Game 3 in Denver, first round, and the eighth-seeded Avalanche get a gift in overtime. Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle then scores in his own net to give Colorado a stunning 2-1 series lead. Didn't you say to yourself after that bizarre ending, "Here we go again with the Sharks?" Didn't you feel at that very moment like San Jose was surely headed for more playoff heartache? I mean, scoring in your own net in overtime, surely this team was doomed yet again. Then something funny happened. The Sharks displayed resiliency, Boyle himself scored the opening goal 74 seconds into the next game and top-seed San Jose recovered to beat the Avs in the first round. Where you surprised the Sharks could pick themselves off the floor like that?
Not as surprised as I'd be if ESPN could get through an entire paragraph about hockey without an error of fact—Dan Boyle's pass deflected off of O'Reilly's stick, he didn't score on his own goal—and a typo. I would be very surprised where that to happen.
And since I didn't have time to do a more thorough job with my predictions—go read Down Goes Brown if you want to be entertained or informed—here are some bonus answers to ESPN's penis-headed questions.
Could the Blackhawks go from backing into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season to a repeat Cup performance?
Sure. Would I bet on it? Well, even sputtering homer Bob Macajew/Jew Grimson won't go more than "I'll bet they don't get swept". So the smart money is probably elsewhere.
Could the Predators not only win their first-ever playoff series but take home the Cup?
Uh, who are they playing? The Ducks. Second, do the Predators have any forwards yet? No? Okay, then: yes; no.
Could the Penguins railroad through the East without Crosby and Evgeni Malkin?
Could the Kings without Anze Kopitar stun the Sharks and win a few rounds?
A "few"? A fucking FEW? A fucking FEW ROUNDS?
Okay, I looked it up. If by "few" you mean "not many" or "a small number" , then yes. The Kings can win not many rounds or a small number of rounds without Anze Kopitar. I am guessing that number will be zero, which is rather a small number indeed.
Could the Sabres beat out Vancouver in a Cup final featuring the twin 1970 expansion cousins?
Yes, certainly. In a year other than this one. Teams usually have to be pretty good at playing hockey to make the finals (2006 aside), and the Sabres are not very good at playing hockey.
Could Carey Price channel Patrick Roy and 1986 for the underdog Habs?
Could an ESPN writer find an interesting, timely or relevant hook for a hockey story about a Canadian team?
Could rookie Brad Marchand become this spring's multiple playoff hero as the Bruins end a 39-year drought?
What? What in holy hell is a Brad bufuglien Marchand and why is he among the first six Bruins anyone would mention? I don't even like the Bruins and here's where—sorry, ESPN, were—I'd go first: Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Tukka Rask, Milan Lucic. That's off the top of my goddamned head.
--Collision, furiously looking for a fight