Welcome to The Win Column! We are two senior university students who are more invested in hockey than studying for final exams which start in two days. Instead of studying, we’ve prepared our first ever blog post containing oddly specific predictions for this year’s NHL playoffs. Growing up in Calgary, many of our fondest memories center around the Calgary Flames. Hearing stories of our magical cup win in 1989, watching the emergence of the Red Mile in 2004, seeing our childhood hero Jarome Iginla hit 500 goals, and more recently the sensational dangles from Johnny Hockey are just a few examples of the rich Calgary hockey history we are lucky to be a part of. The name of our blog was inspired by the 45 Ws the Flames put up this year, and also a tribute the greatest broadcaster to ever call the game: Peter Maher.
We thought it would be fun to put a bit of a spin on your average, run-of-the-mill playoff predictions. Instead of just predicting the winners of each series like every other boring hockey blogger, we broke down each series game by game and provided some insightful analysis along the way. We’ll compare our completely random predictions based on absolutely no fact or statistical data to the actual results after each series finishes. How fun!
Here we go:
Bill: Chelsea Dagger is going to haunt the dreams of Rinne. Arvidsson and Forsberg do everything they can to keep the series alive while Neal pitches his tent in the penalty box. Toews reminds the team that he was selected for the ASG before scoring 2 points for the entire series.
Karim: Chicago is just the better team here. Nashville has disappointed all season, just barely squeaking into the playoffs in the last couple months. But the Patty Kane show combined with Nashville’s shaky goalie situation will ultimately result in an easy Hawks win.
Bill: Imagine Mike Yeo’s face when he realizes Shattenkirk was the only player vaccinated for mumps.
Karim: I love Devan Dubnyk. Partly because he was on my fantasy team this year, but mostly because he got really good after leaving the Oilers. The Blues won’t be able to counter with an unconfident Allen, and the Wild will find their unexpected scoring touch after Game 1. The Blues will lose by the exact number of goals scored by Shattenkirk in the Caps’ series. Oops.
Disclaimer: What kind of biased bloggers would we be if we didn’t pick our hometown Flames to upset the division winning Ducks in 7?
Bill: The Flames are going to win a game at the Honda Center. Ferland will be too busy scoring goals to even notice Bieksa and his NMC. The Ducks will be distracted evaluating their players to see who they should protect in expansion and ultimately lose the series after disregarding the Flames as a formidable opponent. #GoFlamesGo
Karim: I’m fully convinced that the Flames will never win another regular season game in Anaheim. Never liked Mickey Mouse. But their playoff record will definitely be better after this series. Tkachuk will probably hold Bieksa and Kesler in simultaneous headlocks while Johnny goes and scores on breakaways every shift. Gibson won’t play well and Bernier will play like he did in Toronto. #GoFlamesGo
Disclaimer: What kind of biased bloggers would we be if we didn’t pick our rival Oilers to lose??
Bill: McLellan is going to be forced to test the theory on whether McDavid can do everything, as he will be the starting goalie for Games 3-5 once Talbot falls into a permanent fatigue-induced slumber. Sharks spend every game deflecting Burns’ point shots at a 10% success rate, and that will be enough to win.
Karim: San Jose management will hack into Todd McLellan’s email account with his super secure password “ilovemcdavid”. The Sharks will finally remember how to play hockey again, realize the Oilers are basically an AHL team except for their top line, and win the series in 5. Edmonton’s emotional high after Game 1 will be mercilessly crushed; it’ll be great.
Bill: Toronto puts up a good hard-fought battle against Ottawa, and Babcock cuts the press conferences short when the media insists that they’re playing Washington. The Caps’ defense corps will outscore the Leafs’ rookies, probably.
Karim: Sorry Leafs fans, it’s gonna happen. Maybe in 2067!!!
Bill: Nick Fo16-0 and the rest of the Jackets put in a valiant effort, but fall 4 wins short of getting their first ever post-season win. The math was computed using Wolfram Alpha, it checks out. BONINOBONINOBONINO will make an appearance at some point in the series.
Karim: This is the series that will probably be super fun but I’ll never end up watching. Poor Bob will be kicked off the force, Fleury won’t get into a single game, and the ghost of Rick Nash will ultimately knock out the Jackets after a hard-fought 7 gamer. Even calling up Lebron James in Game 7 won’t be enough to close out this series.
Bill: Price singlehandedly wins the series and dedicates it to Subban, who watches in the crowd for the series finale. Grabner loses his scoring touch, joining a group of snake bitten Rangers who can’t solve Price.
Karim: My dad has always been a diehard Habs fan, so I have to pick the Rangers here. Hank, the most beautiful NHL player possibly ever to play will prove you doubters wrong and carry the Rangers through this series. His majestic beard will also put Carey’s miniature goatee to shame.
Bill: Boucher matches Phaneuf against Bergeron, freeing up Karlsson to do whatever he pleases on the ice. Boston easily wins the Corsi battle every game, but Karlsson sways the Fenwick battle over to Ottawa.
Karim: Erik Karlsson will be too focused on his defensive play and forget that his team can’t win without him scoring tons of goals. And he won’t even win the Norris, poor guy.
The puck drops for Round 1 at 5 PM mountain time tonight; see you there!