Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
For the next couple days, you're going to be seeing a lot of pundits, some with actual credibility, making their predictions and prognostications for the upcoming NHL postseason. If you accept that the trade deadline is Hockey Christmas, or you're a blog that likes beating the hell out of incompetent media types, this is definitely Hockey Thanksgiving: When there's so much idiocy out there that you can make a veritable feast of all the silly comments that will soon be made.
With this in mind, I will attempt to approximate three different kinds of opinions you will surely run across in the next few days as a public service to you, the reader.
The safe call: These teams just plain don't like each other and that's going to make this a long, difficult series, but San Jose had the best record in hockey for a reason. Sharks in 6.
The contrarian: The Sharks might have been unbeatable for most of the year, but they've looked pretty average lately. With good goaltending and timely scoring, Anaheim could steal this series. Ducks in 7.
The off-the-charts-stupid: This series will be played with consummate sportsmanship and grace by Corey Perry(notes) and Chris Pronger(notes) and the Ducks will prevail because everyone likes them so much. Ducks in 5.
(Coming Up:Reviews of all 30 teams from the weekend; the comedic stylings of Steve Ott(notes); the Flyers as an episode of "Lost"; Malkin's Hart chances; the Red Wings' chances of signing Hossa; and some outstanding individual efforts from the final few games of the regular season ... including a controversial one from Selanne.)
The safe call: Chicago dominated Calgary in the regular season and that was when the Flames weren't chock full of injuries. Also Calgary has been garbage since the deadline. 'Hawks in 4.
The contrarian: Chicago is a young team with very little playoff experience as a unit and could struggle against a Calgary team that has had its core together for years, but will ultimately prevail. ‘Hawks in 6.
The off-the-charts-stupid: The Flames have even the slightest chance of winning a game in this series. 'Hawks in anything more than 4.
The safe call: Pittsburgh might have played well for the last little while, but the Flyers overcame a terrible start and have an incredible offense, defense and special teams unit. Flyers in 7.
The contrarian: The Penguins may be the lower seed, but they've [have] been almost unbeatable since Dan Bylsma came aboard. With two of the best players in the world, they can win this series easily. Pens in 5.
Anaheim Ducks: I'm not sure if this is illegal or not (I don't think the puck fully stops, so probably not), but Teemu Selanne(notes) deserves to have this shootout goal count against Marty Turco(notes) just because Turco couldn't have made a stupider play short of just skating out of the crease and letting Selanne shoot at an empty net.