AC Staff Playoff Prediction Challenge: Stanley Cup Final

The AC Staff has stopped their vomiting, sobbing, convulsing, and construction of voodoo dolls of the entire LA Kings lineup for a few minutes to throw down their last round of predictions. This round, things get a little nuts.

One conference final series was pretty mediocre. One was amazing... with a horrible ending.

The New York Rangers advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1994 after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in a series that to be honest I didn't see a single second of (thanks, work). After an amazing run which saw the Canadiens dismantle the Tampa Bay Lightning before dispatching their archrival Boston Bruins, the Habs fell pretty flat, getting romped in game one at home and losing starting goaltender Carey Price to an injury. Henrik Lundqvist on the other hand continued to be amazing and the Rangers continued their improbable march to the final stage.

The series between the Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks on the other hand never failed to be wildly entertaining. For two of the NHL's best defenses in the regular season, both teams appeared to forget how to play in their own zone entirely and produced some very high scoring games. As pretty much everyone expected, the series went to seven games, and as many also expected, to overtime in that final game. And then, because the hockey gods clearly hate me with an unbridled passion, of course it was the Kings who came away with the goal on the road to send them to their second Cup final in three years.

How did our writers fare? Not well.

Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

Ben

15

0

Liz

10

0

Jen Neale

0

0

Jer Dobias

0

0

Kyle

0

0

Chris

0

0

Lois

15

0

Derek

0

0

Cory

15

0

Kid Ish

10

10

Eric

0

0

Kristen

0

0

Kid Ish was the only writer to get both series correct, and likewise was the only writer to predict the Kings winning their series with Chicago. That performance was good enough to push him into a three-way tie for the lead with Jer, the newly-appointed leader of Battle of California, and our own Ben heading into the final round.

On an extremely embarrassing note, seven writers scored a whopping zero points for the round, predicting both Conference Final series winners wrong.

That moves the scores to the following:

Jer

90

Ben

90

Kid Ish

90

Chris

85

Eric

85

Liz

85

Lois

85

Cory

75

Jen

70

Kyle

60

Derek

40

Kristen

25

So how does AC think this series will work out? Well let's just say we don't have a whole lot of confidence in the Rangers to save us from the inevitable douchebaggery that's going to eminate from LA in a couple weeks.

Series

Total Goals

Conn Smythe Winner

Ben

New York in 7

31

Henrik Lundqvist

Liz

New York in 6

27

Henrik Lundqvist

Jen Neale

Los Angeles in 5

37

Drew Doughty

Jer Dobias

Los Angeles in 6

30

Marian Gaborik

Kyle

Los Angeles in 5

26

Drew Doughty

Chris

Los Angeles in 6

27

Anze Kopitar

Lois

Los Angles in 6

24

Drew Doughty

Cory

New York in 6

27

Henrik Lundqvist

Kid Ish

Los Angeles in 5

25

Drew Doughty

Eric

Los Angeles in 6

27

Anze Kopitar

Kristen

Los Angles in 6

30

Drew Doughty

As you can clearly see, this round will be a tad different. Since this is the final and there is only one series, we added a few new rules to the game to keep things interesting.

First, the points are doubled for the predictions, with a correct one now being worth 20, and a correct number of games giving an additional 10 for a total of 30. Second, each writer was asked to predict how many goals would be scored in the final total (from both teams in all games of the series). If anybody got this right, regardless of their series prediction, they would immediately be given 20 bonus points. Third, each writer was asked to pick the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP. A correct prediction would win 10 points.

Additionally, should the need arise, the tie-breaking procedures will be as follows:

1. Closest prediction to the actual total number of goals scored in the Stanley Cup Final series
2. Greater number of perfectly predicted series (both winner and games correct)
3. "Price-is-Right" style on tiebreaker #1 (closest without going over)
4. Cage match.
5. Best-of-Seven series in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (5-minute rounds, no Super Smashes, extra hammers)

-"PLEASE DEAR HOCKEY GODS!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!" - Cory
-"Call me optimistic. Fuck the Kings." - Liz
-"Resistance is Futile. Has the World Cup started yet?" - Chris
-"New York is our only hope, but there's no way they'll pull it off because the Eastern Conference plays garbage hockey." - Jer
-"Why does it even matter anymore? Life is but a series of random events occurring in sequence formed into a story." - Kid Ish
-"Kings are just the better team in every aspect of the game. I am going to vomit." - Jen
-"I've predicted against the gawd-damn Kings in every round, & they've succeeded in proving my hopes wrong. So fuck it-going with the reverse. Fuck the Kings. What a shitty end." - Lois
-"Not sure why everyone's so down on the Rangers. They're a very deep, well-rounded team with one of the few goalies who have outplayed Quick in this postseason. I firmly believe that the Blueshirts have the talent necessary to win this series. Until I see them hoist Lord Stanley's trophy, though, I'll be crying myself to sleep every night for the next couple weeks." - Ben
-"Part of me wants to take the Rangers just to go against the grain, but LA's general depth has been so much more pronounced. Two killer scoring lines and three defenseman are contributing offensively while the unit plays well enough in their own end. Only way New York wins it is if Lundqvist soundly outplays Quick, and even that may not be enough." - Eric
-"Do I have to talk about it?" - Kristen
-"I'm not getting anything right this year so screw it, reverse-jinx time. But sadly, if the NHL really wanted to give these two an equal chance at winning, they'd give the Cup to the Rangers if they somehow push the series to game six." - Kyle

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