Tonight at 9:30pm, we will begin to see the dismantling of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. That's right, even though the so-called "experts" are picking the Ducks to win the series, I think we'll see the Wild dominate from start to finish. Why? Let's start with the intangibles:
Moral Character and Integrity:
The Ducks are cheaters. Just last week the Ducks' leading scorer, Teemu Selanne, was penalized for using an illegal stick. Apparently, the blade of the stick was as wide as a goalie stick. If you don't know, that's pretty wide. (Selanne then went on miss his shootout chance with a regulation stick.) Those Finns are always trying to get the upper-hand! This is the perfect mindfuck for Selanne right before the playoffs, I predict he won't be nearly as effective using a legal stick.
Speaking of cheaters, I think we all remember why Ducks' all-world defenseman, Chris Pronger, is playing in Anaheim this year. Last season, Pronger helped the Edmonton Oilers all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Oilers lost and Pronger suddenly wanted out of Edmonton. Word on the sunny streets of Edmonton was that Pronger cheated on his wife and knocked up a local tv anchorwoman. So his wife wanted to get the hell out of there. It could also be that living in Edmonton kind of sucks and his wife wanted live in LA. You can decide for yourself.
The Wild on the other hand, they have a good moral compass. Well, except for that time Boogaard got arrested for punching some guy in a bar last summer. But still, you're not a cheater for getting in a bar fight. Right? Also, Little PMB is probably going to win the Lady Byng.
Advantage: Wild - Everyone knows cheaters never win.
Nobody is worried about the Wild in this department. Nick Backstrom led the NHL in all sorts of goalie stat categories. He should be solid in the playoffs.
Anaheim, though, should be worried. Number one goalie, Johnny Giguere, just had his first kid and took some time off last week. I'm told fatherhood turns you into a little bit of a pussy. No doubt, his mental focus will be lacking. (UPDATE: Johnny's new kid is sick, so let's not be too hard on the guy. Word is he won't start game 1.) Backup goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, played in a number of playoff games last season. His last game was brutal, though. He gave up 3 goals in 2 minutes against the Oilers and was yanked. Here's a great reenactment. (Seriously, this is great. Click it. "Closing the door, not pissing pants. Closing the door...oh no.")
The experts keep talking about how tough and physical the Ducks are. If I remember correctly, the last time anyone from the Ducks scrapped with Boogaard, the Ducks guy literally had his face broken, didn't play another game for the Ducks, was traded to Philly only to be knocked out again weeks later, and now may never play in the NHL again. Of course, I'm talking about Todd Fedoruk, watch Boogaard break his head here. Can we stop talking about how tough the Ducks are now? Please? Boogaard patrols the ice for the Wild.
It'll be interesting to see how this category plays out. For example, how will Brian Rolston incorporate his soulpatch into the playoff beard? Can Little PMB even grow a beard? And what about Marian Gaborik's chin/neck hair, does that count? All good questions. I'll be monitoring.
After crunching the numbers and researching for hours, it's clear to me now:
Wild win in 5.