I am going to be honest here, I was going to write an entire blog about my severe hatred towards Jake Gardiner and possibly drop some aggressive comments about how soft Auston Matthews is, but I think instead I am just going to summarize the first round and make some predictions for Round 2. I figure I will refrain from calling Gardiner arguably the worst hockey player in the NHL or saying that Matthews as our next captain would be the biggest joke to this franchise after the embarrassing effort he displayed in this year’s playoffs. There’s no point in me saying that Jake Gardiner is the sole reason we lost Game 7 even though it’s true. And there is really no sense in me bringing up the fact that Matthews (former first overall pick) had 1 goal, 1 assist and not once in the series was he the best player on the ice, like he is supposed to be. I am just trying to be the bigger person here so I chose not to say those bad things about them. Anyway back to the real hockey teams:
Golden Knights vs. Sharks
I still violently hate Vegas hockey fans with a passion but I have to give credit where credit is due, these guys are the real f-ing deal. Western Conference playoff hockey is so much better than Eastern Conference playoffs, it’s not even funny. It is played the right way through tough play, finishing hits, hard back-checking, great goaltending just all around more heart. Tell me how Johnny Quick has a .947 save percentage in Round 1 and his team still somehow manages to get swept. It’s absurd and it makes me so frustrated as a fan cause I really just want my team to beat least half the team Vegas is and we are realms away from anything like that, so whatever. I honestly did not catch much of the Sharks series but I did have the Ducks beating them so that shows you how much I know about those two teams. All things considered, I was aware the Ducks were manhandled in that series and I respect the Sharks for the moves they’ve made before the deadline to get to this point. In saying that, it is late Thursday night and Vegas leads the Sharks 5-0 with just over 18 minutes left in the 3rd period. Yes 5-0, you read that correctly. I am going with the Golden Knights as a lock for this series, they’ve come to prove themselves and there’s no way they can lose.
Vegas over San Jose in 5.
Penguins vs. Capitals
This series has had an insane amount of history and Crosby owns it all. Every time the Penguins have won the Stanley Cup in the Sidney Crosby era, they have had to go through Washington. 2009, 2016, 2017 all years where Sid has gotten the better half of Ovi. One of my favourite matchups in the Eastern Conference but I cannot imagine being a Caps fan in this situation. When does the hope fade, when do you finally give up on rooting for the Capitals against the Penguins? You’d think eventually they would get it after all the years of disappoint in the playoffs, but I could be wrong. The Penguins are an absolute filthy team and the Capitals haven’t really had a fantastic year like they’ve had in the past. Also they blew a 2-0 lead tonight and ended up losing Game 1, 3-2. Taking all that into account, you can’t deny the sole fact that it is the Caps year (to beat the Penguins).
Caps over Pens in 7.
Lightning vs. Bruins
You can probably imagine who I want to win this series, but if not, here’s a hint…it rhymes with the Flampa Flay Flightning. I hate Boston with a dying passion, I do not even want to get into it at this time.
Lightning over Bruins in 4 (or in 7 just to break some Bruins fan’s hearts).
Jets vs. Predators
By far my favourite series of them all. Winnipeg and Nashville is such a gritty matchup and I had areal hard time deciding who I wanted to win. I think the Jets have set up their team perfectly for this spot. Patrik Laine (probably who the Leafs should have drafted over Matthews) is a high impact player, captain Blake Wheeler is a machine, Mark Scheifele, Dustin Byfuglien, the list goes on. They play the game the right way, they are highly skilled, highly competitive and they deserve to be there. Nashville on the other hand, they have been through this, they were the reigning Stanley Cup Finalists and this year’s Presidents Trophy winners so they know how to win games. Both teams have strong goaltending and difficult home barns to play in which is why I could see this going the distance. But to make things interesting I am going to say:
Winnipeg over Nashville in 6.