For the average hockey fan, the days between the regular season and the playoffs are torture. There’s very little news, as teams are more secretive than ever about line-ups, injuries and the like. All the media can do is sit around and make predictions. All fans can do is read and ruminate on those predictions.
I started a spreadsheet that shows all the media and hockey blogger predictions I could find. I’ve made it editable by anybody, so that should others discover predictions, they can add them to the document.
I’m currently up to around 450 individual picks from nearly 60 pundits. I don’t claim to be exhaustive, but it’s hopefully representative. Here are some early impressions:
- The longest series is predicted to be NSH/DET, with the shortest being NJD/FLO.
- There’s great consensus in the east, with at least 90% of the media agreeing on the outcome of all four series.
- There’s the most disagreement on the CHI/PHO series, with the media currently going 60%-40% in favour of the Blackhawks.
- Almost nobody picks 4-game series sweeps, which is odd because there’s usually at least one in the quarter-finals each year.
- Confidence in the Canucks is reasonably high, with more than 83% of the media picking them to pick the Kings, in an average of roughly 6 games.
- Hockey writers are almost all Caucasian men.
In completing this little exercise, I couldn’t help but think fondly of Maggie the macaque, who routinely outpicked the TSN staff in years past. This year, I’ll have to settle for a sea lion from Niagara Falls.
In a related note, I’ll be going on something of a social media cleanse in the coming weeks (and months, hopefully). As I’m living in France, I’ll be watching playoff games about 12 to 18 hours after they finish. So, I’ll need to avoid the likes of Twitter and Facebook in order to enjoy the games in a prelapsarian state, if you will.
UPDATE: I thought I’d better store my first round picks here, which I tweeted the other day: NYR in 4, BOS in 7, NJD in 5, PIT in 7, VAN in 6, SJS in 7, CHI in 5, NSH in 7