean-Claude Van Damme knows how I feel inside:
Life’s not fair. The Pens aren’t going to lose — as much as I want them to– and as much as Boston could use a win after what happened a few months ago, Crosby and company are going to swallow Rask and his abnormally oblong head whole. The Bs will come into this series with way too much confidence after their second round win over New York, but they will get embarrassed. There will be lots of diving and crumpling to the ice in pain by Brad Marchand. Matt Cooke will score the game-winning series goal and and after the game, Pierre will interview him, and multiple kittens will die.
Let me repeat: life’s not fair. Pens in 5.
Place your bets in the comments below.