Besides the first round, I have been absolutely ice cold with my NHL playoff predictions. You think being wrong over and over again would be frustrating, but it isn’t. I love it. I’m one who bases his picks off of trends and the recent past. But what we have here is a mutation of the norm. Finally it isn’t Pittsburgh and Chicago. I haven’t been this excited about being wrong in a long time. The Vegas Golden Knights/Washington Capitals Stanley Cup wasn’t the match up anyone had coming. Not even the experts on tv or the die hard fans that watch every game. It just wasn’t. But boy oh boy does this make a great series for all the odd reasons.
I am not going to give a player by player match up blog. I won’t even mentions stats really. Obviously those can be thrown out the window now that the smoke has cleared and the champions from each conference remain. Nobody knows anything anymore and the hockey world was just flipped upside down. An expansion team from the west, in its first year, is playing the perrenial losers of the East. How the hell did this happen? I’m pretty convinced that nobody in the world knows why the Vegas Golden Knights are where they are. I feel like they didn’t even struggle to get here. And the Washington Capitals; it looked like their toughest series was against the Columbus Blue Jackets back in the first round. So now that we are stuck looking at a Vegas/Washington matchup, here is what we need to ask ourselves….
Does Vegas know how to lose yet? They don’t know what failure is. This organization has a winning identity and that says a lot. They are not a flash in the pan. They are the real deal. This team is on a mission and I don’t think it matters who they play. But on the other hand. The team who was built to win the cup for the last 5 years is now in position to do so and are playing with blinders on. An unstoppable force hitting an immovable object scenario. Looking back on the two runs that these teams made; it seems like it wasn’t a challenge at all. I mean Washington shut out Tampa back to back to win the series. A Tampa team that was such a huge threat offensively. The Knights humbled who I thought was the best team in the league, the Winnipeg Jets. They can’t lose! These two teams are playing with a purpose I haven’t seen in awhile. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have tabled these teams underdogs. They are both so far from that label, that we don’t know what to do with ourselves…..Anyways, enough of the mindless banter. Here is my prediction.
Vegas in 5, maybe 6.
Why? Because I think Washington is a better team. They have more fire power upfront. They have a very strong, tough d-core. They have a goalie that can steal a game. They’re playing like that can’t lose and have beaten a very good Penguin and Lightning team. Ovechkin is playing like an absolute beast on a mission. Nothing can stop him. But this is why I must pick Vegas and pick them big time (in 5). Every time I looked at a Vegas series, I liked the other team better. So I just flipped the script on myself. I took the trend of me being wrong and made it work for me instead of against me. That’s why Papa is Papa. He doesn’t bullshit you. He gives you exactly what you need and deserve, a non-statistical blog with little mention of players. No over analysis. Just taking a simple trend within the playoffs. Vegas should lose, therefore they won’t. Philosophy 101 with Papa. And for those of you reading this and shaking your head with disgust and thinking that this is an absolute crazy way to look at things, please feel free to send me your statistical analysis of this series and how you correctly predicted your Vegas/Washington Stanley Cup matchup. I’m being dead serious. You can only learn from those who think you’re wrong.
Side note: I tweeted awhile ago that it would be really funny if Ovechkin lost to an expansion team in his only Stanley Cup appearance. If this happens, I will be one happy Papa.