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Vulgar Statistics: Stanley Cup Playoffs, Conference Finals

05/13/12

Hello ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the big giant Black and Blue and Gold (in name) 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Vulgar Statistics Post. I want to make sure nothing is missed for you ‘tl;dr-ers’ so I’m offering up a table of contents before we get into the good stuff.

This Article Will Include:

  1. Playoff Power Rankings
  2. The Third Round Matchups
  3. Standings For the First Annual BBG Playoff Pool

PLAYOFF POWER RANKINGS

Looking Back:

New York – Originally I said that I would be shocked if one of the Rangers, Penguins, Blues, or Canucks didn’t win the cup. After watching the Rangers crap their way through series’ against teams they’re clearly better than, now I’ll be surprised if they do win it.  The effort just doesn’t seem to be there.

New Jersey – Everything seems to have come together quite nicely. This is how teams win Stanley Cups. The Veterans who’ve been there before have one last statistical upswing, the rookies gel faster than you would expect, and you have a guy like Ilya Kovalchuk that’s hungry for success. They might be the favorite from here on out.

Phoenix – I kind of felt like picking Nashville was a bad pick and I picked them anyway. I’m not sure what I’ve learned really other than that somehow Radim Vrbata, Ray Whitney, and Mike Smith are somehow elite. I still can’t convince myself that Phoenix has anyone better than LA’s top five players, and yet I can’t convince myself that they’ll lose either. I figure one of two things happens eventually, Phoenix falters due to a lack of talent, or the Kings remind everyone why they were an eight seed.

Los Angeles – I forgot there was a third way that Blues series could go – Alex Pietrangelo gets hurt on a dirty hit, the Jaroslav Halak injury becomes bigger than it should have been, and the Blues stop doing everything that made them successful because ??  That series was over after game two when the Blues had a chance to try and beat the hell out of every King in the last five minutes and didn’t. Really it was over after the Pietrangelo injury when the Blues just kind of watched it happen and didn’t seek retribution via Brown or Quick. (And I’m not calling for an injury or anything like that, just taking one of your opponent’s two best players and making their time on the ice uncomfortable.)

ROUND TWO MATCHUPS:

Both teams head into their matchups tied in the season series with three wins apiece (with some largely irrelevant extra-time tomfoolery involved).  If you’ll recall, the season series winner is 11-1-0 in the conference final matchup since the lockout.  I guess that bodes well for the Rangers and the Kings.

New Jersey over New York in 6 – Now the Rangers don’t have a significant edge in goal and they’re playing against a team that has been brutally efficient in capitalizing on its opponents’ mistakes while not making any of their own.  Spells trouble.

Phoenix over Los Angeles in 6 – I think the Kings are deeper, have more elite talent, and are better in net.  And yet you can probably say the same thing about both the teams the Coyotes have beaten so far.  People have talked themselves into the Coyotes’ opponents and the Coyotes have badly exposed them for what they were.  Oh…right, Chicago is top heavy and just not very good.  Oh…right, Nashville lacks an elite goal scorer and has a tendency to play undisciplined.  Oh…right, the Kings barely made the playoffs because their star players are a bunch of headcases and they can’t score.

BBG PLAYOFF POOL STANDINGS:

  1. @jmsexauer – 32 points (8-4)
  2. @MotzQuotes – 26 points (6-6)
  3. @CriminallyVu1ga – 25 points (6-6)
  4. @PhilBBG – 21 points (6-6)
  5. @eduva16 – 20 points (5-7)
  6. @StephanieZD – 19 points (5-7)
  7. @buffalo620 – 18 points (5-7)
  8. @MarkMiller30 – 18 points (5-7)
  9. @CarlHatt – 10 points (3-9)
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