Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hockey Fanatic Stanley Cup Endorsement

The first regular season of the new "my NHL" has come and gone and later in the week the playoffs for hockey's oldest and most revered prize will start. I have looked at each of the remaining 16 teams still in the hunt and tried to come up with a logical odds-on-favorite to win it all this year. (Which was really hard when my top 3 teams all went in the tank this year.)

I can't tell you that I've come up with some over elaborate scientific scheme like my buddy Jes and others who love to calculate the "sabremetrics". But I also didn't pick 'em with the enney-miney-moe strategy. I simply will list the logical reasons and conclusions as to why I've picked the Ottawa Senators as this blog's official Stanley Cup favorite.

  • A strong seasonal run will certainly provide a lot of confidence in the Senators offense come crunch time. Spezza, Heatly, and Alfredsson have all got the scoring touch that wins games in bunches at a time.
  • The Ottawa defense is dominated by two redwoods on either side. I've watched Zdeno Chara and Andrej Mezaros manhandle any opposing player that wants to camp in the goal crease. Chara is at least 36 feet tall (or 72km for you metric-using Canadians)*. And they sure know how to defend themselves when it actually breaks down to the fighting elements of the game. I don't see anyone capable of chopping down those redwoods.
  • The goaltending will be okay. Surely, the Ottawa citizenry had a little worry on their hands when Billy Thompson and newly acquired Mike Morrison were suddenly flung into the starting roles at the end of the season. This leaves a big question mark as to the condition to Dominic Hasek come playoff time. Hasek has really nothing to prove to anybody. He's taken three teams already to the Stanley Cup finals and has won them for Detroit. Hasek isn't the spry goalie that we all once knew as "the human slinky". As long as he isn't taking unnecessary flops on the ice, then "the Dominator" Hasek has more than enough playoff experience to carry this franchise to the promised land.
  • It's too bad that the kook fringe of the Caniac Nation had to piss me off. I was pondering the endorsement of the Southleast division champion Carolina Hurricanes, but that whole Cole getting "pwned" incident left a really bitter taste in my northerner mouth.
  • I'm also sick of all the Canadian media elites that pout and moan that the Stanley Cup champs are from tropical yankee American city that doesn't see ice 12 months of the year. Perhaps Ottawa winning the Cup will shut these mediots up.

*= And because Canadians have had a terrible record of recognizing my satire, I am compelled to point out that this is another example.
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