The NHL playoffs

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

That's right, NHL playoffs start tonight. More importantly, the Edmonton weather forecast is off the charts which means it's time for that pure sweetness known as hockey and BBQ, together.

Yes, yes, no Canadian teams, yadda yadda yadda. You can blame our useless asshole of a Prime Minister for that. He'll probably accuse the Rt. Honourable Stephen Harper (pbuh) of being responsible...then he'll want to take credit for the nice weather.

So since the playoffs are starting, I slid over to the NHL playoff bracket calculator to make my picks. Just for the interest of transparency, here's me starting off predictions.

Not a ton of surprises, at least in the beginning. I do think that the Rangers can hang on against Pittsburgh, and I think/hope that Detroit will see an early exit, even though the Lightning aren't going far without (Stamkos/Stralman/Callahan/Johnson/anybody that Greg Pateryn can come across in a dark alley). I'm also going on a bit of a limb here, and mainly to piss off a chick from Chicago that I'm not happy with at the moment, and predict that St. Louis will indeed finally beat the Blackhawks, and indeed beat their second round opponent as well. The problem, as always, is that it's really really really really really hard to bet against L.A. in the playoffs (especially when you don't project them to have to play the Hawks). Indeed I was tempted to put the Rangers as the Cup winners...and then I remembered that I've seen this movie before.

Will Devan Dubnyk win a playoff series? Will Nashville pass by the red-hot Ducks? Will Washington go all the way? Uh, nope.

Also for fun I even included the number of games I pick each series to go, so in June when every one of my picks was correct and none of the series length picks panned out, you can flood the comments with telling me how wrong I was.

Now go fire up the BBQ. It's playoff time.