Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Round one Western Conference playoff preview

Eventually, a disappointed Luongo realized
the other players were too busy with the
game to join his rendition of "YMCA".
The playoffs begin tonight, which means it's time to wrap up our mandatory first round predictions. We covered the Eastern Conference yesterday, so today we'll take a look at the Western Conference matchups.

#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #8 Los Angeles Kings

The matchup: The series will feature two forwards who are completely inseparable and spend virtually every waking moment of their lives together, and in addition to Mike Richards and Jeff Carter the Canucks probably have some good players too.
The view from Vancouver: The Canucks must find an answer for the Kings' best defensive player, goaltender Jonathan Quick, and their best offensive player, a frustrated Jonathan Quick taking slapshots from the point while yelling "Seriously, the rest of you don't even want to maybe give this a try?"
The view from Los Angeles: Kings players can't help but wonder if team meetings would be more effective if coach Darryl Sutter didn't continually interrupt to ask if anyone knows who the Flames are playing in the first round, then laugh hysterically for twenty minutes.
Player to watch: Cory Schneider, to see if he's taking his ball cap off, assuming you're Roberto Luongo and just gave up a goal.
Prediction: The Canucks win, celebrate their victory together as a team, then pause and ask each other whether anyone else just heard the faint sound of "Chelsea Dagger" coming from round two.

#2 St. Louis Blues vs. #7 San Jose Sharks

The matchup: This matchup will feature a battle between arguably the two best goaltenders in the entire league, right up until the Blues practice ends and the Sharks come out on the ice.
The view from St. Louis: Coach Ken Hitchcock's system is often incorrectly described as "defense-first", since that implies that something other than defence might be second or third.
The view from San Jose: Hey, plucky underdogs upset heavily favored top seeds in the first few rounds all the time, mumble Sharks fans bitterly.
Player to watch: David Backes will be tasked with shutting down Joe Thornton, which he plans to do by following him around while occasionally pointing at a calendar that reads "April".
Prediction: After they wrap up the series and advance to the second round, you grudgingly admit that maybe it's time to learn the names of a few of the St. Louis Blues' non-goalies.

#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #6 Chicago Blackhawks

The matchup: The Coyotes worked hard all year to win their division and get a high seed where they could face an underdog team rather some recent Stanley Cup champion and oh for the love of… are you kidding me?
The view from Phoenix: The team is having trouble figuring out how to color in the center ice and goal lines in time for game one, since the city of Glendale is using up all the red ink.
The view from Chicago: Captain Jonathan Toews has yet to be able to pass the league-mandated concussion test, which isn't surprising considering the test consists entirely of the phrase "Demonstrate the capacity for human emotion".
Player to watch: Shane Doan, as usual, if you're a scout for the Canadian entry in the world championships.
Prediction: Phoenix Coyotes fans will never see another first round matchup like this one.

#4 Nashville Predators vs. #5 Detroit Red Wings

The matchup: The upstart Predators face the veteran Red Wings in a matchup that is so close on paper that we all agree to try to look surprised when Detroit wins.
The view from Nashville: The Predators surrendered a first round draft pick at the trade deadline to land an impact player, and the team is convinced the move will pay off just as soon as this Paul Gaustad guy stops joking around and tells them who they really got.
The view from Detroit: The Red Wings will make it a priority to end the series early, partly to conserve energy and avoid fatigue but mostly to prevent Shea Weber's playoff beard from achieving self-awareness.
Player to watch: Niklas Kronwall, since if he tries to deliver his patented leaping charge on Hal Gill it could be our first chance to ever see him deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check.
Prediction: Predators defenceman Ryan Suter plays well but is accused of seeming overanxious after he goes through the post-series handshake line wearing a Red Wings jersey.




37 comments:

  1. Demonstrate the capacity for human emotion. HAHAHAHAHA Toews

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  2. I liked the dig at Carter and Richards, and the city of Glendale using up all the red ink was genious :P

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  3. The "Chelsea Dagger" one was hilarious.

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  4. Suter wearing a Red Wings jersey = priceless

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  5. I couldn't choose a favorite, there were so many greats in the post. Although I will say

    ~ Player to watch: David Backes will be tasked with shutting down Joe Thornton, which he plans to do by following him around while occasionally pointing at a calendar that reads "April". ~

    ranks right up there with

    ~ Player to watch: Niklas Kronwall, since if he tries to deliver his patented leaping charge on Hal Gill it could be our first chance to ever see him deliver a shoulder-to-shoulder check. ~

    Hahahahahaah! LOVE!

    Let's Go Red Wings! Wooooooo!

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  6. "The matchup: This matchup will feature a battle between arguably the two best goaltenders in the entire league, right up until the Blues practice ends and the Sharks come out on the ice."

    Gold

    "The view from Vancouver: The Canucks must find an answer for the Kings' best defensive player, goaltender Jonathan Quick, and their best offensive player, a frustrated Jonathan Quick taking slapshots from the point while yelling "Seriously, the rest of you don't even want to maybe give this a try?""

    Silver

    "The view from Nashville: The Predators surrendered a first round draft pick at the trade deadline to land an impact player, and the team is convinced the move will pay off just as soon as this Paul Gaustad guy stops joking around and tells them who they really got."

    Bronze

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  7. Please oh please oh please make the Red Wing prediction come true

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  8. Once again another wonderfully hilarious post. I PROMISE to act surprised when the Wings beat the predators...at least a little.

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  9. Reggie are you talking about them winning, or about Suter wearing the winged wheel? I'm hoping for both...

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  10. The view from Phoenix: The team is having trouble figuring out how to color in the center ice and goal lines in time for game one, since the city of Glendale is using up all the red ink.

    Ouch...but just fantastic

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  11. Enjoyed it... though you have a hell of a high standard to live up to when it comes to SCF game 7 preview.

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  12. "Joe, It's April, buddy. Shouldn't you be at the Apple Store in Palo Alto next week?"

    Classic.

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  13. The Kings have a very delicate line to walk: win games, but not win them in a fashion that causes Luongo to be chased.

    It's like trying to win a tag team match by not beating up the guy in the ring so badly that he goes over and tags in his partner.

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  14. Wow... The View from Vancouver & the St Louis / San Jose match up - floored me. Love your work, don't ever change.

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  15. I like the Gold, Silver, Bronze idea ... though I just almost got in trouble at work cause I was way to loud on my break reading this!!!! SOOO GOOD!!

    GOLD

    "This matchup will feature a battle between arguably the two best goaltenders in the entire league, right up until the Blues practice ends and the Sharks come out on the ice."

    SILVER

    "The Canucks win, celebrate their victory together as a team, then pause and ask each other whether anyone else just heard the faint sound of "Chelsea Dagger" coming from round two."

    BRONZE

    "Eventually, a disappointed Luongo realized the other players were too busy with the game to join his rendition of "YMCA"." (caption gold)

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  16. Prediction: Phoenix Coyotes fans will never see another first round matchup like this one.

    Ha, how wonderfully subtle.

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  17. One of the best this year. Good job !!

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  18. you need to retire you are washed up and repetitive... there are dozens of funnier nhl tweeters

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    Replies
    1. Let's see you do better.

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    2. The Burke presser was yesterday.

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  19. The Shea Weber one was gold. GOLD I say!

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  20. Prediction: Phoenix Coyotes fans will never see another first round matchup like this one.

    Ha

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  21. Well done, as usual. Although Toews actually HAS passed all mandatory tests & sat out the last two games of the reg season by choice. And he does show a human emotion! (Wait, is serious an emotion??)

    Loved the Canucks' prediction, Blues' goalies & Kronwall hit comments!

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    Replies
    1. Toews does not have emotions, merely carefully orchestrated visceral reactions. Robots do not have feelings

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  22. So Toews is a replicant?

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  23. Chelsea Dagger and the shot at Toews had me laugh out loud. As a Hawks fan I hope we get Chicago v Vancouver round 4.

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  24. "After they wrap up the series and advance to the second round, you grudgingly admit that maybe it's time to learn the names of a few of the St. Louis Blues' non-goalies."

    Wow... I just realised I should probably get on that.

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  25. Otherwise good, but Predators will win.

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  26. Seriously, the Quick comment was gold

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  27. the shot at Kronwall was hilarious

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  28. Happy cats purr, happy Canucks fans Luuuuuuuuuu!

    ..If we happen to be sitting on that bandwagon this week.

    But I have to wonder.. which is more annoying, a certain song after every goal, or two grown men in spandex waving their junk in your face every time you hit the penalty box..

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  29. I read the St. Louis players one and thought to myself.. that's easy.. Backes, Oshie.. uhhhhh LOL

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  30. Re: I read the St. Louis players one and thought to myself.. that's easy.. Backes, Oshie.. uhhhhh

    Then there's the little fella with the Irish name and Piet-something or other on defense.

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  31. I'd like to upgrade my Canucks fandom commentary to the following :

    Just when it couldn't get much worse for our beloved Canucks, they dig deep and manage to find a new loss! The truly upsetting thing is they can't figure out how to blame Lu for this one!

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  32. Ha that shea weber line was classic! But I was saddened to not see a Duncan Keith and his lack of teeth jab.

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  33. I laughed at the Canucks/Kings prediction and all the Blackhawks/Coyotes jokes...then cried as I remembered the Hawks are out.

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