Stanley Cup Sexiness Rank 2017: Which series are worth your time?

Look, we’re all busy people. We have a finite amount of time to dedicate to life’s frivolities, like playing Nintendo or watching “DIE HARD” for the 200th time on basic cable or, failing all other options, watching the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

You need to know which series are worth your time, and which ones are not.

Fear not, fellow puckheads: We’re here with the 2017 Stanley Cup Sexiness Rankings.

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As we do every postseason, your friends at Puck Daddy will now provide you with a handy ranking of the eight first-round series, based on the following factors: Star Power, Secondary Plotlines, Hate, Controversy, Arena Atmosphere, Game 7 Probability and the potential for awesome playoff facial masterpieces, a.k.a. Beard-o-sity.

Which series are must-see this postseason?

Here … we … go.

8 – Ottawa Senators (A2) vs. Boston Bruins (A3)

  • Star Power – 5

  • Secondary Plotlines – 5

  • Hate Factor – 5

  • Controversy Quotient – 7

  • Arena Atmosphere – 7

  • Game 7 Probability – 4

  • Beard-o-sity – 5

  • OVERALL SEXINESS RANKING: 38

You can quibble about the Star Power ratings. Erik Karlsson is amazing to watch. David Pastrnak is on the cusp of stardom. But after that you have Bruins players more synonymous with defense and one true offensive star, Brad Marchand, who’s only must-see in the sense that you “must see” how he’ll next attack an opponent’s lower extremities. (We’re guessing testicular clamps, resulting in a two-minute minor for holding.)

But at its core, this is a battle between a Boston team on the attack and an Ottawa team hoping its goaltending can continue to paper over its deficiencies while playing, at times, unwatchable hockey under Guy Boucher.

Our lone hope is that the acquisition of Alex Burrows was for this very series. Chomp, chomp …

7 – Minnesota Wild (C2) vs. St. Louis Blues (C3)

  • Star Power – 5

  • Secondary Plotlines – 5

  • Hate Factor – 3

  • Controversy Quotient – 4

  • Arena Atmosphere – 7

  • Game 7 Probability – 10

  • Beard-o-sity – 5

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 39

Or as it’s otherwise known: Can Jake Allen get the Blues to a Game 7 where the Wild will undoubtedly fall apart under Bruce Boudreau?

As the ratings here show, the potential for a Game 7 here is rather high, given how these teams match up and as long as Allen doesn’t transform into a sobbing mess looking longingly at Brian Elliott’s old locker stall.

The biggest storyline in this series is Mike Yeo facing off against his former team, which is completely undercut by the fact that everyone in the known hockey universe likes Bruce Boudreau better. Mike Yeo is basically Julia Roberts in “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and Bruce Boudreau is Cameron Diaz at the peak of her adorable era. We say a little prayer for you, Blues.

6 – Anaheim Ducks (P1) vs. Calgary Flames (WC1)

  • Star Power – 7

  • Secondary Plotlines – 4

  • Hate Factor – 7

  • Controversy Quotient – 6

  • Arena Atmosphere – 7

  • Game 7 Probability – 5

  • Beard-o-sity – 7

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 43

This series would have ranked lower had it not been for Flames defenseman Mark Giordano taking out Cam Fowler of the Ducks last week and Anaheim GM Bob Murray going bat-poop crazy about it. That upped the hate quotient considerably.

Other than that, this is a series with some very watchable players, from the Ducks’ usual stars to Johnny Gaudreau to what we assume will be the expected antics of Misters Kesler and Tkachuk.

We give this series a significant Beard-o-sity rating with the assumption that Patrick Eaves will be active.

5 – Washington Capitals (M1) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (WC2)

  • Star Power – 9

  • Secondary Plotlines – 8

  • Hate Factor – 3

  • Controversy Quotient – 6

  • Arena Atmosphere – 10

  • Game 7 Probability – 3

  • Beard-o-sity – 4

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 43

This series thrives on the star power of Alex Ovechkin and Auston Matthews, the incredible scene that should be the ACC for the playoffs and the intriguing collection of subplots, ranging from the Capitals’ usual clenched playoff sphincters to the Leafs as youthful spoilers.

But there’s really no animosity here yet and the Capitals could make quick work of them. We’re also a little concerned about the beard factor, as we’re not entirely sure the majority of the Leafs can grow one. But Brian Boyle does make up for some of that.

4 – Montreal Canadiens (A1) vs. New York Rangers (WC1)

  • Star Power – 6

  • Secondary Plotlines – 6

  • Hate Factor – 4

  • Controversy Quotient – 6

  • Arena Atmosphere – 9

  • Game 7 Probability – 8

  • Beard-o-sity – 6

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 45

As you can see, a lot of the ratings here are carried by the Arena Atmosphere – Bell Centre, playoffs, c’mon people – and the potential for this to be a long series, as five of the Rangers’ last 10 playoff series went seven games.

The star power is in goal, as Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist meet in the playoffs for the first time since their 2014 conference final, in which an injured Price only played one game. That leads us to another higher score: Controversy Quotient, as we all hope that Chris Kreider doesn’t play the role of human bowling ball and Carey Price the pin.

As far as beards go, Lundqvist and Shea Weber already have them but they are exquisite so we’ll allow it.

3 – Edmonton Oilers (P2) vs. San Jose Sharks (P3)

  • Star Power – 9

  • Secondary Plotlines – 6

  • Hate Factor – 3

  • Controversy Quotient – 4

  • Arena Atmosphere – 9

  • Game 7 Probability – 6

  • Beard-o-sity – 9

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 46

Connor McDavid’s first trip to the postseason is worth the price of admission, as the Sharks will throw all the Pickles they can at him to try and stop the beating heart of the Oilers’ offense.

Obviously the Sharks trying to get back to the Stanley Cup Final is a great story, as are the last last hurrahs for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau potentially. So narratively, this is must-see stuff.

Factor in the glorious plumage of Brent Burns and Joe Thornton and you have yourself an intriguing and hirsute series.

But oh, what’s that growing there, Mr. McDavid? 

Budding star, that one.

Moving on…

2 – Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Star Power – 7

  • Secondary Plotlines – 6

  • Hate Factor – 9

  • Controversy Quotient – 6

  • Arena Atmosphere – 9

  • Game 7 Probability – 6

  • Beard-o-sity – 6

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 49

This series is one of the only true rivalry series we have in the first round. Nice job on that playoff format, NHL and NHLPA…

The Blue Jackets are sick and tired of Penguins fans taking over their building. Sidney Crosby is sick and tired of Brandon Dubinsky trying to take his head off his neck. The hate is bubbling, and both arenas should be hot houses.

In the end, it very much feels like Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel vs. Sergei Bobrovsky – with the potential for John Tortorella inspired chaos – and that’s just fine by us.

Don’t forget: Mike Sullivan and John Tortorella are super tight. That’s fun little subplot.

So that series is sexy. But not as sexy as this one …

1 – Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators

  • Star Power – 8

  • Secondary Plotlines – 7

  • Hate Factor – 7

  • Controversy Quotient – 5

  • Arena Atmosphere – 9

  • Game 7 Probability – 8

  • Beard-o-sity – 7

  • SEXINESS RANKING: 51

Oh baby, strap in for this one.

Like the Blue Jackets with the Penguins, the Predators are sick and tired of seeing Blackhawks fans buying up seats in their building. They’re also tired of losing to the Blackhawks, which they’ve done twice in the playoffs and which they’ve done in the vast majority of their regular-season meetings.

Can the Predators get a series-winning performance from their goaltending and finally break through against their tormentors?

Can the Blackhawks take out the Predators and begin a journey to build on their modern era dynasty?

What will end up on the faces of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane by series’ end?

And will their Game 2 on Saturday night on NBC pull an XFL and preempt Jimmy Fallon hosting ‘SNL’?

We can’t wait to find out…

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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