The Flames won’t beat the Sharks, but let’s have fun anyway!

Last year in this space at about this time, I wrote an entry called “Why the Flames will beat the Wings” that has become my most-read entry ever, kicked off a great first-round dialogue with a very strong group of Detroit Red Wings bloggers, and was clearly way off the mark. I wasn’t really convinced then that the Flames would beat the Red Wings, but I thought it was a remote possibility.

This year, on the other hand, I am not convinced it is a remote possibility. So that, in addition to the fact that Matt at Battle of Alberta has already written what basically amounts to a “Why the Flames will beat the Sharks” that is much better researched than anything I would put here, puts me in a quandary. Which would be, what to write?

Should it be: Why the Sharks will beat the Flames? Nope, MG has that covered well.

I will say this: As Matt pointed out in his entry, these are evenly matched teams five-on-five, and I think most would take Miikka Kiprusoff over Evgeni Nabokov going into a playoff series. Problem is, the Flames have not been able to stay out of the penalty box all season, and their special teams will not have magically improved over the past five days. And that’s it.

How about: Who do I think will win the Stanley Cup? Fun!

No wait, not fun, because I think it’s the Ducks. But, for the record, it’ll happen this way:

Round 1
WEST: Detroit def. Nashville (5 games), San Jose def. Calgary (6), Colorado def. Minnesota (7), Anaheim def. Dallas (4).
EAST: Montreal def. Boston (4), Pittsburgh def. Ottawa (5), Washington def. Philadelphia (7), Rangers def. New Jersey (7).

Round 2
WEST: Detroit def. Colorado (5), Anaheim def. San Jose (6).
EAST: Montreal def. Rangers (6), Pittsburgh def. Washington (6)

Round 3
WEST: Anaheim def. Detroit (5), Pittsburgh def. Montreal (7)

Final
Anaheim def. Pittsburgh (4)

Now, I would have preferred Minnesota to play the Flames in Round 1, and not just because it would have been a better matchup for Calgary: Because living in Toronto, I would have enjoyed the 8 p.m. starts, instead of the 10 p.m. I’m going to be getting for every game.

But it’s the playoffs, and I’ll be watching every second. As pessimistic as I’ve become, it’s the best time of year (especially when there are no Canucks fans around), and there’s always hope.

That in mind, I’d like to present my alternative FLAMES ROAD TO THE CUP list of predictions. In the East, assume everything is the same, because I just don’t think the teams over there are going to adjust their style of play in reaction to a Flames series victory over San Jose. Then imagine this happening in the West.

Round 1
Detroit def. Nashville (5), Calgary def. San Jose (7), Colorado def. Minnesota (7), Anaheim def. Dallas (4).

Round 2
Calgary def. Detroit (7), Anaheim def. Colorado (5).

Round 3
Calgary def. Anaheim (6)

Final
Calgary def. Pittsburgh (5)

All of this will happen if:

1. Dion Phaneuf, Jarome Iginla, Miikka Kiprusoff, Robyn Regehr and Cory Sarich simultaneously produce the best 25-game stretch of their lives. The first three because they can change games on their own, the second two because they can change games together.

2. Mike Keenan conjures up his 1994 magic and gets the players to convince themselves that the best way to show him is to win the cup and make him look good.

3. There’s a lot of dumb luck when it comes to injuries to other teams.

4. The Flames suddenly figure out that throwaway minor penalties is the reason they lose games, and stop taking them.

One can only hope. Enjoy the playoffs.

FLAMES BLOG SERIES PREVIEWS

Five Hole Fanatics
Hit the Post
The Real Deal
Open Ice Hits

Battle of Alberta

SHARKS BLOG SERIES PREVIEWS

We Bleed Teal
Bleed Teal (it’s different)
Battle of California
Fear the Fin

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~ by duncan on April 9, 2008.

7 Responses to “The Flames won’t beat the Sharks, but let’s have fun anyway!”

  1. my favorite thing about your post is the way when you click on my site it sends you to leanne & dave…. but fair enough. they write way more than i do. 😉

  2. Crap. Sorry. Rushed. Fixed.

    We win!

  3. Hey! We didn’t mind… 😉

  4. ps: duncan, why the hell were you awake at 430am EST ???

  5. I want to see Detroit, Minnesota, San Jose and most of all Calgary to get the Cup. The only reason the Devils or the Ducks could get the Cup this year is they buy favors from the NHL ownership and in their pocket. I was so happy to see Carolina get and see Edmonton put the Anaheim DisneyGoofClowns in their place. I like hockey and Iginla is a good person and it is important part of life here in Calgary. We have enough problems with Mick (GoofClown) McGeough deciding who should win hockey games-even if it means making a non-call where Tuomo Ruutu almost loses an eye from Patrick Elias’s highstick.

  6. Hey I’d love to have your game predictions over at http://www.myhockeyforum.com

  7. […] were my calls before the first round: Round 1 WEST: Detroit def. Nashville (5 games), San Jose def. Calgary (6), Colorado def. Minnesota […]

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