Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 Divisional Quarter Finals- Predictions

1) The most exciting time of year is upon us. The Stanley Cup Playoffs! The premiere tournament in ALL of team sports. We will go through each of the 8 opening round series. Predict the winner and the number of games it may take to achieve the results as well as discuss some of the factors that resulted in our prediction.

First The East:

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins-VS- (8) NY Islanders: Yes, this is a first round bye for the Pens. Sorry Islander fans, despite your teams excellent March /mid April run they are not in the same league as the mighty Pens who were blowing teams away without Malkin/Crosby/Letang/Neal  The pens have been eliminated in the first round the past 2 seasons so they won't be taking this round lightly. With the late season additions of  Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray the Penguins are loaded and will roll over the Isles.  Penguins in 4

(2) Montreal Canadiens-VS- (7) Ottawa Senators: The premiere series of the 4 Eastern sets.  The battle of Canada. Despite the seeding we feel the Senators should be looked upon as  the favourites in this series. However, by no means will it be a cake walk, and if price steps up, it could go the other way. The Sens got the 7th seed despite a rash of injuries that would have sunk most teams. Karlsson, Anderson and Jared Cowen have all healed in time for the playoffs, so we feel that they really are as good if not a better team that the Habs right now who stumbled the last few weeks.  Senators in 6

 (3) Washington Capitals-VS- (6) NY Rangers: Again?!?  Yes.  However, despite the fact that the teams played last season, both teams have a vastly different feel going into this series. Caps are back to the run and gun, and the Rangers are no longer the miserly, block shots and goaltending of The King. They have been quite ordinary(other than Lundqvist) this season and despite adding Nash, they continue to have trouble scoring.  Amazingly Ovechkin quickly resumed his Hart- candidate, Richard type production to propel the caps back atop the South-Least Division.  It will likely come down to one or two OT games, but with the home ice this time around we believe the caps will prevail this time. Capitals in 7  

(4) Boston Bruins-VS- (5) Toronto Maple Leafs:  The only all-Original Six match-up of the first round, although they haven't seen each other in the playoffs almost 40 years.  Unusually, this 4-5 match up will NOT be as close as those sees usually produce. We feel that despite the proximity in the standings, the teams are worlds apart in talent and playoff experience. Also don't discount the 'Kessel trade' factor, as we will see Sequin and Hamilton-vs- Kessel show why the B's won that trade hands down. The Bruins have posted a 15-4-3 record over the Leafs since the two teams completed the trade to send Phil Kessel to Toronto. Although we laud the job Randy Carlyle did to get this team to end nine long years of suffering, we feel they are no match for Claude Julien's teams.  Bruins in 5 


(1) Chicago Black Hawks-VS- (8) Minnesota Wild: The Wild slipped into the final playoff spot on the final day of the season. Their reward?  They get to play the power house Black Hawks who haven't had one bad stretch all season.  It will take a monumental effort from Niklas Backstrom to keep the games and series close, but we don't see it happening. Perhaps the Wild can steal 1, but with their anemic attack and the Hawks tremendous  host of offensive weapons with  Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa, great defense and sound goaltending, this will be the West's version of a First Round Bye.  Black Hawks in 4

(2) Anaheim Ducks-VS- (7) Detroit Red Wings: Many are  predicting an 'upset' here, but would it really be?  Had we said in the preseason that the Wings would beat the Ducks in the 1st round who would have been shocked? That being said we don't think the Wings have that mystique they once possessed. While we're not big Boudreau fans, he has his team playing well and probably good enough to survive a first round. It doesn't hurt when you can boast one of the strongest goaltending tandems in the NHL with Viktor Fasth and Jonas Hiller. We think the combo of Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan will out duel Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Franzen.  Ducks in 6

(3) Vancouver Canucks-VS- (6) San Jose Sharks: HERE is where we expect an upset(if it can be called one.  Two teams that usually underwhelm in the post season(especially SJ).  We believe with the Luongo/Schneider situation still simmering. To muddy the waters more Schneider may not be healthy propelling Luongo as the starter. Would be interesting if Roberto played stellar and won the series.However we don't foresee that and more importantly the Sharks play better as the under dog so we expect to see the 3rd seed in the West disposed of early.  Sharks in 5

(4) St. Louis Blues-VS- (5) Los Angles Kings: A typical 4-5 match and should be the closest of the 4 West series. Just one point separated the two teams in the standings, and the teams' goals-for and goals-against totals  differed by four and three respectively After rough starts the Blues and Kings came on the last 2 months to grab the 4th and 5th seeds.   The Blues will look to exact revenge as the Kings swept the Blues last season in the second round. Both teams well coached, with Ken Hitchcock squad of course  playing responsible, two-way hockey and Sutter's crew  has a line-up that is nearly identical to the 2012 Champions so probably it will come down to an OT or even 2 to decide the fate of this series.  We give the nod to the Blues only because of the home ice advantage.  Blues in 7

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Reward For Sucking!?!

1) The NHL will conduct its Draft Lottery today, Monday, April 22nd. The lottery will take place in-studio with NHL deputy-commissioner Bill Daly revealing the results live on-air. This will be the 6th time the draft lottery will been aired live on television since the 'Crosby Draft' of 2005, and for only the 7th time in 17 years. The 2013 Newark, NJ NHL Draft Lottery, live at 8pm The lottery will also be simulcast live on the TSN.ca, NHL Network, NHL.com.

2) The bottom 14 (non-playoff) teams in the NHL will be eligible for the lottery, where odds are weighted by least amount of regular season points. Unlike previous years when the winning lottery team can move up no more than four spots in the draft and no team could move back more than one, tonight's lottery will feature the new format where EVERY non playoff team could potentially WIN the lottery and the top overall pick. Representatives from each of the 14 teams eligible to win the first overall pick will be in attendance:

3) Here's the breakdown: •The five lowest-finishing teams that have the best crack at the No. 1 pick: The 30th place team has a 25% chance of winning the drawing, followed by 18.8% for the 29th place team, 14.2% for 28th, 10.7% for 27th and 8.1% for 26th. •The other nine non-play-off teams also have a diminishing chance of winning the lottery.  Can we be frank in hoping someone other than Edmonton wins it this year!!
4) Here's are a few odd facts:

•In 16 draft lotteries since its inception in 1995, the team finishing 30th has been rewarded with the first pick just six times.

•The team finishing in third-last has been promoted to the first pick four times, even though the odds of that happening are just 14.2%.

•The second to worst finisher has NEVER won the draft lottery! Not only has the second-worst team never won the draft lottery in 16 attempts, but on four occasions it is has been pushed back one drafting spot when the third-worst team won the lottery. If we were betting folks we'd say that this will be the year the second suckiest team wins the lottery.

5) Of course we will renew our objection to the whole lottery process. Our position, though radical and controversial, would eliminate all possible doubt, and no longer reward failure/incompetence. That is do what was done in the 'Crosby sweepstakes' (2005 draft). Have ALL teams' draft order determined equally by a lottery. It would be a great/exciting show, like then, to have every team a chance at the 1st pick, and it eliminates once and for all any chance that teams would be disincentivized from playing their best/best players at all times!  It forces GM's/teams to improve by making good decisions, not by tanking a season or two to rebuild and getting good picks. It eliminates ANY notion that teams aren't playing their best each and every night. Also, and as importantly, it stops once and for all the idiotic notion of reward for failure. While we're a it stop the 'loser point' in games. You lose, you get zero points for your effort!

Week 15 Results

1) All but one NHL game remains to be played in the 2013 season. Yesterday was our Final day of picks on the season, and on the day/night we went 8-5 to bring out Final Season Long total to 96-60 for a final and impressive .615 winning %. We also got the Lock correct to bring that stat's final total to 12-3 or an impressive 80% correct rate!!   

2) Of course stay tuned all playoffs long for our predictions and as we usually do, post something before the draft Lottery!  As always keep it here for all the latest!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Week 15 Picks

1) Its the final weekend of the NHL season. Lots of drama today/night that will decide the playoff fates of many teams.  There are 13 BIG games today/night

NY Rangers vs New Jersey: Rangers
Montreal vs Toronto: Habitants
Philadelphia vs Ottawa: Senators
Washington vs Boston: Bruins
Florida vs Tampa Bay: Lightning
Columbus vs Nashville: Blue Jackets
Detroit vs Dallas: Red Wings

Pittsburgh vs Carolina: Penguins (Lock of The Week)
Minnesota vs Colorado: Wild
St. Louis vs Chicago: Blues
Edmonton vs Vancouver: Oilers
Phoenix vs Anaheim: Ducks
Los Angeles vs San Jose: Sharks

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Week 14 Results

1) The day/night is complete.  We had quite a successful outing. Going an impressive 7-1, to bring the season total to 88-55, for a .615 winning %!  WE also got the 'Lock' to bring that stat to 11-3. We will again be picking next Saturday ( the final season weekend of the season) when we have a 'Bakers Dozen' (13) number of games decided. We hope to cement what could end up being our most successful season yet at picking winners. Barring a huge fall, we should stay above .600. 
As always, keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Week 14 Picks

1) Its Week 14, or second to last weekend of the season.  A relatively light schedule today/night.  WE bring our record of  81- 54 or a  .600 winning % into today.

Pittsburgh VS Boston: Penguins

New Jersey VS Florida : Devils (Lock of The Week)
NY Islanders VS Winnipeg: Islanders
Washington VS Montreal: Capitals

Toronto VS Ottawa: Maple Leafs
Philadelphia VS Carolina: Flyers
Phoenix VS Chicago: Black Hawks
Vancouver VS Detroit: Canucks

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week 13 Results

1) Another day/night of picks. Not our best effort as we went a very ordinary 6-5 to bring our season totals to 81- 54 or a  .600 winning %. We also got the Lock correct to bring that season to 10-3. 
We of course will be back at it next week when a relatively light Saturday schedule of 8 games are up for grabs.
As always keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Week 13 Picks

1) Well we roll on into Week 13 of the shortened NHL season. The home stretch as they say. THus far this season we are a very solid 75-49. Our goal as always is to stay above .500 minimally and the taget is to be at or above .600. Not easy even without odds added into the equation(why its DUMB to ever bet on ANY sport!)

Buffalo vs Philadelphia: Sabres 
Colorado vsVancouver: Canucks
Toronto vs Montreal  Maple Leafs
NY Rangers vs NY Islanders : Islanders
Washington vs Tampa Bay: Capitals
Carolina vs, BostonBruins
Pittsburgh vs Florida: Penguins ( Lock of The Week)
Columbus vs Minnesota : Blue Jackets
Dallas vs San Jose: Sharks
Calgary vs Edmonton: Oilers
Los Angeles vs Anaheim: Kings

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Week 12 Results

1) An even dozen weeks now in the books.  For the day/night we went a very solid 7-3 to bring our season totals to 75-49 or a .605 winning %. Additionally we got our 'Lock of the Week' correct as well to bring that stat to a decent, and  much better than the previous 5-3 we were to 9-3 thus far this season.

2) We will of course be back here next Saturday when 11 games are on the docket.  As always keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Week 12 Picks

1) We head into a busy week 12 of the 15 week NHL season with a 68-46, or a .596 winning %  Hoping to rebound from a sub -par week last week. 

Philadelphia at Winnipeg: Flyers 

Chicago at Nashville: Predators
Edmonton at Los Angeles: Kings
Boston at Montreal: Habitants

Toronto at New Jersey: Devils
Tampa Bay at NY Islanders: Islanders 
NY Rangers at Carolina: Rangers

Washington at Florida: Capitals
Colorado at Phoenix: Coyotes
Calgary at Vancouver: Canucks  ( Lock of the Week)
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