One of my favorite lines from The Simpsons is when Principal Skinner says, in response to Mrs. Krabappel asking him to think of the children’s future: “Oh Edna. We all know that these children HAVE no future.” All the kids stop and stare at him in shock and he says, “Prove me wrong, children. Prove me wrong.” In the spirit of that great scene I am going to list something I believe to be true of each NHL team that is in the playoffs and I challenge each team or player to prove me wrong.
Evgeni Nabokov is not capable of winning enough big games to get the Sharks to the Western Conference Finals, much less the Stanley Cup Finals.
A defensive lapse by the Blackhawks young star players (Kane & Toews) will cost them at some point in these playoffs.
Roberto Luongo still has yet to win a big game in the NHL. Until he does I will doubt that he can do it.
There are no more shootouts and you don’t get to play 4-on-4 after the third period any longer. This team is not capable of scoring enough 5-on-5 goals to win consistently.
Age will finally catch up to the Red Wings and they will not be able to beat a hungrier, faster and deceptively deep Coyotes team.
Jonathan Quick is out of gas and cannot beat the Canucks four times in seven games.
Playing it safe and trying to win 2-1 or 3-2 works in the regular season but not in the playoffs. The Predators lack the explosiveness and passion that it takes to win in the postseason.
Craig Anderson is out of gas and this team will be overwhelmed by the Sharks in the first round.
You cannot emphasize offense as much as Washington does and be successful in the playoffs. A round or two? Sure. Hoisting the Cup? No.
Tomas Vanek is not worth the money the Sabres are paying him and, if he does play, he will not be the type of player that Buffalo needs. They need him to score often and in the clutch and he will do neither.
Ilya Kovalchuk was a wasted acquisition. He is good but he will not be the difference between the Devils advancing a round or not and he will leave the team as a free agent in July.
The supporting cast is not good enough to win another Cup and Sergei Gonchar’s best days are behind him.
Ottawa does not have enough scoring depth beyond the top line, and Mike Fisher, to consistently score against the Penguins. The top line + Fisher will score 66% of the Senators goals in this series if not more.
Brian Boucher will not earn more wins in the playoffs than he did in the regular season (9).
You cannot be as bad at scoring goals as the Bruins are and win a playoff round.
If you have two starting goalies what you are really saying is that neither is good enough to be your starter. Flopping between Halak and Price will cost this team what little chance they have to upset the Capitals.