Winged Victory

Last season, my prediction of a Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals Stanley Cup Final may have struck many as, well, predictable.  In short: less than bold.  How about this year?  With many counting the Winged Wheel out and the C-A-P-S mired in an inevitable postseason of doom-and-gloom (at least according to the national and D.C.-based media), it’s not an obvious choice.  But it’s the right one.  I say Wings in six (hoisting the Cup at home in venerable Joe Louis Arena as the wonder that is Nicklas Lidstrom announces his retirement) with the dynamic Pavel Datsyuk capturing the Conn Smythe as MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  But before we drop the puck on a new season, let’s delve further into last year’s predictions.  Despite my erroneous finals prognostication, overall I did quite well.  I foresaw the ageless Lidstrom winning his seventh Norris Trophy and I correctly named 12 of the 16 playoff participants—I missed the Rangers and Canadians (I thought the Devils and Thrashers) in the East and the Ducks and Coyotes (Blues, Flames) in the West—and sagely saw five of six division winners (only again those dastardly Devils let me down)!  As for their postseason success, I had half the conference semifinal teams (Washington, Tampa Bay) in the East correct and nailed three-quarters (Detroit, Vancouver, San Jose) of the quartet in the West.  I also had the Lightning and Bruins facing off . . . but in the first round not the third!  And I didn’t have Boston prevailing.  Nor did I have Tampa Bay winning—especially not in a clean sweep!—in my predicted Eastern Conference semifinals showdown with Washington.  As for this sure-to-be-thrilling campaign, I think the Toronto Maple Leafs will edge out the talented (but still a bit too youthful) Carolina Hurricanes for the final spot in the East and the Calgary Flames will do likewise to the Edmonton Oilers, their fierce Alberta kinsfolk in the West.  Without further ado . . .

The award(s) goes to . . .

Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP): Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings

Hart Trophy (Regular season MVP): Alexander Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

Vezina Trophy (Best Goaltender): Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward): Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Lady Byng Trophy (Most Gentlemanly Player): Pavel Datsyuk, C, Detroit Red Wings

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year): Adam Larsson, D, New Jersey Devils

Jack Adams Award (Coach of the Year): Lindy Ruff, Buffalo Sabres

And what prognostication piece would be complete without my bold (and uncannily accurate) team-by-team predictions for the upcoming campaign?  And as for the best two months in sports, the Stanley Cup playoffs?  Here is how I see it playing out:

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Buffalo Sabres (1) over Toronto Maple Leafs (8), 4 games to 2

Washington Capitals (2) over Philadelphia Flyers (7), 4-2

New York Rangers (3) over Boston Bruins (6), 4-3

Tampa Bay Lightning  (4) over Pittsburgh Penguins (5), 4-3

Western Conference Quarterfinals

Vancouver Canucks  (1) over Calgary Flames (8), 4-1

Detroit Red Wings (2) over St. Louis Blues (7), 4-2

San Jose Sharks (3) over Chicago Blackhawks (6), 4-3

Los Angeles Kings (4) over Anaheim Ducks (5), 4-3

Eastern Conference Semifinals

Buffalo Sabres (1) over Tampa Bay Lightning (4), 4-3

Washington Capitals (2) over New York Rangers (3), 4-3

Western Conference Semifinals

Vancouver Canucks (1) over Los Angeles Kings (4), 4-3

Detroit Red Wings (2) over San Jose Sharks (3), 4-2

Eastern Conference Finals

Washington Capitals (2) over Buffalo Sabres (1), 4-3

Western Conference Finals

Detroit Red Wings (2) over Vancouver Canucks (1), 4-2

Stanley Cup Final

Detroit Red Wings (2) over Washington Capitals (2), 4-2

Overheard . . .

At a Metro station (courtesy of friend-of-the-blog Mr. Andrew Alexander):  “Her shit ain’t so fast anymore!”

Outside the White House:  “I wish my firm would hire black lawyers so you could shower with me.”

Redux

Two tweets airing on MLB Network’s Fantasy 411 in three days?  Yes, please!

Dynasty!  

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One Response to Winged Victory

  1. Pingback: Back to the Future « An Ebullient Existence

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