RMNB’s Really Bad Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions

Bracket

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

ph-bracket

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

ian-bracket

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

ChrisBracket

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

Bracket

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

brackets

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

BRACKET

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.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    WHY DID EVERYONE CHOOSE ANAHEIM

  • Brouwer Rangers

    We’ve got Team Canada at worlds winning on the backs of 2/3 of the GANG GREEN LINE (wut?) and a healthy dose of Brouwer Pouwer.

  • Brouwer Rangers

    because Häagen-Dazs

  • Mark Chaffer

    #BECAUSEITSTHECUP

  • sheena dunn

    For Dustin Penner….oh wait…

  • Adam Schwager

    I have the same East as Ian. But he has the Wild in the first round in the west and I ahve to Avs who lose to the eventual champion Blues

  • holtbysaidno

    because #perrycelly and the flying-v

  • Simonezero

    Incorrectly I predict Blues vs. Bruins in the final, Bruins taking it home. I just have to write something down for posterity. I’ve be sick and missed the bracket challenge :( Terrible excuse. Watch it end Wild vs. Blue Jackets.

    Also, Go Kings.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    ahh gotcha thanks guys

  • Jack Conness

    Peter! I have the same matchup as you. But I have the Bruins winning. I think the Canadiens could be scary though.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    how great would it be if MTL and BOS meet in the eastern finals like Rachel wants?

  • Joe Fox

    I line up w/ Chris ex. I think BOS beats PIT. But more importantly, I think that all off-season posts should be written in the EPCOT futuristic font that Rachel used!

  • Rob W.

    Me and Fedor are on the same page with the playoffs. As much as I want Gabby to do well and Teemu to win another cup, I gotta go with the Caps of the West the SJ Sharks

  • JoesefABags

    It’s hard to imagine anyone but the Blues winning the cup. Just kidding, but it felt nice to say it since I’m a Blues fan. Go Boston!

  • JoseFABags

    Also, #TeemuForver is trumped by #CoreyPerryIsaDouche

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I didn’t know Perry was a douche!

  • gwenkaylor

    I’ve got Fedor’s bracket, exactly. A Gabby win would make a great story, though :’)

  • Rob W.

    No no no, the city of Boston does not need another championship, although I do want them to be in the finals because that means the pens and rangers wont be there

  • A_Shoe

    Because Bruce still has that big cup holder in his Mercedes.

  • Ash

    You know, you guys should have totally filmed your selection process the way Vogs and Ovi did, and put it on the site as a premium feature. YOU COULD RAISE SO MUCH MONEY.

    Also, I like to think every single one of you picked a California Cup winner because you’ve all secretly internalized Ovi’s “Burritos vs. Smart Guys” rationale, where California clearly equals burritos, who are of course the most hard-working guys, in, like the whole world.

  • GetchaGrubbOn

    #PerryCelly over Philly

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com Ian Oland

    Can we stop calling it the Gang Green line? A) It’s confusing because of Mike Green still being on the team B) It sounds like Troy Brouwer needs something amputated

  • Brouwer Rangers

    Ian, ALYK Brouwer isn’t on that line. The official Green Line is widely accepted to tbe Chimmer-Fehr-Ward.

    But you’re right; it’s a bit of an obscure reference for most people and extra confusing thanks to MG52.

  • capsfan19

    AVS ALL THE WAY. YOU GUYS WILL REGRET UNDERESTIMATING THEM. The only kicker could be lack of experience but let’s not talk about that.

  • Josh Carey

    I’ve got an LA-Boston final with pretty much the exact opposite of what Peter has as a method to get there. (i.e. Philly, Pit, MTL, ANA, COL, STL winning in the first round)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Haha.

    Roy might win the Jack Adams this year, and Varly might win the Vezina, but they’re back to lottery-team status next season.

    No way they get past the second round. Take it to the bank.

  • Phil

    Columbus V. Minnesota Final.

    Who wants to go all in on THIS dark horse huh?!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • Graham Dumas
  • Graham Dumas

    THE RANGERS SHALL NOT PASS into the finals. They might make the conference finals vs Boston, but Boston will beat them.

    Actually, I agree 100% with Rachel. ANA in 7.

  • T-o-l-o

    Are playoff teams not re-seeded after each round anymore?

  • Veloj

    Yeah don’t get how the team that came oh so close to winning the whole Western Conference, that also has Chicago’s number this year, doesn’t even get out of the first round in most of these brackets.

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja n a

    Mine are almost identical to Peter’s, but now that I’m at the bottom of the post I can’t remember where I was different and I’m too lazy to scroll back up ;)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Not anymore.

    Actually, I think we’ll have a real “division champ” round in the next few years– once the league hits 32 teams.

  • Simonezero

    Ahh the last thing I want is Boston to win in the final. Just a prediction. I’d cheer for anyone in the west in that scenario.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • Redbird530

    NOBODY IS GETTING $4500 DOLLARS SPENT ON THEM THIS CHRISTMAS!

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja n a

    Now I remember … I have Colorado beating Minnesota in the first round. Otherwise … same.

  • Diller M

    LETS GO DUCKS! (honk honk honk or perhaps, quack quack quack)

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    Heh. I’m pretty neutral on that one. Real coin toss.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • ItsNotMeTrustMe

    The bracket I made yesterday is identical to Peters. That’s a little creepy. I must read this blog too much.

  • Karee Lyn

    It’s far less painful now to see the NYRs do well since Torts is gone and MSL is there.

  • Graham Dumas

    You realize we now have a relationship in which you converse with me entirely in TNG memes, right? :)

  • Shaun Phillips

    No love for the Wings over Boston? I know it was regular season and all, but the Wings beat them 3 of 4 times when they were way more banged up than they are now. Wings have been in playoff mode for the past several weeks and the kids have started to really click. I’d like to see Det/CBJ East Final, the two teams that moved from the Western Conference.

    Chicago comes out of the west; they’re healthy at the right time.

  • Jon A

    Hahaha, nice… I’ve been saying nearly the same thing, also incorrectly. Except I’ve been predicting a Blues and Bruins final with the Blues squeaking it out for the win.

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    I like the Wings, but they’re beat up to hell and not the same team they were 3 years ago.

    I’m rooting for them though.

    My <3 predictions have Detroit going deep, and Columbus beating Anaheim in 7 games in the finals.

  • katzistan

    I am pretty sure no one beats Boston in the East. (Which probably means they lose in the first round.) Anaheim looks toughest in the West, but there’s that Boudreau thing. It’ll be Colorado just to make us feel worse about the whole Varlamov affair.

  • katzistan

    Who are Caps fans rooting for, btw? Obviously Columbus in the first round, and Anaheim for Bruce and MP, but who else?

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    That’s pretty much it for me.

    I wanna see Oshie do well. I wanna see Minnesota do something interesting. That’s about it.

  • Joey Doukmetzian

    not a douche, the word you are looking for is troll

  • salgotnv

    I picked MIN cuz it’s just hockey, relax man

  • Josh Carey

    My ideal first round winners are ANA, SJS, COL, STL, DET, MTL, CBJ and NYR

  • Shaun Phillips

    They’ve been beat to hell most of the season which has given all the young kids (Nyquist, Tatar, Sheahan, Jurco, Dekeyser) great experience down the stretch. The emergence of Shehan has almost made Weiss expendable when he does come back from his injury. Picking up Legwand was one of the slyest moves at the trade deadilne as he’s fit in great. Datsyuk is back healthy (him vs Bergeron is going to be fun). Only major pieces missing right now are Zetterberg, Cleary, and Ericsson (the last two I would argue is addition by subtraction).

  • Shaun Phillips

    I think Oshie’s injured. Blues resemble the Wings from a few months ago in terms of injuries (Backes, Oshie, Sobotka, etc).

  • Shaun Phillips

    And Zetterberg could be back for the end of this series if needed (depending on how he feels practicing this week).

  • JP

    Go Ducks

  • Shaun Phillips

    Still LMAO on that clip.

  • DCSportsDork

    :_( I miss Bruce.

  • troyerlaw

    Any team other than PIT, PHI, NYR is fine with me

  • Jack Barry

    i’ve missed this.

  • Owen Johnson

    Go Ducks!

  • Owen Johnson

    BBBB + Matty P = I’m rooting for you

  • Owen Johnson

    Just buy some shoes that are the wrong size and wrong color.

  • liquid8d

    Exactly. Every other line that should have that title.

  • Myan

    It won’t happen but I’m rooting for Minnesota to take it all. It’s great to see how Bryz has been playing after how this season has panned out for him and I want to see Moulson win a Cup after being bounced around all season.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    Matty P. Man our peeps are lame.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    By our peeps, I mean the Caps. Not us. We knew better.

  • erinamanda13

    Here’s my contribution to the craziness…

  • GetchaGrubbOn
  • yv

    Mighty Ducks and BB rule. ANA over Boston. All other almost the same as Igor K., but SLB over COL and Boston over NYR. BB should show why he IS the winningest coach in NHL and MP for MVP!

  • GetchaGrubbOn
  • MuzzMuzzington

    I’m rooting for Dallas and Anaheim… and the Sharks… and the Blues… and the BJs… That Stars/Ducks match up is going to be a Win/Lose/Lose/Win for my emotions.

  • Shaun Phillips

    MTL/BOS would be the eastern semi. 4 out of the 8 teams in the east are O6 teams, so good chance of getting at least one Original 6 team into the Eastern final (Bettman’s dream would be Boston/NY).

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Chicago for me. Also, Go Blue Jackets, just want them to kick the pens out lol

  • Harjot Singh

    Me and Peter have the same bracket. Like identical…………..

  • bskillet

    Boston beats the Sharks in 7.

  • Stevarooni

    Either way, I’ve already got my Game 6 tix in Dallas. I have no fear Bruce won’t find a way to take it to 7 games regardless of the final outcome. (Which is why they aren’t a Finalist in my bracket)

  • Sarah

    Because TEEMU! Realistically speaking, this is probably going to be the second time this year the Finnish Flash hands my team its buttocks in a major tournament. And I’d rather it be him, if somebody has to.
    If/when the Ducks win round one, #TeemuForever

  • Matt Root

    I’m with you, Peter. LA is my pick to win. Such a tough team to beat with the best goalie in the world (sorry Hank) and a stout defense. Kopitar is probably the most underrated player in the world as well.

    East:
    -Bruins beats Wings (would imagine a closer series than some think)
    -MTL beats TBL although a part of me would like to see TB go further than the Rags just as an F U to St. Louis.
    -Lumbus beats Pitt as the world forgives Crosby for a woeful 1 and done.
    -Rags beat Philly

    -Bruins beats MTL
    -Rags beat Lumbus

    -Bruins rough up on Rags

    West:
    -Stars edge Ducks.. barely. I think this one will be really exciting with Seguin somehow carrying the Stars past the Ducks.
    -Kings beat Sharks. Best first round series IMO. They hate each other, and both play some of the hardest hockey in the league. Experience and best goalie on the planet puts Kings above Sharks in what wouldn’t be a surprising 7 game series.
    -Minny beats Avs despite red-hot Varly. I want to see Minnesota and all their moves to come together for atleast a round. Love me some Zach Parise and would like to see them advance. And Dany Heatley is a f^$!@%g all star. (mad at myself for typing that old joke)
    -Wouldn’t be mad if the Hawks repeated but lets hop on that Oshie bandwagon + Ryan Miller is pretty awesome. While Kane and Saad have their throwback hockey lettuce mullets, I’ll pick those flowing locks of Millers to advance.

    -Kings beat Stars
    -STL beats Minny

    -Kings beat STL in 7. When the Kings click they just seem to go on rampages.

    Finals:
    -Kings vs Boston aka the Easts only chance. Kings in 6. Californians remember hockey exists for another year and LA is flooded with Kings fans over the summer.

  • Sarah

    Okay, but who wins it? Please say Columbus, I can deal with that.

  • Sarah

    I want to hear Peter sing.

  • Matt Root

    Love the wings, and if I had more faith in Jimmy, I’d pick them, for sure, to upset Boston. I would not be surprised if they do, but if Boston moves on, I don’t see any East team stopping Boston.

  • Sarah

    Right on! Obviously if the Stars pull off an upset that would be awesome beyond all awesomeness, and I wouldn’t put it totally past them. Everybody’s so excited just to be in the playoffs again, they’re going to come at Anaheim with everything they’ve got.
    But if it’s not enough… hey, losing to Teemu doesn’t even feel like losing. And with Jim and Lindy in town, these Stars will be in the playoffs for the foreseeable future. Bring it!

  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett
  • http://www.russianmachineneverbreaks.com/ Peter Hassett

    great minds think alike

    also, our minds think alike as well

  • Ternesti

    Boston-LA finals. Rask wins Conn smythe, vezina and the cup.

  • kuznetsy

    Why you heff to be mad?

  • alchemistmuffin

    I have the Habs winning it all. Something tells me Anaheim, will lose the first round, again. It’s the west coast version of the Capitals all over again…..

  • http://www.calacirian.org sonja n a

    Boston for me … I grew up in New England.

  • Sarah

    Wow… I really liked it.
    But I didn’t get to hear Georgia snore?

  • Shaun Phillips

    Yeah Jimmy looked rough at times this season, but so did the team in front of him. He looked pretty good down the stretch so I’m going to take that as a positive sign. You’re right, if Boston can get by the Wings, I think they’re going to steam roll the rest of the East. Btw, loving the CBJ game right now. This is why we need a chat room on RMNB. :)

  • JenniferH

    I’m going with the Bruins. I don’t want them to win, but I think they will.

  • RESmith

    I have the Bruins over the Blues, despite the Blues’ six game skid. Rooting for the Blues for a friend (plus they seem to suffer the same playoff frustrations as a franchise and for as long as the Caps have.)

  • Phil

    Yes Columbus.

    I’ll take all of your checks to #thebank after the finals.

  • Jon Farrell

    My bracket is identical to Fedor’s except I have the Rangers going to the ECF instead of Philly.

  • salgotnv

    I heff to win crazy big motorcycle, and you think we have problem?)))))

  • Eric Schulz

    Backstrom is a better player than Kopitar, but he actually seems to be rated lower outside of DC. I was just reading my yearbook for this year (again), and they ranked Kopitar as the 22nd best player in the NHL; Backstrom was not on the list. He gets no respect.

  • Matt Root

    No way I agree with that. You can’t tell me a perennial Selke contender that’s stuck playing in the Datsyuk era is not as good as Backy. Kopitar is the catalyst not named Quick for that team. I really don’t think some pundits ratings of Kopitar ahead of Nicky means anything because I’d say 22 is not appreciative enough. The guy is a menace. LA over the last few years scores bookoos of SHG and Kopitar is a huge reason for that. Opposing teams have a hard time getting past the neutral zone in most cases. The guy consistently camps the net, has great hands, and finds beautiful passing lanes. Oh and he has consistent scoring touch. Sure, nick does that too (minus consistent scoring touch) but keep in mind Kopitar doesn’t have the greatest scorer on earth to feed. In fact, Kopitar has spent a majority of time with a rookie or a struggling Brown before Gaborik arrived.. Who is not the same elite scorer after his injuries. Not to mention his physicality and board play. Nicky is awesome and deserves more recognition for his play and maybe vision/passing is a slight edge for Nicky but total package there’s no way I’d buy that.

  • Eric Schulz

    You think Kopitar is better than Backstrom? I find that surprising. If anything, 22 is probably too high for Kopitar rather than too low because it’s much easier to rate forwards over defensemen due to point production (much easier to not watch the games, and just look at that), but I’d say it’s probably about right. He’s not a top-20 guy, but he’s pretty close. Backstrom, IMO, is roughly the same player (great stick-work, great in the neutral zone, one of the best players in the league I’ve seen at pick-pocketing the opposing team, a good backchecker, great passer, very patient, slows the game a little bit), except Backstrom has a higher ceiling with regards to points. I believe this year was his 2nd in a row with more points than Ovie. Sure, he benefits greatly from playing with the best goal-scorer in the world, but there’s no way he’d dip below Kopitar’s scoring without Ovechkin. I think Kopitar gets more credit than Backstrom because he’s won a Cup; had the Capitals drafted Quick way back when, then Backstrom and Kopitar are flipped.

  • Eric Schulz

    I really like Kopitar, I don’t want you to think I’m denigrating him at all; I think there’s almost no significant difference between the two when you get down to it, but it would be easier to rank Backstrom ahead of Kopitar because of his point production. If I was ranking all the NHL players, I would make sure that Backstrom and Kopitar were within 3 spots, max, from one another. Whenever people talk about underrated players, Kopitar is the most popular name that comes up; he’s so popular for being underrated that he’s no longer underrated.

  • Matt Root

    Surprising? Better S%, better FO% all but one year IIRC, perennial Selke finalist (him or bergeron are winning this year) and still 70-80 point production on a non-offensive dynamo who has mostly played with mid-level echelon scorers. I wouldn’t deny the case made for Backstrom being the best set-up man at all or best passer.. however one would word it, but the whole total package of being that multi-tool player I’d surely place Kopitar above.

    (PS. I think Nicky is THE best passer/set-up man in the league)

  • Matt Root

    Haha, I like the way you said he’s so popular for being unpopular that he’s no longer underrated. I agree with that to an extent because until the guy gets his deserved Selke, I think people will still clamor to that idea of underrated. And, like you, I obviously love Backstrom and am not demeaning him in any way. It’s totally my own personal, simply-a-fan opinion on who’d I’d rather have if I’m playing armchair GM

  • Eric Schulz

    I didn’t take anything that way at all.

    I just think that Kopitar probably will get more mention around the league when talking about great two-way forwards who are also good setup men, and/or underrated #1 Cs, etc, more so than Backstrom, because of the Cup win. I didn’t mean that YOU were using that as a reason he was better; I was just saying that as far as being underrated, winning the Cup hurts Kopitar’s case.
    To me, they are so similar; I know Kopitar’s a very good defensive forward, but so is Backstrom; he’s the best at stealing the puck in the neutral zone, he’s a master pickpocket. I just see so little difference between the two; I think there is no significant difference between the two, so if there is a significant difference in where they are ranked, then whoever is ranked lower is the more underrated.
    (And it just shocked me that Backstrom wasn’t top 50; only one source, but still.)