Monday, June 14, 2010

Some of my 10 Unlikely Playoff Predictions (Almost) Came True!

Two whole months ago, way back in the middle of April, as Harrison and I were getting PiTB! rolling, we made some playoff predictions. As a spoof, I made mine a series of thoroughly unlikely predictions, none of which I expected to come true.

But some of them (almost) did.

So, now that the playoffs are over and the (hated, loathed, and generally disliked) Chicago Blackhawks are the Stanley Cup Champions, here's a review of my 10 Increasingly Unlikely Playoff Predictions. I will be rating each prediction on a scale of 1 to atrocious.

Prediction #1: Steve Bernier will lead the Canucks in goal-scoring, specifically with 13 goals (7 gamewinners). What's more, the Canucks would reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994.

Result: Ha! Told you these were unlikely. Not a single part of this prediction came true, though, to Bernier's credit, he did score 4 goals in 12 games to finish 3rd on the Canucks. All of the goals came against the LA Kings, so it almost looked like this prediction could have come true. Then along came the 'Hawks and Bernier couldn't pull a Byfuglien. None of his goals were gamewinners.

Verdict: Hopeful, but awful prediction.

Prediction #2: Pierre McGuire will use the word "monster" only once per game.

Result: I'm pretty sure I heard him say "monster" three times in one sentence, with a "monstrous" thrown in for good measure.

Verdict: In retrospect, this was the least likely of my predictions. Appalling.

Prediction #3: Chris Pronger will carry the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals with a brilliant postseason, only to lose the Conn Smythe to Brian "The Mighty Boosh" Boucher.

Result: So close to being true. Instead, Pronger lost the Conn Smythe by being not very good in the final two games of the Stanley Cup Finals. He lost it to Jonathan Toews, who didn't even score a goal in the finals and finished behind Danny Briere for the scoring lead. The Mighty Boosh didn't start a single game against the Blackhawks.

Verdict: While still horrible, this was easily my best prediction. Did anyone else on the entire internet predict the Flyers reaching the Finals?

Prediction #4: Pavel Datsyuk won't score a goal against the Coyotes; Adrian Aucoin will score the series-winner on the powerplay in the second overtime of game 7.

Result: The series did reach game 7, but Datsyuk scored 5 goals against the Coyotes, including the game and series-winning goal in a game 7 that didn't even get close to overtime. So, essentially the exact opposite of what I predicted.

Verdict: While Datsyuk wasn't his usual wizardly self in these playoffs, he scored plenty of goals on Bryzgalov. Terrible prediction.

Prediction #5: Jose "Alvin Simon" Theodore will be outstanding in net for the Capitals, recording three shutouts enroute to the Eastern Conference Finals. He will make 44 saves in a game 6 loss that knocks Washington out of the playoffs.

Result: Theodore was fantastic in game 1 against the Canadiens, making 35 saves on 38 shots in a tough overtime loss. He then gave up 2 goals on the first 2 shots of game 2. He didn't play again. After game 7, neither did the Capitals.

Verdict: Brutal prediction.

Prediction #6: The Nashville Predators will sweep the Chicago Blackhawks. None of the games will be decided by one goal.

Result: The Predators pushed the series to 6 games but couldn't knock out the eventual cup-winners. Game 5 was the only game decided by one goal.

Verdict: 5 of the 6 games being decided by more than one goal makes this prediction look better than it is. The 'Hawks won the Cup, so this was a catastrophic prediction.

Prediction #7: Barack Obama will appear at the first game of the playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday to drop the ceremonial first puck. Because of this, Washington Capitals fans will refuse to vote for him in the next election, leading to a narrow victory for Republican Mitt Romney.

Results: Nope. Ol' Mitt might still have a shot, though.

Verdict: Putrid prediction.

Prediction #8: The Ottawa Senators will light up Marc-André Fleury, causing him to be pulled in two of the first three games of the series. Despite this, the Penguins will rally back, with Fleury posting a shutout in game 7. They will subsequently be knocked out in the second round.

Results: Specificity did this one in. The Senators did indeed light up Fleury in game 1, scoring 5 goals on 26 shots, but he bounced back with a solid outing in game 2. The Penguins won in 6 without Fleury posting a single shutout. The Penguins did get knocked out in the second round.

Verdict: This prediction gets a participation ribbon. Thanks for coming out, execrable prediction.

Prediction #9: Joe Thornton will dominate, leading the postseason in points. Evgeni Nabakov will be fantastic, with the best save percentage of the postseason. Despite this, the Sharks will lose in the Western Conference Final. The media will blame Thornton and Nabakov for choking.

Results: While not dominant, Thornton did somewhat excise his playoff demons with a half-decent, inconsistent performance. He was, quite frankly, lukewarm, which may cause some deities to spit him out. And, since he had only one point in the 4-game sweep by the Blackhawks, the choking accusations still don't seem unwarranted. Nabokov had the third worst save percentage of the postseason, ahead of only (sigh) Luongo and Fleury.

Verdict: Loathsome prediction.

Prediction #10: The Stanley Cup winning goal will be scored by Rick Rypien.

Result: Did anyone see that puck go in the net other than Patrick Kane? Maybe it was scored by Rypien...who knows?

Verdict: Unknown.

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