4.11.2012

Stanley Cup and Cheesecake 2012

First off, welcome to the 2012 Stanley Cup playoff picks! Enjoy the art and the hockey talk, and don't forget to enter the Atom-Bomb Bikini Playoff Challenge at the bottom of this post to win some art, books, stickers and other great stuff!

Here we go!

EASTERN CONFERENCE

(1) New York Rangers vs. (8) Ottawa Senators

The Rangers come into the playoffs as the East's top team, a perch they've been on since early January. They narrowly missed out on winning the President's Trophy for most points, and at times have been an absolute juggernaut, posting several long win streaks but few losing skids of more than two or three games. It'll be interesting to see what they do now that the pressure's on, and how far Coach Torts will be able to berate them.

The Senators are a curious case. Seemingly locked into seventh place for weeks they seemed destined for a matchup with division rival Boston, until went on a little bit of a cold streak late in the season and slipped to the conference's final spot. They'd seem like easy pickin's for New York, except that they took 3 out of 4 games from the Blueshirts this season...and with their speed, they can put up points on anybody. In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, Ottawa is playing with house money... and if the Rangers tighten up, the Sens will be there to knock them off. Senators in seven.




(2) Boston Bruins vs. (7) Washington Capitals

The Bruins opened their defense of last spring's Stanley Cup win by trotting the Cup out once again, to skate around the ice before the home crowd in Boston. A nice gesture, sure, but one that seemed to imply that they didn't think they'd be getting another shot at it anytime soon. Their start bore that out with a miserable October. Then they suddenly caught fire, and seemed like world-beaters in December before settling into a decent, if occasionally inconsistent finish.

It's been a disastrous season for the Capitals, one that began with great promise but quickly crashed to earth. Wildly inconsistent all year, it seemed at times like the team had given up and would be content...happy, even...to miss the postseason entirely. Yet here they are with, suddenly, no expectations.

For all of Washington's still-indecendiary offensive talent, a series against the Bruins is going to come down to toughness, which is something the Caps sorely lack. It's hard to imagine the Caps being able to withstand being knocked around by the big bad Bruins.

If I'm the Capitals, I do everything in my power to get President Obama to each game and drop the ceremonial first puck in hopes of psyching out Tim Thomas. Even that probably wouldn't work. Bruins in six.



(3) Florida Panthers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils

By the end of the regular season it seemed like the Panthers were actively trying to lose the Southeast Division lead they held all year, losing six in a row before finally beating Carolina to clinch the third seed. They seem just happy to be here, an impression I'd run by the fans of the team if I'd ever met one.

The Devils are maybe the smartest team in the NHL, doing (or not doing) just enough to sit in that sixth spot, knowing they'd get to play the Southleast Division winner for an easy trip to the second round. You can never tell with the Devils in the playoffs, though...if anyone could blow this, it's them.  Devils in five.




(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers

What really deserves to be the Eastern Conference Finals is somehow an opening round matchup – Flyers versus Penguins, the Battle of Pennsylvania.

Trying to be objective, I look to the goaltending. The Flyers, seemingly bent on proving to the world that Ilya Bryzgalov was worth the dump truck full of money they gave him this past summer, plan to start him in goal for the series opener, over the undefeated-in-Pittsburgh Sergei Bobrovsky. As a Penguins fan, one of the things I look forward to most every spring is seeing how the Flyers botch their goaltending situation, and this has all the potential to mark the season premiere of my favorite April sitcom.

The Penguins...finally... have everything, and more importantly, everybody, going for them. Everyone's healthy, everyone's contributing. Power play producing, penalty kill killing. Geno Malkin is otherworldly, and those guys named Crosby and Staal aren't too bad either. If the blue line can tighten up and make life just a tiny bit easier for Marc-Andre Fleury...and if the Pens can resist getting instigated into scrapes with all the rats in the Flyers lineup...they should have what it takes to win this war of attrition.

The thought that Philly and elderly, pathetic drama queen Jaromir Jagr could skate away with this series just fills me with too much angst to even consider, so I'll take the Penguins in six... though even two losses might cost the TV.



Now on to the contest...

The ATOM-BOMB BIKINI PLAYOFF CHALLENGE


Simple rules...pick the final four teams you think will be left standing, the conference champions, and the eventual Stanley Cup winner. One point will be awarded for each correct final four pick, two for each final two pick, and three for picking the champion. Whoever has the most points come the second week of June will be the big winner!

Here's what you're playing for: The big winner will receive a custom piece of original artwork of a pinup girl wearing the jersey of his or her favorite team, along with a copy of the Atom-Bomb Bikini hardcover book, a copy of Old-Timey Hockey Tales, and a pack of Atom-Bomb stickers, a signed "Hockey Socks & Skates" print by Katie Sekelsky and a free t-shirt of your choice from the wonderful folks at Original Retro Brand! Two runners-up will receive just the books and stickers. In case of a tie, I'll put all the names in a hat and select a winner at random.

Here's how you enter: Write your picks in the comments section of this here blog post. Not on Facebook, not on Twitter, not in an email, but in the comments section of this post. Please remember to check back as the playoffs progress...I'll post the winner's names here, and at that time I'll look to get in contact with you. Got it? Got it! Good luck!

Finally...

CRASS COMMERCIALISM DEPT: All of the original, hand-drawn art for the Stanley Cup pinup girls is available at my Etsy store...and if you'd like to go the extra mile and get a personalized, one-of-a-kind uni-girl illustration of your very own to your exact specifications, that information can be found here.

78 comments:

MacGarret Becker said...

Shot in the dark: West= Blues & Red Wings; East = Bruins & Flyers. Let the best beard win.

MacGarret Becker said...

Pooh. Try #2:

Final Four: West= Blues & Red Wings; East = Bruins & Flyers.

Finals: Red Wings & Bruins

Stanley Cup winners: Red Wings

Dubroff's Blog said...

Final four:
East: rangers and bruins
West: Canucks and Blackhawks

Finals: Canucks over Bruins

BucTracker said...

East: Penguins beat Devils
West: Canucks beat Red Wings
Final: Pens over Canucks

Peter K. said...

East: Penguins over Rangers
West: Canucks over St. Louis
Finals: Canucks over Penguins

Bernd W. said...

East: Devils over Bruins
West: Canucks over Predators
Finals: Canucks over Devils

unejakey said...

East: Flyers over Rangers
West: Canucks over Predators
Finals: Flyers over Canucks

Nathan V. said...

East: Pens over Rangers
West: St. Louis over Nashville
Final: Pens over Blues.

Bruce Mathews said...

West: STL over CHI
East: PIT over NJD
Finals: STL over PIT

Andy H. said...

East: Rangers over Pens
West: Canucks over Red Wings
Finals: Rangers over Canucks

Ryan Bugaj said...

Final four:
East - New York over Boston (sob)
West - Vancouver over St. Louis

Cup final:
New York def. Vancouver

Saunders said...

Pens > Bruins
Canucks > Preds

Pens in 6 over Van

Sean Thompson said...

East: Boston over NY Rangers
West: St. Louis over Vancouver
Final: Boston over St. Louis

Patrick said...

East: Devils over Penguins
West: Blues over Canucks
Cup: Devils over Blues

Glenn V. said...

West: Canucks & Blues
East: Rangers & Penguins
Finals: Canucks & Rangers
Champ: Canucks

Tony said...

West: Blackhawks Vs. Blues

East: Rangers Vs. Bruins

Finals: Blues Vs. Bruins

Champions: Blues

ryan said...

East: Pens over Rangers
West: Canucks over Blues

Cup: Pens over Canucks

Great work, as always, man!

adwa59 said...

West: blues over Canucks
East: Devils over pens

Final: blues over devils in 5

Dave said...

Final 4
EAST - PENGUINS OVER BRUINS
WEST - BLUES over DETROIT

CUP - PENGUINS over BLUES

Mack said...

Final four:
East: Pens at Caps
West: Blues and Blackhawks

Finals: Pens over Hawks

Abram said...

East: Rangers over Penguins
West: Predators over Blues
Finals: Predators over Rangers

Ben D said...

East:
Caps over Pens
West:
Canucks over Blues
Champion:
Canucks

Aaron Stilley said...

Rangers over Penguins
Blues over Blackhawks

Rangers over Blues

Jason A. said...

East: Penguins over Senators
West: Blues over Predators
Cup: Penguins over Blues

Pico said...

East: Penguins over Bruins
West: Canucks over Red Wings
Final: Penguins over Canucks

Craig W said...

East: NJD over NYR
West: NSH over STL
Cup: NJD

Andy Moore said...

East: Penguins over Rangers
West: Blues over Canucks

Penguins over Blues in six

Unknown said...

East: Pittsburgh over NY Rangers
West: Los Angeles over Nashville
Cup: Pittsburgh over Los Angeles

strugglingwriter said...

East: Pens over Boston
West: Vancouver over Detroit

Cup: Pens over Vancouver in 7

Ben Plotsky said...

East NJD vs NYR
WEST NASH vs STL

NYR vs STL

Rangers cup

Elliott Smith said...

Final Four:
EC: Devils over Rangers
WC: Canucks over Blues

Stanley Cup: Canucks over Devils

Scott Rogers said...

Final Four: Penguins, Bruins, Canucks, Blues.

Finals: Canucks vs Penguins.

Canucks bring Lord Stanley's cup back to Canada.

Bry said...

East: Pens v Bruins - Go Pens!
West: Preds v Blues

SC Finals: Pens v Preds

Pens for the Cup championship!

Sea Bass said...

East: Bruins over Rangers
West: Canucks over Blues
Final: Bruins over Canucks

Who's the dead man who hit me with the salt!?

BobbyOrr said...

Pens over Bruins in East
Canucks over Wings in West
Pens win it all

Mike Wilson said...

East: Bruins over Penguins
West: Blues over Canucks
Final: Bruins over Blues

orange623 said...

Four - Pittsburgh, New Jersey, Nashville, St. Louis

Two - Pittsburgh, St. Louis

One - Pittsburgh

Kwik said...

East- Rangers over Penguins
West- Coyotes over Canucks

Penguins over Coyotes for the Cup.

PickWizard said...

East:Penguins over the Rangers
West: Blackhawks over the Blues

Final: Penguins over the Blackhawks

Doug McKenzie said...

East: Penguins & Rangers
West: Predators & Blues
Final: Penguins over Predators

Dan N. said...

Final Four: Rangers, Penguins, Canucks, Blues

Finals: Rangers, Blues

Champions: Blues

Jeff Wilk said...

East:
Pengs vs. Rangers

West:
Blackhawks vs. St. Louis

Hawks beat Rangers in 7.

Anonymous said...

Sharks over Blackhawks
Flyers over Capitals

Finals:
Sharks over Flyers

-"Jet" from UniWatch blog

punch-drunk said...

East: NYR and BOS
West: LAK and DET
Finals: NYR vs DET
Cup: NYR

Unknown said...

East: NY Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins
West: Vancouver Canucks and St. Blues
Cup Final: Pittsburgh vs Vancouver
CUP WINNER: Vancouver

kenneth.nee@gmail.com said...

4: Bruins vs Rangers and Blackhawks vs. Canucks

2: Bruins vs. Blackhawks

1: Bruins

Robert Ullman said...

IMPORTANT

If you don't have a google/blogger account, and your identity comes up as "Unknown" or "Anonymous", PLEASE post your name somewhere so I know who you are!

And thanks a bunch for all the entries, folks!

penrod said...

East - Bruins/Pens
West - Detroit/Blues
Finals - Pens / Blues

Cup Winner - Pens

Anonymous said...

West: Blackhawks vs Predators
East: Penguins vs Rangers

Cup: Blackhawks vs Penguins

Winner: Blackhawks

Adam - Tennessee

Sean McGurr said...

East: NY Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins
West: Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings
Cup Final: Rangers vs Canucks
Winner: Canucks

Bill S said...

Vancouver over Detroit
Pittsburgh over NY Rangers

Cup Final:

Vancouver over Pittsburgh

(And through this all, next year... Go Sabres!)

Jerry Reaves said...

East- Flyers v. Bruins
West- Canucks v. Blackhawks
Cup Final- Flyers v. Canucks
Winner- Flyers
Let the riots begin as Vancouver is burned to the ground.
Also if I win (Which I really doubt) my email is reavesj@rocketmail.com

Matt H. said...

East: Rangers over Pens
West: Preds over Blues
Finals: Rangers over Preds

Squire McGuire said...

East - PIT over NYR
West - Van over NAS
Finals - Van over Pit

Adam Daughhetee said...

W: Canucks vs Cyotes = Canucks
E: Bruins vs Flyers = Bruins

Cup: Bruins

Schieve11 said...

West: Red Wings over Canucks
East: Rangers over Bruins
Stanley Cup Red Wings over Rangers

Joe said...

Who could turn this down? I'll throw in:

West: VAN over NSH
East: PIT over NYR
SCF: PIT over VAN

IAmJoe @Hasekbowstome http://sacrificethebody.blogspot.com

Cato said...

West:DET over VAN
East: BOS over NYR
SCF: DET over BOS

.B.C. said...

Im gonna go with what i hope to see.....

East - Devils over Pens
West - Preds over Blues
DEVILS FOR THE WIN!

Anonymous said...

East - Flyers over Caps
West - Canucks over Preds

Final - Flyers in 7 over Canucks. Jagr does one final salute!

Turbo Reid said...

East: Penguins over Rangers
West: Blackhawks over the Canucks

Final: Penguins over Blackhawks

devilsfan71 said...

West -- Blues over Blackhawks
East -- Penguins over Devils

Final -- Blues over Penguins

WFY said...

Pittsburgh over Vancouver
Pittsburgh over NY Rangers
Vancouver over St. Louis

mkSMITH said...

WEST: Blackhawks vs. Predators
EAST: Bruins vs. Rangers
FINALS: Blackhawks vs. Rangers
CHAMP: Blackhawks

Erik said...

East Finals - Pens v. Rangers
West Finals - Predators v. Canucks

Stanley Cup Finals - Rangers v. Canucks

Stanley Cup Champion - New York Rangers

steveo said...

Nashville st Louis Pittsburgh new York

New York wins the cup over Nashville

Nicky-O said...

East Finals:
NY Rangers Vs PHIL Flyers
West Finals:
NSH Predators Vs STL Blues
Cup Final:
NY Rangers Vs STL Blues
Cup Winner:
New York Rangers

Kevin Gier said...

East:

NY vs BOS

West:

STL vs CHI

Final:

NY vs STL

Cup Champions:

STL

andrew said...

West: Wings vs. Blues
East: Bruins vs. Rangers

Cup: Wings vs. Rangers

WINNAR: WINGS

Unknown said...

East: Boston vs.Pittsburgh
West: Blackhawks vs. Vancouver
Stanley Cup:Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh
Stanley Cup winners: Pittsburgh

Mark K said...

Philly-Boston
Vancouver-St Louis
Philly beats St Louis

Chris said...

East: NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh
West: St. Louis vs. Chicago

Stanley Cup: Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis

Winner: St. Louis

Dave E said...

East: PIT ovr NYR
West: VAN ovr STL
Finals: PIT ovr VAN

Robert Ullman said...

Thanks for entering, everybody...comments are now CLOSED!

Mike K said...

Final 4: Boston, Pittsburgh, Nashville, st. Louis
Final 2: Pittsburgh, St. Louis
Champ: St. Louis

Teebz said...

The contest may be closed, but I'll still check to see if my predictions are right. :o)

West: Vancouver vs. Nashville
East: Pittsburgh vs. New York Rangers

Good luck to all that entered!

Brock B said...

Blues vs Predators for the West

Bruins vs Flyers for the East

Blues vs Flyers for the finals

Blues take it all

Anonymous said...

Matt Duncan - Wisconsin

Ok I'll take a blind stab...

Final four:

Blues, Preds, Bruins, Flyers

Final

Blues & Flyers

Winner? (I'll go with my hear... Cujo would agree!)

Blues win the Cup in 6

I can dream right?