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Abel to Yzerman

The 19th Annual A2Y Playoff Preview - Round 1 - Eastern Conference

Like many of you, I woke up yesterday humming the theme to Happy Pony and was pleasantly surprised to see the Chief returning with rapid fire posts at A2Y.  Good to have you back, Chief, you have been missed.  I’m glad you are quickly on your way to returning to life as a REMF again.  Did you bring back Jobu’s scalp as the 19 asked?

I’ve never heard the 19 ever ask this question:  “I wonder what the media think of the Red Wings’ chances in the playoffs?”

The 19 don’t care about the opinions of the MSM because very few hockey journalists actually understand the Red Wings and their style of play.  Most of the MSM are in bed by the time a Wings game wraps up on the Left Coast.  Unless their name is Bob McKenzie, they haven’t watched enough hockey games to offer their opinion.  Yet they do anyways.

I am a high-paid professional blogger.  I will take a similar ignorance-based approach and analyse the Eastern Conference.  I don’t often watch games in the Leastern because they are scary.  Team defence is only a rumour, just like Ecklund’s credibility, making watching games nearly impossible.  Yet I will endure and provide Gore-leading statistical analysis with new variants of Corsi and Fenwick numbers to pour over.  To disagree with the numbers will be futile.

Unfortunately, hockey is a game of guts and instinct not Corsi and Fenwick.  I will be forced to use my gut to prop up my laptop and my instinct to make a lot of people out East mad at me.  Things are about to get real around here.

Let’s start at the “top” of the conference again.

(1) Washington vs. (8) Montreal
For those who never seen a dwarf-tossing competition, this series is for you.  Washington is dynamic and an offensive juggernaut.  Ovechkin plays with the intensity and skill other Eastern Conference captains wish they could muster.  Three-or-four is in net for the Caps, but that won’t matter as the Habs are not simply bad, they are terrible.  The greatest offensive output in Montreal will come from fans and not the team.

Ovechkin will toss around the Habs like Rasputin tossing dwarfs.  It will be funny at first, but it will soon turn macabre.  If it were any other team but the Habs, you’d turn the channel.  As the suffering of the Habs fans is nourishment for hockey fans everywhere, you will watch as the Caps humiliate the Habs game after game.  The world will watch as Habs fans set fire to cars again, but this time jump inside the car to end their miserable lives in urban funeral pyres.

(2) New Jersey vs. (7) Philadelphia
It’s hard to go against Lou.  He is the only President or GM in the East that has a clue about building and maintaining a successful hockey club.  I must admit, however, a strange desire to see the Flyers upset the Devils.  It is even stranger to admit this is all because of Pronger Fissix.

The Devils are the only team out East that truly understands Defence.  However, much like having a Cup parade in a parking lot, there is little joy or entertainment gained by watching the Devils.  They simply bore teams to death and counter-attack when their opponents’ lifeless bodies litter the ice.

Pronger and the Flyers are the opposite of the Devils.  They play no discernible style of defence or hockey.  Yet a force as barbaric and mindless as Pronger has never been unleashed on the East during the post-season.  I want the Sasquatch to run amok in the East for more than one playoff series.  That would be entertaining.

The devastation and reputation of Pronger’s elbows must be set loose on certain “Captains” in the East.  Faces must be broken.  Spirits must be crushed.  Go Flyers.  Pronger Fissix FTW.

(3) Buffalo vs. (6) Boston
Buffalo has a really good goalie.  Boston has a really tall defenseman and Toronto’s lottery pick the next two drafts.  This is all I know about these two teams.  Because Buffalo is my neighbour, I give them the edge in this series.  Proximity to yours truly does carry some benefits.  Besides, Boston will not get the Cup and a lottery draft pick the same year.  The Hockey Gods won’t allow it. 

(4) Pittsburgh vs. (5) Ottawa
Surely I must have not fact-checked.  It is impossible that the great and almighty Pens are only 4th place in the Least.  With their immense talent, at the very least, they must surely be division champs.  But no, they’re not.  Bettman’s greatest trick was convincing the fans in Pittsburgh they had a real franchise.

While talented, the Pens will not be going far this post season.  Unfortunately for Wings fans, Ottawa won’t be the ones knocking Pittsburgh out.  Contrary to popular belief, Toronto is not Canada’s most pathetic NHL team, Ottawa is.  The Sens are the Dive of the East.  Annoying, bandwagon fans remain oblivious to the perpetual curse on their franchise.  Ottawa is doomed as is anyone who supports them.

Sadly for the 19, the Pens will make it past the hapless Sens and out of the first round.  While we await their inevitable demise, there are three players on the Pens who are worth watching and actually influence the outcome of a game: Fleury, Malkin, and Staal.  Everyone else is fauxing useless in Pittsburgh.  Wings fans will just have to wait until the second round before the Pens are exposed for the faux-franchise that they are.

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com