Here's the official Atom-Bomb Bikini Stanley Cup prognostications for the semifinal round...sorry it took so long to post the art, but you try explaining to a ten-month-old how important it is that you have drawings of sexy girls in hockey sweaters to accompany your playoff picks!
(1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (6) Philadelphia Flyers
I really shoulda picked the Flyers in the first round, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Like many teams before them in their first trip to the playoffs, the Capitals just couldn't match the intensity and experience of the Flyers, making several key mistakes in overtime and losing game seven. Fuckin' Caps. (More on that later)
Still, the Flyers are living on borrowed time, and will find the Habs a much tougher opponent (Montreal's troubles with Boston in round one nonwithstanding). They should consider themselves lucky if they manage to take the Canadiens to a sixth game. Canadiens in six.
(2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) New York Rangers
As I was saying earlier...Fuckin' Caps! Their losing in the first round (Shoot, Ovie, SHOOT!) means that not only will the Penguins not face them in round two but a much better, much tougher (and a hell of a lot more boring) Rangers team in the second round, but also that I will not be able to go sit in a luxury box for game three or four, thanks to some of my wife's work connections. Fuckin' CAPS! Ah well, at least I won't have to watch every game on Comcast Sportsnet with their annoying announcers.
Anyhow, all I'm hearing is about how Sean Avery is gonna get the entire Pens lineup so flustered and bothered that they're gonna completely lose their shit and give the Rangers a series-long power play. Thuth is, either Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laracque or Gary Roberts (gimpy groin and all) is gonna clean Avery's clock and that'll be the end of it. I hated...hated...the Rangers in the early 90's, when they seemed to face the Penguins in the playoffs every year and out-spent everybody else in the league, Yankees-style. In the late 90s, all that spending caught up with 'em, and they became pretty much a joke for the better part of a decade, and my ire for them kinda decreased into pity. I have a feeling by the end of the series, I'm gonna be a hater again. Penguins in six.
(1) Detroit Red Wings vs. (6) Colorado Avalanche
Man, was this ever a great rivalry back in the day...Claude Lemieux, Kris Draper...always fun to watch. I'm not sure the animosity is there to expect anything similar from this year's edition, but with as good as the Av's are playing right now, I think they could upset the Wings...especially if they can take them to six or seven games. Yeah, that's right, I picked the Avs to lose to the Wild, but now I'm picking them to beat the Red Wings. Avalanche in seven.
(2) San Jose Sharks vs. (5) Dallas Stars
The Stars made me look like a hockey genius in beating the defending champion Ducks in the first round, and I reward 'em by picking them to lose to San Jose. What can I say? I really feel like the Sharks are due, and I'm sticking by my early-season prediction of a Penguins/Sharks final. Sharks in six.