2018 NHL Stanley Cup conference finals

Well two big surprises first off the Vegas Golden Knights are in the finals following in the steps of the St. Louis Blues who made it all the way to the Stanley Cup way back in the 67-68 season. The other to a lesser degree is the fact that the two teams from the last years Stanley Cup are both out. There is another big thing as there could be a team taking home the Stanley Cup for the first time as three of the four teams left haven’t won yet. The only team that’s won is the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2004. The Conference finals begin tonight in Tampa Bay as the Capitals take on the Lightning.

On to the predictions:
In the Western Conference we have the Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets. This will be the first time that they will be meeting in the Playoffs, during the season Vegas took two of the three games. It seems like the Golden Knights have the best shot but who really knows as both the Jets and Knights could win it.

In the Eastern Conference we have the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Washington Capitals. This is the third time they are meeting in the playoffs and Tampa Bay has won both of them. Tampa last was here in 2016 losing to the Penguins in seven games. Washington last was here in 1998 when they beat the Sabers on their way to the only Stanley Cup final.  For both series  you could just flip a coin to decide.

Although it seems like it might end up with Marc-Andre Fleury hoisting the Cup yet again. This season there have been some crazy surprises so anyone could be hoisting it. Of both games I don’t care who wins in the West but  I’d really like it if the Capitals can make it back Stanley Cup Final and actually win a game this time around.

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2018 Stanley Cup playoffs

It’s that time of year again, the NHL season is over and the playoffs have begun. For the most of the series it has gone to the second round. We’ve got some big surprises and some of the usual suspects.

We start in the West with the big surprise the Vegas hockey team, the Golden Knights, have done the impossible, well really not that impossible thanks to the Expansion Draft. The Vegas Golden Knights swept the LA Kings in the first round and are playing the other team that swept in the first round the San Jose Sharks. On the other side we have another first time playoff winner in the new Winnipeg Jets and they are playing the Nashville Predators. The Predators made it to the Western Conference finals last year this will be a tough road for the Jets. I think that Nashville will be making it back to the Finals. As for the Golden Knights and Sharks it could go either way but it seems like Vegas has a team that consists of people with some playoff experience so the Golden Knights might have an edge.

In the East we’ve got rematches this will be the third time in a row that the Capitals and Penguins will meet in the second round. It seems like a broken record as this will be the 11th time that they will play each other in the playoffs. The Capitals haven’t do much against them in the playoffs winning only once way back in 1994, they split the season series. I am pretty sure it will be going 7 games, with several going to OT perhaps even shootouts. The other match up will be the Lightning from Tampa Bay will be playing either Boston or Toronto, their final game is tonight. Tampa did well against Toronto this year but not so great against Boston so who knows.

On to the predictions. Nashville and Vegas in the West. In the East either Boston or Tampa along with I’m going to go with the Capitals just for the sheer hope that they can finally break through and beat the Penguins

 

Baseball Season begins

Sure, I’m a day late but my Nationals had their game in Cincinnati pushed back to Friday so I forgot to do this yesterday. We’ve got six new Managers and five of them do not have any experience managing, it will be an interesting year for all involved.

First off predictions it seems like most of the teams from last year will be making it back again.
AL East- Yankees and Red Sox
AL Central- Indians
AL West- Astros

NL East- Nationals
NL Central- Cubs
NL West- Dodgers

Maybes: Twins or Angels as the other AL Wild Card.  As for the NL Wild Cards not really sure some are positing that the Phillies are back other say the Mets have a team or the D-back and Cardinals

Second: Shohei Ohtani will be one of the biggest stories of the season, Ohtani was a dual threat in Japan for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters pitching and hitting. This past winter he made the move to the MLB and the LA Angels where he will be pitching and playing as designated hitter. Ohtani will be pitching on Sunday and there have been discussion of how he will be used.

It is also the first day of the Divine Mercy Novena.

90th Academy Awards Predictions

Alright, on Sunday the 90th Oscar Ceremony will take place in LA so here are my predictions although it seems that there are so many front runners having won the other awards this year.

Best Picture:  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Best Actor: Garry Oldman as Churchill in Darkest Hour
Best Actress: Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes in Three Billboards
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell as Officer Jason Dixon in Three Billboards
Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney as LaVona Golden in I, Tonya
Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name
Best Original Screenplay: Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards
Best Animated (Disney/Pixar) Film: It’s Coco this year.
Best Score: Alexandre Desplat for Shape of Water

As for the tougher ones
Best Song: Hope it’s that song from Coco
Best Foreign Language film: This is one of those shots in the dark The Insult? from Lebanon
Best Documentary: Another shot in the dark Faces Places

Those technical awards and short film awards well those are categories that most people don’t really care about so

Super Bowl LII Prediction

This weekend we’ve got the big game Super Bowl LII in Minnesota. This is the first game in Minnesota since 1992 and the second overall. It is in the new stadium. Super Bowl LII is a rematch of Super Bowl XXXIX which was won by the Patriots, as of recent games which were rematches the winner of the previous game has won again. The Patriots are playing in their tenth Super Bowl over all and eighth since the turn of the century (to many for most fans besides those in NE) if they win they will tie the Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins with six. For the Eagles this is their third time at the Super Bowl and they haven’t won yet, although they have won three NFL Championships the last was in 1960. History has stacked the odds against the Eagles this year but they have somehow gotten to the Super Bowl with a backup QB in Nick Foles yet they are facing Tom Brady and New England who have been here many times before. On to the prediction, while I am sure that New England will win somehow, it would be fun to see a new team win but many online are opining for a third option that it ends in a tie or that a meteorite comes and hits the stadium killing both teams involved.

NFL Playoffs 2017 (Championship)

On Sunday we have the Championship games for the AFC and NFC. It starts on CBS at 3 eastern time in New England where Tom Brady and company are going to try and win another Championship (10) this is their seventh consecutive time in the AFC Championship game. New England is playing at home and they will face the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are looking to win their first. Everyone has to be thinking that the Patriots are going to win given that, but maybe Jacksonville can eek out a win. These teams met in the first week of the Preseason and Jacksonville won but who really knows.  After this game is over on FOX the NFC Championship will begin at 6:40 or so eastern time in Philly where the Eagles will face off against the Vikings. Both of which have made it to the Super Bowl in the past but have not won The Big Game yet. It has been 40 some years since the Vikings have won the NFC Championship game while it been only a dozen years for the Eagles. As for predictions I would love it if the Vikings win on Sunday and become the first team to play the Super Bowl at their home stadium. Minnesota also had one of the strongest defenses all season and we all know that Defense wins Championships. As for that other game It would be amazing if Jacksonville could win but I think we all know that New England will be winning number 10 and going to yet another Super Bowl.

NFL 2017 Playoffs (Divisional)

This weekend everybody is in the pool as the “bye week” is over and everyone is playing. On Saturday we start with NBC offering up the Atlanta Falcons in Philly playing the Eagles, and later in the evening on CBS the Tennessee Titans  are in New England facing the Patriots. These games seem pretty cut and dry with Atlanta and New England winning. On Sunday, we have some interesting games. We have rematches of game from earlier this season, we start in Pittsburgh on CBS where the Jacksonville Jaguars will try and do what they did a decade ago and beat the Steelers at Pittsburgh twice in the same season. Later in the afternoon on FOX in Minnesota the Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints hope to avenge a week one loss. If I had to pick these games I think that it will not go like it did during the regular season so I’m pulling for the Steelers and Saints.

NFL Playoffs 2017 (Wild Card Weekend)

This weekend the NFL begins the playoffs with Wild Card Weekend. There are some interesting games to watch. On Saturday there is the Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC on ABC/ESPN and Atlanta Falcons at LA Rams in the NFC on NBC. Then on Sunday we’ve got the Buffalo Bills at the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC on CBS and the Carolina Panthers at the New Orleans Saints in the NFC on FOX.  Of all the games only the Panthers and Saints will be a rematch of a regular season game the Panthers lost both times. As for predictions it seems like the home teams have the best shots at winning, however that Bills/Jaguars game looks like it will be a close one and the Falcons/Rams game might end with the Falcons coming out with a win since they were there last year. My predictions Chiefs, Falcons, Bills and Saints.

NBA Season begins

As it turns out professional basketball has started as well sure it seems like we will have the top teams from last year have just gotten better with trades in the off season so I expect the Cleveland Cavs, Golden State Warriors, along with Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs and maybe the Boston Celtics, although after that first game perhaps the Washington Wizards, as the teams that we will be seeing in the finals. Yes, I know that is three teams from the East Cleveland, Boston and Washington and three from the West, but the West is a loaded conference so there are probably more that could make it. There are some who will be pushing for the Lakers to be good again but they will be in the middle better than last year but not making the playoffs. The biggest problems with the NBA right now is that one of the Superteams are going to win yet again but thankfully this is the last year that teams can tank for the best chance at the top draft pick.

The AL/NL Championship Series

Well after a pretty thrilling divisional round where error played a big role with over 30 errors between all the teams. We saw the Red Sox continue to flounder in the postseason and the heavily favored Cleveland Indians fall to the New York Yankees in 5 games in the American League over in the National League  the Dodgers cruised to the Championship while the Nationals and Cubs play a fierce 5 game series complete with 2 shutouts, 2 no-hitters that turned into losses, and a mind blowing final game.

As for the Championship series we have some exciting games that are going to happen. It will be the first time that Houston has made it to this round since it moved to the American League and following their first series win since 2005 when they won the National League. They will face the Yankees who haven’t been here in 5 years when they were swept by the Tigers. The last time they met each other in the playoffs was the Wild Card game back in 2015. This was a while ago. The Astros had a long layover between their win in the ALDS and this first game of the ALCS so Houston will be well rested and the Yankees having gone 5 with Cleveland will be on a day rest. I’m not sure what’s better to be well rested or battle tested. It would be great if the Astros got to the series in the American League as they’d be the only team ever to have been for both leagues. However it could go to the Yankees.

In the National League it will be The Dodgers who were there last year but haven’t won an NL Pennant since 1988 when they also last won the World Series so there is that going on. Meanwhile the Cubs are in there again so it’s a rematch of last years NLCS, Let’s hope that the Dodgers can beat them this time around. I’m not sure with the extended drama that was the division series if either team (Cubs or Nationals) would have been a huge threat to LA but who know what will happen. Reading online it seems that the Dodgers thought that the Cubs would be a harder series to win but looking at the errors and lack of runs in the Division series, I’d say that’s not so now. So Dodgers seem like the team to win in the NL.