Second round soothsaying

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Tely Sports (and Web reporter) weigh in on NHL playoff semifinals

Those who insist an alien spirit can inhabit someone else's body may have found some backing for the theory in the strange case of Telegram sports reporter John Browne and his NHL playoff picks this spring.

What other than human hijacking could explain longtime Bruin backer Browne's continuing "anyone but Boston" choices as he and the other members of the Tely sports department, along with Telegram reporter/online webslinger Alisha Morrissey, move along with their post-season prognostications?

Those who insist an alien spirit can inhabit someone else's body may have found some backing for the theory in the strange case of Telegram sports reporter John Browne and his NHL playoff picks this spring.

What other than human hijacking could explain longtime Bruin backer Browne's continuing "anyone but Boston" choices as he and the other members of the Tely sports department, along with Telegram reporter/online webslinger Alisha Morrissey, move along with their post-season prognostications?

That being said - and even as Harry Sinden proceeds with Browne's excommunication from the Brotherhood of the Bear - it has to be noted that JB shares the lead after the first round of picks. He and Brendan McCarthy (who so far has resisted Darth Browne's attempts to lure him to the anti-Bruin Dark Side) are both 5-3, while Kenn Oliver, Sports Editor Robin Short and the Morrissey all sit at 4-4.

Oliver - the Leafs having long ago been left far down the track - appears to have hitched a ride on the Pittsburgh Express; Morrissey has shaken off the rookie jitters and remains in the thick of the chase (this time using the University of Inuvik's just-developed add-the-jerseys/divide-by-Canadians mathematical formula); and the Hab-loving Short has nevertheless (and once again) decided against Montreal, although his two-timing pales in comparison to that of Browne, who appears willing to dance (to the tune of 'Just a Gigolo') with any team that promises him a good time.

Here are the second-round choices:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Montreal Canadiens (8) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (4)

Browne: Wait, let me turn down my Sean Kingston CD...Are you telling me Montreal knocked out Washington? I thought I was having a nightmare. Never underestimate Beelzebub's team. Still, does anyone believe Halak is the reincarnation of Ken Dryden? Heck, Dryden is still alive...or is he? (Cue Psycho movie music)

McCarthy: I am wincing as I say this, but give credit to the Habs and Jaroslav Halak for knocking off the Caps. But this time they're up against a Penguins team with a lead horse in Sidney Crosby, who has the bit firmly between his teeth.

Morrissey: Not so easy this math stuff, whereby we add up a team's jersey numbers and divide by the number of Canadians on its roster.

Montreal has a jersey total of 1,136. Divide that by the 15 Canadians on the team and you get 75.73. Pittsburgh also has a high jersey total, but has two more Canadians than the Habs, meaning the Pens' score is 59.12.

Oliver: As much as I enjoyed watching Halak and the Habs end Ovie and company's heavily favoured Stanley Cup quest, I have been reborn a Penguins fan. Unlike the Caps' high octane offence, the Crosby show will entail a meticulous deconstruction of les Habitants. Au revoir, mes amies!

Short: The Canadiens sure earned that Game 7 win over the Caps, eh? Right. Great as Jaroslav Halak is playing right now, Sidney Crosby has been just as dominant - if not moreso - and the Pens sure looked like Stanley Cup champs against the Senators. Afraid midnight will come early for the Canadiens - imagine, Montreal fans hitting the streets to celebrate a first-round win, of all things - against a Pittsburgh squad that's clearly hitting its stride. If Malkin picks his game up a bit, and Fleury starts playing a bit better, this will be a very short series.

Boston Bruins (6) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)

Browne: OK, I'm a traitor to my favourite team but let's face it, I'll do anything it takes to win this little contest even if it means putting up with the wrath of McCarthy. Trust me, fellow Bruins fans, there's a method to my madness.

McCarthy: An unexpected. fortuitous matchup for both teams, who could have just have easily been playing Pittsburgh and Washington in this round. But the Bruins are getting healtheir (Marc Savard is cleared to play), while the Flyers are missing Carter, Gagne and Laperriere. Boston also has Tuukku Rask, while the Flyers counter with Brian Boucher, and I don't think he has another round in him like he had against the Devils

Morrissey: You know that math equation that just never made sense? This is it. Boston has a total jersey number of 1,570, divided by 19 Canadians - that's 82.63. Philadelphia has a jersey total of 809, but with an impressive 21 Canadians on the roster, th Flyers' final score is 38.52. I can't believe it either - but the math is never wrong.

Oliver: Teams hailing from equally truculent East coast cities? Let the mayhem ensue. With names like Pronger, Hartnell, Carcillo, Coburn in orange and Chara, Lucic and Thornton in the black and gold trunks, the team that takes this series will be the one which can withstand the physicality. The way the B's handled the Sabres, I like 'em.

Boston Bruins (6) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)

Short: Much as it must have killed them, Bruins fans had to have been cheering for the Canadiens over the Capitals. Otherwise, Boston had a second-round date with Pittsburgh. Alas, the Bruins get the banged-up Flyers, and though he looked good against the Devils, I'm still not sold on Brian Boucher. And don't forget, Marc Savard's back in the B's lineup.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Detroit Red Wings (5) vs San Jose Sharks (1)

Browne: If the Sharks best players pick it up in this round they should win. But there's something about San Jose that screams underachivers when it really counts.

I think the Red Wings are good for at least this round. And, really, if I don't finish with a better record than Alisha, I'll move to Canada.

McCarthy: Ths Sharks look like the Capitals of the West. They are missing something. The Red Wings, for all their travails this year, seem to have 'it,' whatever 'it' is.

Morrissey: Detroit's jersey numbers add up to 1,149. Divided by 10 Canadians on the team, that equals 114.9. While San Jose's jerseys add up to 632. With 16 Canadians on the team that means the team's score is 39.5.

Oliver: With this series - more accurately with the Sharks' reputation - I'm gonna give Alisha's nursery rhyme strategy a whirl.

Ryane and Danny climbed up the hill to fetch the Cup of Stanley.

Who moves on to continue the quest,

Will depend on their PP, their PK and their goalie.

Short: Anybody got a coin? Just when the Red Wings looked dead against the Coyotes, the ol' veterans turned in a dominating Game 7 performance. The few days off will no doubt help Detroit's senior statesmen, namely Nick Lidstrom. Still don't think San Jose will win the Cup this season, but a conference finals appearance may be within their grasp.

Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs Vancouver Canucks (3)

Browne: Don't like Chicago's goaltending. Even if Luongo is overrated, he's still better than Antti Niemi on most nights and goaltending is the story of these playoffs.

I'd prefer to see the Blackhawks advance, but I'm picking Vancouver.

McCarthy: Given these team's recent history and the quality of their rosters, this might be the best series of the playoffs. The difference will be the most-talked about man on either side. Roberto Luongo has been good - but no better than good - in his career. Here's his chance to be great.

Morrissey: Vancouver has a total of 767 when the jersey numbers are added up. Divide that by 18 Canadians on the team and th Canucks' score is 42.61. Chicago has a jersey total of 982. Divide that by the 20 Canadians on the team and their score is 49.1.

Oh, so close, but ....

Oliver: If this series can be half as exciting as last year's, I honestly don't care what the outcome is. Just give me the raw energy of GM Place and raucous crowd inside the United Centre. It's a toss up. But with Byfuglien in front of Bobby Lou, I like the Blackhawk's chances. Even with the very suspect Anti Niemi between the pipes.

Short: Can't wait to see Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane match skills with the Sedins. Up front and undoubtedly on the blueline, the 'Hawks have more depth than the Canucks, but Vancouver gets the nod in goal with Roberto Luongo. Ah, Luongo. As we said prior to the first round, you just don't know what you're getting from the big guy. And that opinion still stands.

Organizations: Montreal Canadiens, NHL, Pittsburgh Penguins Boston Bruins Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Express University of Inuvik Detroit Red Wings Capitals Vancouver Canucks Blackhawks San Jose Sharks Chicago Blackhawks United Centre

Geographic location: Boston, Montreal, Pittsburgh Washington San Jose Vancouver Detroit Philadelphia Chicago Canada

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Recent comments

  • Mo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    So, with Morrissey's calculation is the winning team the team with the higher or lower number?

  • Mo
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    So, with Morrissey's calculation is the winning team the team with the higher or lower number?