The Stanley Cup playoffs start today, and the Washington Capitals aren’t a part of it. While that sucks, life must go on. The good news is that the quarterfinal round is the best week or two of hockey all year, and there’s a bunch of good match-ups to watch. There’s also a couple of garbage match-ups too, but what are you gonna do?
I’ve asked the RMNB crew to share their brackets, and they did, and they’re all really bad. Even mine is bad. Not as bad as theirs, but still really, really bad. Making predictions is a sucker’s game.
Come read our stupid predictions and share your own in the comments!
Peter Hassett, Writer of Recaps, Singer of Songs
I’ve picked the Los Angeles Kings to win it all– again, and I’ll probably be wrong– again.
Poor Bruce Boudreau will get knocked out before the conference finals, whereas Minny will escape a pathetic first-round match up with Varly and the Avs before getting demolished by the Hawks.
Boston will have a cakewalk to the eastern conference finals, where I think they’ll meet a cinderella Columbus team, who will shock the world by beating the Pens in the first round– mostly by dominating whenever Sidney isn’t playing. The Rangers look to be peaking at the right time, but I’m going with my heart: #Lumbus will face Boston in the conference finals and lose.
Ian Oland, Giffer of GIFs, Herder of Longrats
Instead of using words or abbreviations for my bracket, I did it the Ovi way.
The Anaheim Ducks. Teemu Selanne miraculously won bronze in Sochi. In his last ever playoff appearance, he will miraculously win the Stanley Cup one more time. Yes, even the playoff-futility curse thing Bruce Boudreau brought along with him from Washington will not be able to stop #TeemuForever. By the end of this playoffs though, we will be so sick of the media attention Teemu gets, we will want him to actually retire. My other picks: the Pens will roll through everyone to the Finals, because – wow, the East is bad. Their hardest challenge will be in the first round against Columbus, but Columbus is Columbus, until they prove to me they’re not Columbus. Should be fun.
Chris Gordon, Grapher of Photos, Writer of Features
I’m just picking former Caps to do well. After narrowly missing out on his second president’s trophy, Bruce Boudreau’s Ducks are the darlings of the regular season. Sound familiar?
Like Boudreau’s Caps, the Anaheim Ducks will probably get bounced before the conference final. Nevertheless, my bracket has them going all the way. Get it done, Bruce. You’re all we have left.
Fedor Fedin, Writer of Prospects, Man of Moscow
I’d really love to see the San Jose Sharks (with whom Caps have so much in common) finally do well. I think this is the year for a tremendously organized bunch led by one of my favorite NHL coaches, Todd McLellan, as well as high-scoring Joe Pavelski and rock solid Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Their hard work for many years will finally pay off. A first-round win against their bitter rivals the Kings would go a long way for them.
Some other notes: Marc-Andre Fleury will be lit up again, just not in the first round; Jeff Zatkoff will see some ice time. Boston will once more be the beast of the East, and frankly, it doesn’t seem like it’s even close. Philly and Claude Giroux will ride their late-season regular success all the way to the conference finals. Without Matt Duchene, the Avs will have no answer for the Hawks.
Igor Kleyner, Speaker of Russian, Space Cowboy
East: Boston over Detroit, because obviously Boston. Stammer carries the Bolts over the Habs. Then, well, Boston again, just as obvious as the 1st round. In the other half of the East, it’s Pens over Lumbus in an unexpectedly tough match-up, while the Rags have it surprisingly easy over Flyers. MSL and Richards play like it’s 2004 all over again while Henrik out Tuukka’s Tuukka in the EC finals.
West: Kings and Sharks kill each other. Literally. There is not a single player from either team still alive to play in the second round vs Ducks, so it’s a forfeit to the Anaheim. Meanwhile, Lanche sweeps Wild AND Blues in the second round; Roy shows up at the last game with both ears plugged by giant SC replicas, then assaults Hitch with those cups during handshake. He is banned for the WC finals. Ducks win.
Ducks and Rags in the SC Finals. Bruce ALWAYS beats Rangers in the playoffs.
2014 SC Champs Anaheim Ducks. #TeamBoudreau
Rachel Cohen, Monger of Art, Merchant of Feels
Unlike almost everyone else, I have Columbus with the upset in round 1. Fleury will fleur, and Bobrovsky will not. Philly and New York are gonna beat the tar out of each other. To quote Bryz: “There’s gonna be lots of lots of murders. We’re going to need lots of ambulances.” Boston seamrolls Detroit. Without Ben Bishop, the Habs won’t be able to take out Carey Price unless Stamkos gets hot. In the end, Boston will win the East because Tuukka will Tuuk in a good way.
The closest series in the west will be SJS-LAK and MIN-COL. San Jose and LA are both great, but SJS is just slightly better. MIN-COL is all about goaltending: Bryz and Varly have been playing fantastic, but I think Bryz’s 1.19 GAA will help MIN squeak by. This year will be different for Bruce. The Anaheim Ducks will win hard-fought series with Chicago and Boston to win the Cup.
So who’ve you got? Please don’t say the Ducks. Grab some brackets and share ’em in the comments.