Monthly Archives: April 2011

NHL Playoffs Round 2 – The next Go Round

And we’re back for round 2 of the NHL playoffs!  As we called it last year.. “In an effort to embarrass ourselves further” we’re making more picks. We’ll even try to make sure we get the right teams in the header for each matchup this time. We got in the quick picks for Vancouver/Nashville with the recap post yesterday but we’ll expand on it here as we do our picks for the rest of them.

Before we get to the actual picks, Kingkielbasa had one other prediction. And no, it wasn’t “Pain“.
“The one predication I can make is that the second round can not be as exciting as the first round.  I heard a crazy stat that the final nine days of the first round featured an overtime game.  That is pure nuts.  I think I also watched more hockey playoffs this year then in a long time.  Now if we could just do something with every hit now being called a penalty and being “reviewed”…hockey may be back!”

Eastern Conference

Washington (1) vs Tampa Bay (5):
King: This is a tough one for me to call.  I’ll admit it, I’ve got a huge mancrush for Ovechkin.  I also have nothing but respect for Yzerman.  In my heart I want the Bolts to get to the finals, but I think King Ovie’s team might be poised for that move this year. The only thing that might stop them is Rollie.  This one is my tough one… Capitals in 7.
Beer: I was rooting for the Bolts, but I fully expected the Pens to grit out the win. That being said, I’m glad the Bolts are here. An amazing job being done by Steve Yzerman down there. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and I think the Capitals will prove too much for the Lightning. That isn’t to say their time won’t come, but even Yzerman’s Red Wings went through some (in)famous playoff disappointments before really making a run. Washington is a bit more talented, a bit deeper, and a bit better rested. Capitals win.

Philadelphia (2) vs. Boston (3)
King: As much as I want to go with my other favorite team, the Bruins…what I saw them do in the first round makes me very nervous.  How do you go 0 for 21 on the power play!?  There defense looks pathetic and I’m guessing Kaberle will not be resigned. He looks even worse.  Sigh…Phillie in 5.
Beer: Wow, in round one I went with Buffalo over Philadelphia saying “Pronger is banged up/out. Goaltending is unsettled”. Now here the Flyers are in round two and… Pronger is back, but banged up and the Goaltending is unsettled. However, The bruins didn’t look like world beaters, either. Still, I guess I’ll sit on the other side of the fence and root for an Original Six team. Bruins win.

Western Conference

Vancouver (1) vs. Nashville (5):
King: I told Beer that I was picking Nashville and I’m sticking to that pick.  I really could care less for either team, but I got some bad vibes from that Nashville team this year.  Nashville in 6.
Beer: I get that same bad vibe the King mentions from the Canucks. in fact it seems to eminate from the area of their goal crease. Yes Roberto Luongo, I’m talking about you. Still, by all rights Vancouver is the better team. The top team in the league in the regular season. I like their chances barring another mid series meltdown like they had against the Hawks. You only get to do that maybe once in the playoffs. They got away with it once. Not twice. Canucks win.

San Jose (2) vs. Detroit (3):
King: The Sharks did not look that impressive against the Kings.  The Wings looked good, but not great against the ‘Yotes.  This one is all heart pick.  Wings in 7.
Beer: Gotta agree with the King on this one, the Wings did look great. For stretches of the game at least. Then they seemed to lose focus a bit. But the way they played in the first round at times, after sleepwalking into the playoffs had to make the rest of the league a little nervous. The “Oh crap, not THOSE Red Wings again. Not the motivated guys” type of nervous. That being said, will it be enough? This is the second year in a row these teams will meet in the second round, but this year it’s almost the reverse of last year. Last year the Wings went 7 against Phoenix and were out of gas. This year the Sharks went to overtime in 6 games to advance, and although they still have home ice they may be a bit empty in the tank. Wings win. Sorry to disappoint all the people who politely asked me to continue picking against them.

There we go! And just to help out with the whole “hitting” issue raised by the King up top, let’s head out with this. After all, the playoffs were when this guy did some of his best (worst?) work…

Later folks!
Beer & King

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Five Thoughts on a Friday – The Quick Fix edition

Howdy folks! If you’re reading this, it means we all made it to another Friday. (And thanks again to the King for filling in for me last week while I was off on another boondoggle) That has to count for something, right? Let’s get started with it, looks like it might be a bit of a busy day today….

  1. I heard there was some sort of wedding going on this morning, but I couldn’t find a single thing about it. Guess the NFL network doesn’t cover weddings.
  2. I can see why sports drafts like the NFL’s first round last night can be so appealing to people.
    • It’s always amazing to watch these generally smart, disciplined general managers freak out when an unexpected early pick blows up months of planning.
    • Then again,  the saying goes.. “It only takes one team to fall in love with a player”. Take the Vikings, QB’s were going off the board so the went out and grabbed one they liked.
    • And let’s be honest here. Despite all the “grades” you’ll see about drafts. They’re all a bunch of $h!t. After all, Matt Millen generally got really good grades for his drafts when he was running the Detroit Lions. You know, the only team that ever managed to go 0-16?
  3. It’s nothing compared to the tornadoes that ripped apart the south, but all the rain I’ve gotten at the house has me thinking I might need a machete instead of a lawn mower to cut the grass in the back yard at the rate it’s been growing this week. I know one thing that will be on the weekend to-do list for sure. Mow the lawn. Yep, spring must finally be getting here. Boo. More work.
  4. I don’t know if it’s an extension of the building problems we had yesterday here at the office, or if someone turned a 2 year old loose on the switch but the lights keep getting turned on and off here at the office. Waiting to see someone have a seizure here because of it. Lights go on, lights go off. Lights go on, lights go off. Lights go on, lights go off. Lights go on, lights go off. Lights go on, lights go off. You get the idea.
  5. Gotta get those picks written up for the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs later today. Make sure to stay tuned and check back for that. Since I’ve already proven to not be very good at picking, but hopefully my reasoning is silly enough to be entertaining.

Ok, that’s five quick thoughts for today. We’ll have the picks up shortly, too. In the meantime, what I’d RATHER be doing this weekend instead of mowing the lawn…

See you soon for the picks. Have a great weekend folks!
-Beer

The NHL playoffs… How’d we do? (Redeux! For 2011 of course)

Well, the 1st round of the NHL playoffs is over. How’d we do with our Beerbarrel picks? Let’s take a look!

Here’s what we picked and said:

Washington (1) vs Montreal (8):
King: I think this is one of the easier match-ups of the first round.  New York didn’t have an impressive March and I think the only thing that saved them is Lundqvist.  Washington in 5
Beer: Based on the news I’ve read, Bryan Murray is in Ottawa now (Destroying the team and getting a three year contract extension for it). Why do I bring this up? Because for years when Bryan and Terry Murray were in Washington, they’d have a great regular season and then fold like a lawn chair in the playoffs. I’m tempted to watch history repeat itself here. King Henrik could give the Caps fits and steal the series. I think he’ll give the Caps fits, but not steal the series. Washington wins.

Did anyone notice that we messed up and listed Montreal playing the Capitals (Yet we talked about the Rangers in the actual write up)? Maybe everyone was just keyed in on the Western conference. In the end though, we both had the Capitals advancing, and they did. 

Philadelphia (2) vs. Buffalo (7)
King: Something about Phillie just doesn’t sit well with me.  Maybe I have this feeling like they’re thinking…oh wait, we made it to the finals last year…easy trip.  Buffalo in 7
Beer: I’m with the King on this one. Pronger is banged up/out. Goaltending is unsettled. And the Sabres have Ryan Miller. Even though Miller has already played in something like almost every game this year, he’ll probably make it through the first round before running out of gas. Buffalo with the upset.

I really gotta stop thinking Ryan Miller alone is enough for the Sabres to win. Still, we both picked Buffalo to advance. And after a fantastic 7 game series… We both got it wrong.

Boston (3) vs. Montreal (6)
King: Except for Carey Price, I don’t see anything positive with Montreal.  Plus Tim Thomas has been playing out of his mind.  I’m a big fan of his.  Boston in 5 (plus – CAM NEELY WAS MY IDOL!)
Beer: Okay, I added the Cam Neely part for him this year. Obviously the King forgot that part this year. For this one… flip a coin. This is old school, Adams division, Original Six, empty-the-benches, riot-in-the-streets hockey. These two teams do not like each other. Hockey as God intended. It could go either way, so flip a coin. What was the advice I ignored last year? “When in doubt, go with the Habs”. Done. Habs win.

Beer got the “This is old school, Adams division, Original Six, empty-the-benches, riot-in-the-streets hockey” part right. The King got the pick right.
Bruins win and move on. Took 7 games though.

Pittsburgh (4) vs. Tampa Bay (5)
King: No Crybaby….No Lurch..I mean Malkin…still think the Pens are a good team.  I think that Tampa Bay is a better team though…Tampa Bay in 7
Beer: Hmm.. I get the feeling the King doesn’t much like Crosby, Malkin, or Pittsburgh. I think right now the Penguins are realizing the one thing that even Mario couldn’t explain. The thing you have to live through to really experience. When you play as much hockey as the Pens have the past few seasons, suddenly all that fatigue really starts to turn into injuries (See: Last year’s Red Wings). Still, I like the Pens to make it out of the first round. But I’ll be pulling for the up and coming Bolts.  Penguins win.

Another 7 game series (I’m sensing a recurring theme here). Beer picked the Pens, and rooted for the Bolts. And get’s tagged with the loss. The King gets the pick and the number of games right. Told you he had inside info! Bolts win in 7 games.

Vancouver (1) vs. Chicago (8):
King: Vancouver reminds me a lot of the Wings in the 90s…great talent that never seemed to carry them far in the playoffs.  That was until something clicked.  Vancouver seems to have clicked this year.   Vancouver in 6
Beer: Clicking in the regular season has never been the issue for the Canucks. Their playoff success, this round and throughout the playoffs will come down to this. “Which Roberto Luongo is showing up?”  Canucks face off against a tough Chicago team that fought to the last game of the season to sneak into the playoffs. The champs don’t stay long at the party though. Canucks win.

And we still can’t be sure which Roberto Luongo is showing up, but both Beer and the King gets this one right as the Canucks oust the defending champs in a crazy 7 game series.

San Jose (2) vs. Los Angeles (7):
King: The biggest trade deal at trade deadline, Dustin Penner has only scored 2 goals in 19 games with LA.  Kopitar is out with a broken ankle.  I don’t think SJ is really that good this year,  but in this match-up they beat LA.  San Jose in 6
Beer: An all California match-up. Earliest start time is 9:30 EDT on a Saturday night. All but guaranteeing that I’ll probably only see highlights of this series. Is this the year San Jose gets over the hump? Can they finally make a run? I don’t know, but I think they get out of the first round. Sharks Win.

Joe Thorton makes his presence felt in the playoffs, scoring the series clinching OT goal. Okay, that was maybe a bit of an easy shot to take at someone like Thorton, but we both get it right and the King, again with the number of games (see, inside info!). Sharks win.

Detroit (3) vs. Phoenix (6):
King: I don’t think the Wings have been a great team in 2011.   I think their defense looks horrible and with Zetterberg out, they will struggle.  I still think they have a little bit of magic left though…Wings in 7
Beer: I’ll keep this short. Mostly because I’ll need to run and hide after this… Every year there is an upset in the first round. Here it is. Phoenix wins.

Yeah. Beer already posted a Mea Culpa on this one. The King had it going 7. It went four (And I’m sure the Wings liked that as they got out of the 1st round early and left the crazy games to other teams for a change). King gets the pick right, Beer gets egg on his face. Wings win convincingly. Possibly ending the hockey era in Phoenix.

Anaheim (4)  vs. Nashville (5):
King: There is few teams that I find scary this playoffs, but for some reason Nashville gives me the chills.  I think the pickup of Mike Fisher was a great move and I think Anaheim is still searching for a goalie.  Nashville in 6
Beer: If a tree falls in the forest… does it make a sound… what? Oh, right the pick… Do I have to? Really? Is anyone actually gonna watch this one? Ok, fine. Ducks win.

King got this one right, Beer got it wrong. And other than people waiting to see who was going to play who in the 2nd round, I still don’t think anyone really cared. Predators Win.

There you go. King did pretty good. In fact, he whooped up on Beermaker pretty good. Still, we’ll probably be back tomorrow with some picks for the second round.

One’s kicking off tonight though, so quick and dirty to get them on the board….
Nashville starts out on the road against Vancouver tonight. Our quick picks (full write-up tomorrow)….
King:  Nashville
Beer: Vancouver

Until then (or until tonight should Beermaker get a little tipsy and consider blogging about the NFL draft)… Take it easy folks!
-Beer & King

Good Friday…

So my co-blogger has decided to take another siesta from writing. That’s fine, it’s about time I actually tried to hold up my end of the partnership. I’m debating if I really want to call my co-blogger out for a few things, but you know me…. I will do it.

1. Wait, is that a big elephant in the room? Nah, that’s just the giant turd my buddy in crime laid with his “upset” pick. The only other thing that is guaranteed to be a bigger bust is if Tom Arnold really believes his next marriage will be a success. Oh wait Beer….you got a chance!

2.  I have to say that I’ve lost all interest in music videos.  I was until someone told me to check out this music video.  I hate to admit it, but I did laugh my butt off.  Let me know your thoughts?

3. Speaking of youtube, since I’m alone to steer the ship, I’m going to take it and run it right into the rocks.  I don’t know what to say about the following video except…..need a tissue?

4.  I’ve been called an Apple hater.  I will admit that even though I owned the original Ipod I have never been a fan.  Apple fanboys drive me absolutely nuts.  But here is a rare occasion where it’s not Apple or their lawyers putting the stops on something.  It’s CBS!  Can we say stupidity at it’s finest people?

5.  Finally to finish off my picking on my buddy, he celebrated a milestone birthday recently.  Let’s just say this sign would be a perfect gift for his party.
fail owned pwned pictures

Yeah… about that Phoenix pick of mine….

Ooops.

(Hey, in all fairness… who REALLY expected THAT Red Wings team to show up like they did? I think a lot of people, like me, were expecting the sleepwalking ones from the 2nd half of the season.)

Later folks!
-Beer

Five Thoughts on a Friday – The “It isn’t tax day!” edition

Happy Friday everyone!

Yep, you read that title correctly. Today is April 15th, 2011 here in the U.S. and that means, it isn’t tax day! What’s that? No, I’m not smoking anything. It’s actually true. Today is not tax day. Read on to find out later in the article.

  1. I’ll start with this one today. As you can see from our last post, we’re in full NHL playoff mode around here this week. And you can truly tell the it’s playoff time when you notice things like this….
    Last night, I was going over the game preview for the Montreal/Boston game. And on the injury report for Montreal is this entry:
    MTL: Max Pacioretty (Lower Body)
    Yeah. THAT Max Pacioretty. The guy that got destroyed by Zdeno Chara. So let me get this right… he got run into a dasher head first, and injured his lower body?

    Yeah…. that looks like a lower body injury to me. I’d have listed it like this:
    MTL: Max Pacioretty (Do we REALLY need to even mention it?)
  2. Okay, now with that out of the way…  On to the silly (Although thinking ANYONE believes “Lower Body Injury” is pretty silly, if you ask me). Such as this random thought from Beermaker’s Brain:
    “Hearing Jimmy Buffet cover Jimi Hendrix is just weird” I mean, Jimmy Buffet’s live version of “The Wind Calls Mary” works, and it’s cool, but hearing a guy famous for playing mellow gulf type music doing a song by a guy famous for a screaming electric guitar? Things I just never would have figured.
  3. So let me get this straight…. China is banning time travel shows, among other things, on television in that country…. but 3-d porn is apparently okay.  (And yes, I know Hong Kong is a bit different from mainland China. I’m going for a joke here. Work with me people.)
  4. I was going to put something here about surprise that two longtime soap operas were being canceled (and I guess I sort of just did), but I don’t watch those so it doesn’t really impact me much. Besides, I want to tell a little story from a walk at lunchtime the other day.  Because when else do you get to type what I’m about to?
    I was walking by the pond at our office up here and there were a few geese. One goose, being aggressive/defending it’s territory/whatever sort of went after another goose. And that’s when it happened…
    I saw a goose goose another goose.
    And never in my life did I think I’d get to write a sentence like that!
  5. And finally… Today is April 15th, traditionally “Tax Day” (The day your tax return to the U.S. government needs to be postmarked by). Due a hitch in policy and the calendar, this year the deadline to file is April 18th.  So this year, April 18th brings just one more reason to hate Mondays. Your taxes are due.

Ok folks, that’s five and I’m off to finish off some things here at the office before I venture off into the weekend and mid-life crisis land! And be sure to check back next week, when Kingkielbasa will be filling in with his second annual Good Friday edition (which will probably be posted Thursday night).

Have a great weekend!
-Beer

2011 NHL Playoffs – Here we go again

Howdy folks,

Yep. You read that title right. We’re doing it again, we’re picking the NHL playoffs. Why you may ask? Well, we figure we were so horribly bad at it last year that we figured we couldn’t possibly do any worse. Don’t believe us, here check out last year’s picks and see just how badly we did. (Badly enough we haven’t tried it again since the Stanley Cup Finals but my co-blogger thinks the time is right for a reboot. I think he has some inside info somehow. After all, he not only picked teams, but the number of games too!)

So here we go. We’ll break it down by East and West again, and give you each writer’s picks.

Eastern Conference

Washington (1) vs Montreal (8):
King: I think this is one of the easier match-ups of the first round.  New York didn’t have an impressive March and I think the only thing that saved them is Lundqvist.  Washington in 5
Beer: Based on the news I’ve read, Bryan Murray is in Ottawa now (Destroying the team and getting a three year contract extension for it). Why do I bring this up? Because for years when Bryan and Terry Murray were in Washington, they’d have a great regular season and then fold like a lawn chair in the playoffs. I’m tempted to watch history repeat itself here. King Henrik could give the Caps fits and steal the series. I think he’ll give the Caps fits, but not steal the series. Washington wins.

Philadelphia (2) vs. Buffalo (7)
King: Something about Phillie just doesn’t sit well with me.  Maybe I have this feeling like they’re thinking…oh wait, we made it to the finals last year…easy trip.  Buffalo in 7
Beer: I’m with the King on this one. Pronger is banged up/out. Goaltending is unsettled. And the Sabres have Ryan Miller. Even though Miller has already played in something like almost every game this year, he’ll probably make it through the first round before running out of gas. Buffalo with the upset.

Boston (3) vs. Montreal (6)
King: Except for Carey Price, I don’t see anything positive with Montreal.  Plus Tim Thomas has been playing out of his mind.  I’m a big fan of his.  Boston in 5 (plus – CAM NEELY WAS MY IDOL!)
Beer: Okay, I added the Cam Neely part for him this year. Obviously the King forgot that part this year. For this one… flip a coin. This is old school, Adams division, Original Six, empty-the-benches, riot-in-the-streets hockey. These two teams do not like each other. Hockey as God intended. It could go either way, so flip a coin. What was the advice I ignored last year? “When in doubt, go with the Habs”. Done. Habs win.

Pittsburgh (4) vs. Tampa Bay (5)
King: No Crybaby….No Lurch..I mean Malkin…still think the Pens are a good team.  I think that Tampa Bay is a better team though…Tampa Bay in 7
Beer: Hmm.. I get the feeling the King doesn’t much like Crosby, Malkin, or Pittsburgh. I think right now the Penguins are realizing the one thing that even Mario couldn’t explain. The thing you have to live through to really experience. When you play as much hockey as the Pens have the past few seasons, suddenly all that fatigue really starts to turn into injuries (See: Last year’s Red Wings). Still, I like the Pens to make it out of the first round. But I’ll be pulling for the up and coming Bolts.  Penguins win.

Western Conference

Vancouver (1) vs. Chicago (8):
King: Vancouver reminds me a lot of the Wings in the 90s…great talent that never seemed to carry them far in the playoffs.  That was until something clicked.  Vancouver seems to have clicked this year.   Vancouver in 6
Beer: Clicking in the regular season has never been the issue for the Canucks. Their playoff success, this round and throughout the playoffs will come down to this. “Which Roberto Luongo is showing up?”  Canucks face off against a tough Chicago team that fought to the last game of the season to sneak into the playoffs. The champs don’t stay long at the party though. Canucks win.

San Jose (2) vs. Los Angeles (7):
King: The biggest trade deal at trade deadline, Dustin Penner has only scored 2 goals in 19 games with LA.  Kopitar is out with a broken ankle.  I don’t think SJ is really that good this year,  but in this match-up they beat LA.  San Jose in 6
Beer: An all California match-up. Earliest start time is 9:30 EDT on a Saturday night. All but guaranteeing that I’ll probably only see highlights of this series. Is this the year San Jose gets over the hump? Can they finally make a run? I don’t know, but I think they get out of the first round. Sharks Win.

Detroit (3) vs. Phoenix (6):
King: I don’t think the Wings have been a great team in 2011.   I think their defense looks horrible and with Zetterberg out, they will struggle.  I still think they have a little bit of magic left though…Wings in 7
Beer: I’ll keep this short. Mostly because I’ll need to run and hide after this… Every year there is an upset in the first round. Here it is. Phoenix wins.

Anaheim (4)  vs. Nashville (5):
King: There is few teams that I find scary this playoffs, but for some reason Nashville gives me the chills.  I think the pickup of Mike Fisher was a great move and I think Anaheim is still searching for a goalie.  Nashville in 6
Beer: If a tree falls in the forest… does it make a sound… what? Oh, right the pick… Do I have to? Really? Is anyone actually gonna watch this one? Ok, fine. Ducks win.

So there we have it. Unlike last year, coins were flipped, and darts were thrown at dartboards. We threw in a few gut feel picks, and standard upset rules, too. We’ll see how we did come the second round, when we may try it again.

Later folks!
Beer & King