Ah the Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Playoffs of 2008. Years from now historians will be discussing “The sentinel moment in human evolution, when the Washington Capitals took a 1–0 series lead over the Philadelphia Flyers.”
Games will be shown in the US on the Versus Network, unless they are preempted by a particularly riveting episode of Rhode Island Bass Master Fishing. Empires will crumble, rulers will be brought to their knees before raging hordes of townspeople crazed from the scent of blood in the air.
Or, they will narrow it down to four teams from eight.
In any event, the East is a magical mystery world to us in the first round of unknown players, has-beens, shoulda-beens and jelly beans. Having said that, we will correctly predict each round right before your very eyes.
Remember, lambs. Bet on the Eastern Conference using our picks and if you lose we will reimburse your money, or schedule you an episode of Intervention on A&E, whatever pleases us at the given moment, degenerate gamblers that you are. Tsk.
MONTREAL (1) VS BOSTON (8)
Montreal was overlooked by everyone including the Mayor of Montreal at the start of the 2007–08 season. But thanks to rock solid performances from Plekanec, Kovalev, Streit and company, the Habs find themselves in the unlikely position of first seed in the East. One has to cheer for our Canadien brothers at some point, even if they are all no-name Europeans.
Montreal in 6.
PITTSBURGH (2) VS OTTAWA (7)
Witness the season finale of the CBC Series “The Ottawa Senators: The rise and fall of a team that didn’t win the Cup, but looked good at the start of every season for almost a decade.” Will Ray Emery show up to the games in a solid gold H2 Hummer? Will he show up at all given that he is going to play exactly 0.001 minutes in this series? Does anyone even care about the Senators anymore? Hopefully they are blown up at the end of the season, and teams on their way up *cough* Oilers *cough* can feast on the delicious carcass. Outgunned, out-matched and with their spirits broken, the Sens are finished before this starts.
Pittsburgh in 6.
WASHINGTON (3) VS PHILADELPHIA (6)
Can Ovechkin beat the Flyers single handedly? In a word: no. But, he will gain valuable experience that will be genetically valuable in the Capitals’ off-season efforts to clone him in an underground laboratory. Washington will have a long off-season to try and put some players around Ovi, but will have a wonderous first round of the playoffs to remember fondly while they are doing it. The Caps will be big next year, but not this year.
Philadelphia in 7.
NEW JERSEY (4) VS NEW YORK RANGERS (5)
New Jersey in the playoffs. Weird. Weird, and also boring. NBC will try and hype this series as being “sweet” but we could really care less about watching or writing or reading about it. Instead, let’s all look at the picture of the girl from Heroes licking the cup again.
New Jersey in 6.
ODDS AND ENDS
Where are the Carolina Hurricanes in the East you ask? Oh yes, not in the playoffs. Can it really be that both teams from the 2006 Cup finals have missed the playoffs the following two years? Bizarre.