2014 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions in :60

 

 

Ty's - 2014 Stanley Cup Picks

 

Now, now. Before you blast me for being a homer, an uneducated hockey fan or Pens-hater, keep in mind a few things. These are my rapid fire picks. I took a whole :60 (if that) to select the way the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs would Plinko their way to the top (or bottom if you’re really following the Price Is Right analogy). I have the Hawks going to the Finals again and I’m not alone. After watching the Sportsnet panelist during their Playoff Edition show, there were a handful of variations in the experts selections for finalists this year. The Hawks and Bruins were the common theme. However, some selected the Blues, Kings and one even picked the Avalanche to win the Cup.

The vegas odds (as per Bodog) are as follows: 

Boston Bruins – 7/2
St. Louis Blues – 6/1
Pittsburgh Penguins – 7/1
Chicago Blackhawks – 9/1
San Jose Sharks – 9/1

Also, note, that I made these selections in anticipation of the annual Hockey Pool (run by a couple of beauties – Doug and Jamie), which is a grouped selection of individual players. Therefore, my selections were in due part of trying to strategize with a couple unpopular or not as common teams to give me the edge (hence the Rangers to the Finals pick).

I will have a more comprehensive breakdown in the coming days, but this is my “at a glance” picks. Of course, as someone posting on a public forum, I undoubtably reserve the right to change my picks and/or post a laundry list of excuses as to why my picks failed miserably.

(Jonathan) Quick, you have :60, what’s your bracket look like?

 

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TY'S TIDBITS - FINAL


 ~ As mentioned above, I will have a breakdown of some of the series and my thoughts more in length, but for now, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

~ I didn’t list my winner in the bracket (screenshot courtesy of NHL.com’s contest), but if Toews and Kane are healthy as most speculate, then there’s a very good chance of repeating. Many factors have to take place though like monster performances by Crawford, secondary support Bickell/Shaw/Saad and a group effort on strong defensive play by the backend.

~ I will focus on a deep dive of everyone’s favourite series reading here, the Blackhawks and Blues. It’s going to be a battle and a real test for the good guys. So let’s here your predictions and why? The best responses will make it into my next segment.

Ty Cam out!
@tycam

Chicago - Winter Classic

 

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About the Author: I am a rare Chicago Blackhawks fan from Canada, one might describe me as a hockey connoisseur and a solid checking line centre to your local rec hockey team. I once lived in a town of 500 people and now work in the hockey mecca that is Toronto. I work in the wonderful world of Advertising and these opinions are one of my own and not of my company - don't get it twisted.

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  1. Walton says:

    The most important player for the Hawks in this years playoffs is Crawford. Raanta is junk. He’s too small and gives up too many rebounds to to survive the net crashing West.

    I think we handle the Blues but my top 3 concerns are

    Backes – The guys is a meatheads meathead. What scares me is he targets our stars and he is out to injure and play cheap in order to win. The Hawks know this and must make him pay early in Gm1 and Gm2 by scoring on the PP when he takes he run at Toews

    Jackman- Brooks Orpik 2.0 a real fake tough guy. Watch as he goes after Andrew Shaw and ducks the bigger players. Hes not a real concern to us until he cross checks someone from behind into the boards

    Taresenko- He’s a game changer and from what ive watched is as dangerous with the puck as anyone in the league. Hes got a little Sergi Fedorov in him

    • I agree. Crawford has had an up and down season. More softies than I would like heading into the playoffs, but he’s been there before. I agree on Raanta. I want to really like him, but he is all agility and instinct (some bad) and needs more work on his technique. You can’t teach size though.

      Backes is a handful. He’s nursing an injury as well but should be ready for Game #1.

      Backman is a special person. He’s always complaining, so just stick to playing hockey and the awful penalties by him will follow.

      Taresenko is still out after hand surgery. He was scheduled to be re-evaluated in a couple weeks so doubt he’s available for this series.

  2. Justin says:

    It’s hard to disagree with your quick pick in :60 but i have some concerns re: Chicago.

    1. Goaltending. Although Chicago has a solid D-Core and a goaltender that has shown he can win, i don’t think Crawford can out duel Ryan Miller. I think it’s Miller Time (pun intended). The Blues have the team in place to go toe to toe with the hawks and i think it’s on the back of the goaltenders. Given the D-Core in place, i’d put money on Miller. Even with some defensive woes, Miller is used to facing 30+ a game (re: Buffalo). Shooters like Sharp, Kane and Hossa will have to generate offense in a different light. Rebounds are not something Mr. Miller gives generously.

    2. Special Teams – the blues are top 10 on both sides of the fence and remain 1 of only 4 teams to be in this same scenario. Too many defensive lapses and the Hawks could find themselves in trouble.

    I think it’s pretty even across the board outside of these 2 scenarios.

    Complete aside, i think it’s time for San Jose to hoist the Cup.

    • Walton says:

      what is with you two hating on the Crow still. Crow is money, he outplayed all the goalies he faced last year including quick and rask and most importantly our defence plays so much better when he is there, don’t blame Crawford cause Oduya is the sofest d-man in the league and Brookbank channels his inner aki berg

      Crawford had one bad series against phoenix that’s it.

      I was hearing Taresenko is back near the end of series.

      I don’t love the day game on Saturday that my biggest worry.

      Miller is weak and got lit up 4-0 I believe already this year and the Hawks can score on anyone

      • I am admittedly a little hard on Crow, but I just don’t think he’s a series stealer. He just needs to make the right saves at the right time. Then the Hawks will prevail against the Rasks, Quicks and yes, the Millers.

        He is on my good side still, just had some weak, weak goals near the end of the season. Those can’t happen against the Blues.

        I am hearing the same now about Taresenko. He just got the cast off this week. So yes, maybe at the end of this series. It’s maybe a bonus that it was a hand injury. It maybe harder for him to bounce back from that. I do agree, he’s going to be a stud moving forward though!

    • Justin – can definitely see your side on this one. I wouldn’t be surprised it the Blues take their series vs. the Hawks.

      Keep in mind Crawford rarely has to “steal” a series. The Hawks are much deeper upfront and even, if not slightly better on the back end.

      This is the same defence that won them the cup last year, with maybe a better Keith this year.

      Miller has something to prove but the Blues are struggling heading in with injuries to Backes, Berglund, Sobodkta, Taresenko, Morrow, etc. Yes, some will be back but it may be hard with that many out to gel again. The Hawks on the other hand had Kane and Toews out, their depth showed with the likes of Shaw, Morin, Bickell, et al that helped carry them into the playoffs on a high note.

      In conclusion, it’s going to be a wild series and it’s anybody’s guess. I just think more pressure is on the Blues, because if they go out in the first round, they have some ‘splainin’ to do.

  3. Jcam says:

    You know I am gonna disagree with you and say Philly will beat the rangers although I think it will be a close series but I also tuink Columbus will upset pits then beat philly in rd 2 but lose to Boston in the conference finals
    I think your west is pretty close

    • Ha. I knew this was coming. Didn’t you like how I used the Wachovia Center as a compromise as my feature picture though?

      I picked the Rangers only as a dark horse that I didn’t think a lot of people would have. They are coming in hot and their D can shut down the best in the league.

      I think Columbus presents the Pens a great challenge, but Crosby is just too good this year. Also, Fleury has been much better.

  4. Jcam says:

    Well I just found out that horton, foligno and umberger are out for the jackets so changing my mind.. haha bob is good but he can’t do it alone
    I agree with you about the rangers and it could go either way but I can’t go against my team so here is how they are gonna beat them.. yes the rangers have girardi and McDonough but the flyers have an NHL best 7 20g scorers so they can’t be out against everyone.. we also have four lines we can role since vinny was moved to the fourth line.. plus an overall improved team defense that includes wolf man coutourier as one of the best shutdown C in the league..
    now the only question for ohilly is how healthy is mason

  5. Frank says:

    I just stumbled upon this, no idea how, but was happily surprised to see you have my Rangers making the final. Already got Chicago, Anaheim, Boston, Montreal, and Pittsburgh right. Great picks man.