Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 NHL Semifinals Predictions

It's FINALLY time for the second round of the NHL playoffs, after 6 of 8 quarterfinal series went to 6 or 7 games. It's also time for me to brag a little bit (don't worry, it won't take long).

Here were my quarterfinal predictions, and how I actually did =

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  • Washington Capitals over the New York Rangers in 6 games
  • REALITY = Washington won in 5
  • Buffalo Sabres over the Philadelphia Flyers in 7 games
  • REALITY = Philadelphia won in 7
  • Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games
  • REALITY = Boston won in 7
  • Tampa Bay Lightning over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games
  • REALITY = Tampa won in 7
BEST, I mean, WESTERN CONFERENCE
  • Vancouver Canucks over the Chicago Blackhawks in 5 games
  • REALITY = Vancouver (barely) won in 7
  • SAN JOSE SHARKS over the Los Angeles Kings in 6 games
  • REALITY = exactly as predicted
  • Detroit Red Wings over the Phoenix Coyotes in 6 games
  • REALITY = Detroit won in 4
  • Nashville Predators over the Anaheim Ducks in 6 games
  • REALITY = exactly as predicted
While only two of my 8 predictions were EXACTLY correct, I managed to correctly pick 7 of the 8 victors. The one exception, the Sabres / Flyers series, went 7 games as predicted. In short, methinks I did fairly well for myself. UPDATE = I actually landed in a tie for 24th out of 272 contestants... not too shabby!

Here are the Semifinals matchups, and my predictions =

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  • Washington Capitals over the Tampa Bay Lightning in 6 games
  • Philadelphia Flyers over the Boston Bruins in 7 games
WESTERN CONFERENCE
  • Nashville Predators over the Vancouver Canucks in 6 games (I'm predicting an upset, and not just because Vancouver nearly crapped their bed against Chicago)
  • San Jose Sharks over the Detroit Red Wings in 7 games (this is more heart than head, but there's a fair bit of head involved... hmmmm, sounds funny out of context)
Go hockey.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pascha (Easter)

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!

(photo of the Holy Sepulchre (Christ's tomb), inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel, April 2009)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Holy Saturday

Today Thou dost keep holy the seventh day,
Which Thou has blessed of old by resting from Thy works.
Thou bringest all things into being and Thou makest all things new,
Observing the Sabbath rest, my Saviour, and restoring strength.

********************************

When Thou didst descend to death 0 Life Immortal,
Thou didst slay hell with the splendor of Thy Godhead!
And when from the depths Thou didst raise the dead,
All the powers of heaven cried out:
O Giver of Life! Christ our God! Glory to Thee!

(photo of Christ Harrowing Hades wall iconography, inside the Chora Church, Istanbul, Turkey; photo by yours truly, 2007)

Holy Friday

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the Cross.
He who is King of the angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.
He who in Jordan set Adam free receives blows upon His face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails.
The Son of the Virgin is pierced with a spear.
We venerate Thy Passion, O Christ.
Show us also Thy glorious Resurrection
.

(photo of Golgotha, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, Israel, on Holy Friday, 2009)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mark Purdy, the embarrassment of the South Bay

As has been reported by various hockey outlets, San Jose Mercury News "reporter," Mark Purdy (he of the "Our Beloved Los Tiburones" infamy), has penned yet another article in which he ignores the logic of those he quotes, and instead stomps forward with an embarrassing display of faux-journalism. What is his argument? The San Jose Sharks play better in the Los Angeles Kings' Staples Center because it is quiet. In of itself, perhaps not a TERRIBLE hypothesis (even if it's a bit rude to put it into print, and furthermore not accurate in my opinion)... but Purdy's myopia leads him to ignore what he quotes from the San Jose Sharks themselves on the subject.

How tough a place is Staples to play, really? How noisy?

"I would put it in the middle of the pack," Sharks forward Ryane Clowe said.

He was being generous.

Ryane Clowe basically negates Purdy's premise, but Purdy not only ignores him, but supplies MORE quotes that negate his premise. Thank goodness he's only a "journalist" and not a prosecutor; his "evidence" would support the defense he's working against.

For example =

"I think that had more to do with the guys we were playing against than with the home ice," said Clowe.

"The Kings are a strong defensive team," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I don't think it had anything to do with the building."

It is painfully obvious to those that read Purdy regularly (which I don't recommend) that the players and organization do not care for him. McLellan and the players know the difference between Purdy and his outstanding colleague, David Pollak: the former has shown a brash dedication to ripping on the Sharks (when he can't rip on the opposing fans' arenas), while the latter has quietly built a solid reputation as an even-minded Sharks journalist to whom the Sharks like talking.

Hopefully the Mercury News removes this sorry excuse for a reporter, so OUR BELOVED LOS TIBURONES and their fans can focus on the game of hockey rather than needless embarrassments that misrepresent our dedicated fanbase.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

2011 NHL Playoff prognostications


It's been awhile since I updated, so just in time for The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, here are my 2011 NHL Playoff predictions... without any analysis to clutter up the post. :-P

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  • Washington Capitals over the New York Rangers in 6 games
  • Buffalo Sabres over the Philadelphia Flyers in 7 games
  • Boston Bruins over the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games
  • Tampa Bay Lightning over the Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games
BEST, I mean, WESTERN CONFERENCE
  • Vancouver Canucks over the Chicago Blackhawks in 5 games
  • SAN JOSE SHARKS over the Los Angeles Kings in 6 games
  • Detroit Red Wings (boo) over the Phoenix Coyotes in 6 games
  • Nashville Predators over the Anaheim Ducks (boo) in 6 games
These predictions don't necessarily reflect who I actually WANT to win. For example, I could do without the Washington Capitals in the East, and definitely without the Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings in the West. However, these are the teams I feel will make it to the second round. Go hockey.

Friday, April 1, 2011

South America, here I come...

The ancient city of Machu Pikachu beckons...


Last night I purchased my airfare for my annual summer trip... this year it's Peru and other South American destinations (possibly Argentina / Uruguay and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). So that's what I've been up to lately. I've been a bit inspired by An Idiot Abroad, which you really need to watch if you haven't yet. Trust me on this - this is coming from a guy who "officially" hates TV, too.

Enjoy your weekend, all! And happy April Fool's!