Well, hockey fans, it's good to be back. Somehow I convinced NHL.com to let me do it again. So, let's recap the Journeyman's Western Conference first-round picks, shall we:
Anaheim vs. San Jose
-- Anaheim in seven is what I said. The reason I know this is because I was there when I said it. I'm sure there were a few readers out there that called me an idiot and I was only making the selection because I'm related to "you know who."
For those of you haters out there, you're half right. I am an idiot! But I did give some compelling reasons why
the Ducks would win. I'm not here to pat myself on the back, but
The top players on the Ducks outplayed the top guys on the Sharks. And Jonas Hiller
outplayed Evgeni Nabokov
. I know I said the X-factor was Joe Thornton
, and I'm not here to bash him. He is one of the great guys in the League. I had the opportunity to play with him in Boston (Yeah, I played there too!) when he was a kid and I was hanging on for dear life. In fact, come to think of it, he gave me an autographed jersey for my retirement party. … Thanks Joe! Here's hoping Thornton can bring it next year in the playoffs like he did in Game 5. And I hope he remembers the look on Jeremy Roenick
's face after playing 20 years without a Cup!
One final note on the series: Can you believe Ryan Getzlaf
and Corey Perry
are only 23?! It feels like they been around for years. At 23, I was still trading hockey cards with some of the guys in the minors! Getzlaf reminds of someone … he played for a very long time and won multiple Stanley Cups. I won't say his name but remember where you heard it first.
Final final note: Wouldn't it be nice to see 25 and 27 on the blue line for another couple years? Should be an interesting summer
Let's move on. …
Detroit vs. Columbus
-- Columbus in six is what I said. To be completely honest with you, it wasn't me. My 5-year-old son broke into my laptop and started randomly typing and he must have decoded my encrypted file that contained my predictions.
Somehow, he managed to change my words around and pick Columbus in six when I had clearly picked Detroit in three. I actually thought Columbus would just throw in the towel Anyone buy that? Anyone? No? Alright, the truth is I can't stand the fact that Detroit is a good team. I can't stand the fact that they are a contender every year. Other than getting my butt handed to me every time I played them, I don't know where the hatred comes from! Therapy might be an option. Another reason for the pick might be that I figured if I picked this incredible upset some random billionaire gambler would recognize the talent and pay me an incredible sum to sit in a room of TVs and watch hockey. I guess I screwed that up. I know, shocker right?! But, deep down I know the real reason … I am an idiot!!
Vancouver vs. St. Louis
-- Vancouver in five is what I said. I'm back, baby… I'm BACK!! Maybe I am a genius after all! If there are any billionaire gamblers out there I can be reached at email@example.com
. We need as many Canadian teams in the playoffs as possible. I love the passion!
Chicago vs. Calgary
-- Calgary in seven is what I said. Back in the crapper again! Hey, this feels very familiar to me: right … wrong … right … wrong ... minors … NHL … minors … NHL.
I really need to get some therapy! Maybe I'm meant for mediocrity. I mean someone has to be average right, why not me? &%$#!! All right, back to the show. I must admit the Hawks looked impressive. They've got speed, skill, grit, goaltending, quite a combination.
I wouldn't want to be a Calgary Flame right now. There will be some heads rolling. If anyone in the Flames organization is reading this and looking for a tall, skinny, slow centerman who's very average on faceoffs and is scared of the puck, feel free to drop me a line!
Are you ready for this! These are the Journeyman's Second-Round Predictions:
Anaheim vs. Detroit
-- Anyone want to guess who I'm picking? That's right! You guessed it … DA Ducks in 6!
I've developed quite the fan club since my last post …. all three of them (what's up Mom, Dad, and Don S!) and I don't want to let them down. They have a lot riding on my predictions. Again, I have my reasons, and there not because my name is Chris' Brother Sean.
Here they are: Even though Ozzy has won a Cup or two, Hiller is playing better right now. I think the Ducks' defense can handle the Detroit forwards better than Detroit's defense can handle the Ducks' big line.
The big unknown will be special teams. And I don't mean how they'll perform. I mean how many opportunities each team will have. If the Ducks can stay out of the box they will win the series! You heard it here first.
Chicago vs. Vancouver
-- Vancouver in seven. Canada baby!! And I have a couple buddies that work for the Canucks that I'd like to see come down to So Cal. This is going to be an entertaining series but, again, I think the difference will be Roberto Luongo
. I know Nikolai Khabibulin
has won a Cup, but I don't care!
I received some feedback regarding my lack of attention to the Eastern Conference, soooo here are my picks:
Boston vs. Carolina
-- As much as I would love to pick Carolina (couple buddies on the team) I'm going to pick Boston in 6. And for those of you scoring at home, yes, I played for them too! You don't get the handle "The Journeyman" for nothing. OK, OK, I gave it to myself, but I earned it!!
Washington vs. Pittsburgh
-- Pittsburgh in seven. All right, I played for Pittsburgh too! What is with you people?
What a series this will be! I hope it lives up to the hype. I'm still trying to figure out my reasons why Pittsburgh will win, but it might come down to goaltending (as it usually does) and I think Pitt's got the advantage. Also, I used to be teammates with their coach at Bowling Green State University (that's what you call a plug!) and it's such a great story!!
There you have it, folks. I've put myself out to the world in black and white. There's no turning back now. If the boys at NHL.com were smart, they'd leave this on the cutting room floor, but something tells me I may have fooled them again!
Keep your head down and stick off the ice!!