Apr 16

Western Conference Playoff Predictions

Welcome to the second half of the Predictacular! Here’s we’ll look at the more interesting Conference. Due to a fluke of the new playoff format we somehow or another end up with the four best teams on paper facing off against one another in both 2-3 series. Meanwhile, the 1-4 series each feature the best Cinderella teams outside of Columbus, although one of them oddly ended up in the number 1 seed. The West has historically been the more unpredictable of the two Conferences, last years Blackhawks being a big exception of course, so we should be in for quite the ride.

CENTRAL DIVISION

#1 Colorado Avalanche vs. #4 Minnesota Wild

How lucky were the Avs here? It looked like they were destined for a first round matchup mauling by the Blackhawks, but a few losses by the Blues later and they are able jump into the Division lead, which should pretty much cement Patrick Roy’s Jack Adams hopes and make it so that all four Western Conference playoff series feature matchups between teams that shared divisions last year, and two of the three teams without an s facing off..

This series seems ripe for an upset, given that the Wild got some playoff seasoning last year and the Avs were busy drafting Nathan MacKinnon instead. However, the big question question for the Wild is between the pipes. They have had at least four “starting goalies” this year and were able to ride the hot hand of Ilya Bryzgalov into the playoffs. I can’t say I would feel too confident in Mr. Universe facing the Avs scoring talent. I think that this will be a close one, but I see the kids coming out on top here.

Avalanche in 7.

#2 St. Louis Blues vs. #3 Chicago Blackhawks

How awesome will this series be? Honestly? These two teams are legit Cup contenders and I truly wish that these two teams were playing in the final, let alone the first round. The Hawks looked average at times this season, but I think that they will turn it on. The Blues meanwhile, should be very motivated after losing early last year, but I see them being the victims of this playoff format, just like the Flames and Jets were in the 80s.

Blackhawks in 6.

PACIFIC DIVISION

 #1 Anaheim Ducks vs. #4 Dallas Stars

The true battle of one line teams! Do you take Perry and Getzlaf or Seguin and Benn?

There’s an upset every year and I see no reason why this can’t be it. The Stars have been playing really well down the stretch, Kari Lehtonen has the potential to steal a few games, and Jamie Benn has Ryan Kesler 2011 written all over him.

Stars in 7.

#2 San Jose Sharks vs. #3 Los Angeles Kings

The main event here, the most interesting series of the first round. Honestly, you could really make a case that these are the two best teams in the league, and sadly only one gets to move on. Up until a week ago I was ready to take the Sharks, the emergence of Joe Pavelski really makes this a different team, but down the stretch Niemi has not been great and well, Jonathan Quick is Jonathan Quick, especially in the playoffs. I hope that this series goes long so that we can all win.

Kings in 7.

That would leave the Kings and the Hawks both making short work of their upstart rivals in the second round to set up a Western Final rematch of last year. Speaking of rematches, I think that the Hawks will move on yet again to get a rematch with the Bruins in the finals, and history shall repeat itself with the Hawks winning in six once more.

Apr 16

Eastern Conference Playoff Predictions

Well the most wonderful time of the year is finally here! The NHL Playoffs are finally upon us. Today we’ll look at the East. The first part of this season saw two heavyweights come out in the East in Boston and Pittsburgh. For a while it looked like the rest of the conference was a joke, but after Detroit, New York, and Philly all turned around things got a bit more interesting. Add in the fact that the Habs proved last year wasn’t a fluke, the Lightning look to prove that they are for real, and of course there are the Cinderella Blue Jackets. All in all, the eight teams in the East are all pretty interesting going forward.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

#1 Boston Bruins vs. #4 Detroit Red Wings

Come down the stretch we really saw the Wings are flying high…see what I did there? Out of all four Wild Card teams, the Red Wings are clearly the strongest, especially as all of their injured pieces start to return and this team can really start to fire on all cylinders (…you know…Detroit…cylinders…how funny is that?), but sadly they run into a near perfect hockey team. Honestly, find a flaw in the Boston Bruins, I dare you. Sure they lack a Sidney Crosby/Alex Ovechkin type up front, but they still managed to score the second most goals in the league this year, while allowing the second least. Sorry Wings, 23 straight years is impressive and all, but get ready for another year of one and done, should be a good series though.

Bruins in 6.

#2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. #3 Montreal Canadiens

Man these two teams have been incredibly even all year, haven’t they? They enter the playoffs with near identical records backed by very good coaches, explosive forwards and phenomenal goaltending. Sadly for the Lightning though, they goalie is hurt and nobody knows when he’ll be back. Even if he does return, I don’t see him playing at 100% which he would need to be in order to try and match Price.

Montreal in 5.

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #4 Columbus Blue Jackets

This is what the Penguins have been playing for isn’t it? Marc-Andre Fleury has had a very good year, but quite frankly that doesn’t matter anymore. Lucky for him, they drew the Jackets instead of the Wings in the first round. The CBJ’s story for the last 16 months or so has been nothing short of amazing and I think that it’ll culminate in their first ever playoff win. But the clock strikes 12 on all Cinderellas.

Penguins in 5

#2 New York Rangers vs. #3 Philadelphia Flyers

I can’t wait to see how intense this series is! This should easily be the most intense series in the East (making it as violent as the least intense series in the West). Both teams overcame early struggles to prove to be quite good. While Claude Giroux has been quite outstanding, and may just get nominated for the Hart, I just don’t think it’ll be enough to beat King Henrik. With all respect to Rask, he is still the best goalie on the planet and I see the Rangers winning this one.

Rangers in 6.

 

So in terms of the rest of the Right-Half of the bracket, I think that we’ll see the Bruins beat the Habs in 6, followed by the Rangers upending the Pens, giving us the greatest goaltending matchup imaginable. Despite even matchup in net, the team out front in Boston is just too good. The Bruins make their third trip to the finals in four years to face…

Tune in tomorrow to find out.

Apr 11

Wrestlemania XXXI: Predicting the Card One Year in Advance

Seriously, how amazing was Wrestlemania this year? Sure Brock beating The Streak was a shock and a half, but hot damn was it ever a bold, and probably smart move. The rest of the show was fantastic and really represented a changing of the guard in the WWE, very similar to Wrestlemania X and XXI in that sense. I’ll provide some more detailed thoughts soon, but before we get to that let’s start some rough predictions for what next year’s card will in fact look like…

Bo Dallas vs. Big E
Kick-Off Match for the Intercontinental Title

Bo Dallas is coming back up to the big leagues soon, and I really hope that they keep up his “Bolievers” gimmick. It’s perfect as a heel, and he would be great to be a trash talking midcard champion for several months. These two feuded for the NXT Title so there’s a nice bit of symmetry here.

Lights, fireworks, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

Sheamus vs. Cesaro

Sure these two have had some matches before, but never a good long, extended program. Let these two have their chances with the big stage and nobody will be disappointed. It would be a fun, stiff match to get the crowd pumped, especially if Sheamus Brogue Kicks Paul Heyman at some point.

Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust
Career Match

Every year this match gets bandied about, hopefully it can finally happen next year. Let them have a big blood feud where Cody turns heel and runs his brother out of town, ta-da instant megastar.

Dolph Ziggler and The Miz vs. Big Show and Rey Mysterio
Tag Team Title Match

I keep hearing some rumours about a Ziggler-Miz “Angry Men” duo forming soon and to me that just sounds perfect. They are both former world champions who have fallen from grace in recent years but a good run as tag team champions could really help revitalize both men. I like the short tag team of Show and Mysterio last year so let’s get them reunited. Maybe we could finally get the company to break that mask record that they keep talking about. If Big Show wrestles as a luchardore, it’s so worth it. Plus getting everyone to put on a mask is a great move to cool the crowd off after the emotional Goldust lose.

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

This sounds like it will be a regular thing which is fine by me. The big names I have in here include: Jack Swagger, Kane, Kofi Kingston, Fandango, Damien Sandow, Mark Henry, R-Truth, The Usos, and my personal pick for winner, Sami Zayn. The former El Generico has limitless potential and it would be awesome to see him get a huge win here.

Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins

This match has to happen at some point soon, doesn’t it? I really, really hope that they can stretch this out for a full year until they finally dissolve and give us a hell of a match.

Batista vs. Bray Wyatt
No DQ Match

You know that Batista is not going to be a heel once Guardians of the Galaxy comes out, right? Wyatt could do an awesome series of promos on a vapid movie star who calls himself “The Animal”. The match may not be great, so adding a No DQ stipulation to cover both mens in-ring flaws would help a lot I think.

AJ Lee vs. Paige vs. Emma vs. Summer Rae
Divas Title Match

The Divas need to be on TV, these are the best of them, four in a match is much, much better than fourteen.

John Cena and Sting vs. Triple H and Randy Orton
Match for Control of the Company

Sting and Undertaker are not having a match, Cena and Undertaker are not having a match. Taker is done through and through. Apparently Sting will be brought in as a General Manager, so obviously he would have some sort of conflict with Triple H and sadly, I don’t think that Sting has enough gas left in the tank for a big one-on-one match, even against someone as talented as Triple H. So let’s make it a tag match featuring four huge stars from three different eras. I think that this match could really, really draw and be a lot of fun.

Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan
WWE World Title Match

This match pretty much has to happen right? The two men who had the biggest Wrestlemania XXX get a chance to define a decade of Wrestlemanias. I think that Lesnar somehow winning the World Title and threatening to leave with it is all kinds of awesome. Sure it’s similar to the CM Punk or AJ Styles story, but hot damn would it ever make for some great promos and a fun build. You want to talk about ultimate underdog? Well here’s a great change to really show off D-Bry as a hero.

Apr 04

Wrestlemania XXX: What SHOULD Happen vs. What WILL Happen

Blah blah blah, intro intro intro…there’s not time for that at all IT’S WRESTLEMANIA!!! Let’s get started.

The Usos vs. vs. The Real Americans vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel vs. Los Matadores 
Kickoff Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles


What SHOULD Happen:
Why is this match evening happening? Why are the Rhodes Brothers not in this? I’m a little confused here to be honest. Questions of logic notwithstanding, this match should be pretty fun. With the exception of Rybaxel, these teams can all flat out go in the ring. I would love to see The Real Americans win here and getting a quick month long reign before dropping the belt back to The Usos in a gimmick match at Extreme Rules. This could set off the inevitable Cesaro face turn and carry off a nice little feud through the summer. Meanwhile The Usos can feud with Harper and Rowan or the debuting Ascension for the tag straps.

What WILL Happen: It’s the pre-show, it’s Wrestlemania, there’s no way that the faces are losing here, long-live The Usos.

Lights, fireworks, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

Match #1
The Shield vs. The Suits

What SHOULD Happen: Not long ago, I was convinced that The Shield would EXPLODE~! before or at Wrestlemania. But now, I’m really not so sure. The group has gained a tremendous amount of life through their recent face turn and can last as a unit until at least the summer. When this match was announced I was convinced we would see Ambrose and/or Rollins make a turn here, but now I think that’s not a good idea at all. Just let the Hounds of Justice get a clean and dominant win and let them Triple Bomb Kane through a table and move on from there.

What WILL Happen: I have a bad feeling about this, I think that we may just see a heel turn and the old guys get the win here.

Impromptu Match/Segment #1

 What SHOULD Happen: Something to remind people Hogan is the host, I hope he lays into Zeb Coulter somehow or another.

What WILL Happen: Let’s go with that…

Match #2
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H

Winner Gains Entry to the Main Event


What SHOULD Happen: 
Triple H taps like a little child and Bryan YESes his way to the main event. There’s no other option here. Still though, it should be a hell of a match and is early pick for match of the night.

What WILL Happen: They can’t be that trollish can they?

Match #3
Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal

What SHOULD Happen: So far only 27 of the 30 participants have been announced, with the additional possibility that Christian my be injured and unable to compete. There aren’t too many guys returning soon from injury, so I think that the three others will be Alexander Rusev, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and El Torito. A rookie, a nostalgia act, and a midget. What better options are there, really?

As for the winner, there are a couple of big questions as to what the point of this Battle Royal is exactly. Is this just a fun, one time thing or an annual event? Will this be seen like the King of the Ring as a “spring board” for bigger and better things, or will this be to put over the biggest name?

Personally, I see this being an annual event as a way to get a guy into the upper card. So for that end, I think that the winner should be Big E. He has all of the tools to be a major star in this company, he just needs the buy in from the powers that be. I’d like the final six or so to be Langston, Big Show, Ziggler, Sheamus, Christian, and Rusev. Sheamus and Christian get tied up in the ropes and Ziggler and Langston come and co-operate and throw them both over. Sheamus and Christian go out and brawl with one another on their way to the back to further that feud. A few minutes later Rusev and Ziggler both get tied up in the ropes themselves and Langston goes and dumps the two over, leaving Big E and The Big Show as the last two in the ring. The two have a quick little match that ends with Langston body slamming Big Show, a la Wrestlemania III, before clotheslining him out of the ring to win the match.

The next night on RAW, Ziggler then gets upset and jealously attacks Big E, turning heel saying that he eliminated the big monster, allowing his former ungrateful protege to win, and we have a great feud for the IC belt going forward.

What WILL Happen: Sheamus is the smart pick, so let’s go with that…

Match #4
John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

What SHOULD Happen: “He’s got the whoollllle woorrrrlllldddd in his hannnddddds….”

Man I hope Wyatt wins here, it would really, really make him look like a million bucks, even if it is after interference from the Wyatt Family. Let’s have Wyatt win with some run ins and after the match Cena snaps and takes a chair to Rowan and/or Harper, which makes Wyatt cackle, setting up a great blow off match next month.

Follow the buzzards…

What WILL Happen: Cena wins at Wrestlemania, right?

Match #5
Vickie Guerrero Divas Invitational

What SHOULD Happen: AJ wins, Paige debuts the next night as she celebrates, easy peasy.

What WILL Happen: With so many faces getting the W, let’s have a heel retain here.

Match #6
The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

What SHOULD Happen: The build up to this match has been subpar, especially compared to the last few editions of The Streak, however with that being said, this match should still be fantastic. With the exception of last years snooze-fest, all of Brock’s matches have been great since his big return. Sure he doesn’t exactly have the highest winning percentage, but he’s delivered in the ring and I think that this will be no exception. This match should be brutal, stiff, and down right exciting. After this match, I think that both men will disappear until Lesnar returns at Summerslam to take on Batista and Taker comes back next year to take on Bray Wyatt, Eater of Worlds.

What WILL Happen: Pretty much what I just said.

Impromptu Match/Segment #2

What SHOULD Happen: Hall of Fame time, please let Warrior speak.

What WILL Happen: Hall of Fame time, probably no message to the Warriors.

Match #7
Randy Orton vs. Batistia vs. Daniel Bryan

WWE World Title Match


What SHOULD Happen:
Simple, isn’t it? Bryan wins but before he can celebrate Triple H comes down and all three members of Evolution are beating him down when all of a sudden “Cult of Personality” blares and Punk runs down to make the save and we get confetti falling as these two hug, a sort of mashup of Wrestlemania VIII and XX, the two best endings ever.

What WILL Happen: I doubt we’ll see Punk, but damn would that be cool…

So the Extreme Rules card SHOULD end up as…

  • WWE World Title Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Batista vs. Randy Orton vs. Triple H
  • John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt in Steel Cage Match
  • IC Title Match: Big E vs. Dolph Ziggler
  • Roman Reigns vs. Kane in a Last Man Standing Match
  • Big Show vs. Alexander Rusev
  • Sheamus vs. Christian
  • Tag Title Match: The Real Americans vs. The Usos
Apr 03

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Start Loving This Years Wrestlemania Card

Can you feel it? Wrestlemania is only a three short days away!!!

Yet somehow or another, this seems to be met with the usual boredom and apathy from the internet, but I for the life of my can’t begin to understand why. We have everything we want in this card, the spot-light on the tag division, and old team vs. a new team, John Cena out of the main event, an old school Battle Royal for a trophy, a grudge match between two established stars, and more importantly, a chance for our hero to slay two dragons. Yeah the Diva’s Match is a clustercuss, but that’s sort of par for the course at this point.

More importantly, I think that in not too long we will look back at Wrestlemania XXX as a real changing of the guard and the real coronation of the two B’s of the future, Bray and Bryan. Just like Wrestlemania 21 was the big moment for both Cena and Batista, it was also big for Edge and Randy Orton. This year’s event should/will see Daniel Bryan defeat three established stars, Bray Wyatt, a 26 year old freakin’ rookie, hold his own against the biggest name in the industry, and three future world champions extend their Wrestlemania undefeated streak to two matches as they go over some big names from bygone eras.

Imagine, honestly, a few years down the road, maybe Mania XXXV, maybe XXXVI, we get a Wrestlemania Main Event of Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt for the WWE Title. We’ll think back to this moment, this night when both men went from up and comers to down right amazing names.

Ohh, and I think that Punk will return to save Bryan from a beat down and we’ll get a mashup of the two best Mania endings ever, XVIII and XX, to close the show. How freakin’ cool would that be?

Mar 11

Filling in the Blanks on the Wrestlemania Card

Wrestlemania is a little under a month away and so far only two matches have been announced. It seems like a few others will be announced soon especially with Hulk Hogan’s “Special Announcement” scheduled for this week’s Raw, but before that it’s fun to try and speculate a little. Here’s the 9 Main Matches and 2 Pre-Show Matches I think that we SHOULD see on the Grandest Stage of them All.

Last Chance Battle Royal won by Big Show
YouTube Pre-Show Match for a Spot in the Ladder Match

They pretty much have to do a big schmooze match to get everyone on the card. Not to spoil too much of what’s coming later, but we have an eight-man ladder match on the main card so having a “Last Chance Battle Royal” to get on the main event seems like a fun way to kick things off. This Battle Royal could include such names as Mark Henry, Damien Sandow, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Santino Marella, Bad New Barrett, Brodus Clay, R-Truth, Xavier Woods and more. If they could hit 30 that would be awesome, but I doubt that’ll happen.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Alberto Del Rio
YouTube Pre-Show Match

How the mighty have fallen. These two seem to be feuding but I just don’t see it getting enough momentum to make the final card. Plus with this being the biggest event of the year and the first event to be shown on the WWE Network, I think we may just see a mega-extended pre-show that has two matches on it. These two would have a great match, as they have in the past and could really get the crowd going.

Lights, fireworks, GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

Big E. Langston vs. Jack Swagger vs. Cesaro vs. The Miz
vs. Kane vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Fandango vs. The Big Show

Ladder Match for the Intercontinental Title

I really miss the Money in the Bank having a special spot on Wrestlemania, so I guess this has to take it’s place. It would be a great place to finally see Swagger and Cesaro tease tension before finally splitting up. Plus, a Giant Swing on The Big Show? YES and PLEASE!!! Everyone else is just kind of added in to fill out the match, with Kane being put in so that The Authority can take (try) to take all of the titles. It would be fun to see Cesaro or Swagger win to further that feud, but Langston retaining would make him look great.

Sheamus vs. Christian
No Holds Barred Match

These two have been feuding for a while and they will probably get thrown into the traditional “upper carders who we can’t think of anything else to do with” spot that has been going to Randy Orton in recent years. Since they have had way too many singles matches of late, let’s make it No Holds Barred or a “New Orleans Street Fight” or something else equally lame sounding. Either way, it should be a fun match early in the card to get people excited but will probably be forgotten about soon afterwards just like Kane-Orton, Punk-Orton, and The Shield Six Man from last year.

Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
United States Title Match

This match pretty much has to happen, right? We have another Triple Threat scheduled for later, but if we keep them separated it should be fine. Reigns is the obvious winner here, but I would love to see Rollins win to get him some momentum, and he could have some great matches with the rest of the mid-card. Still though, whoever leaves with the title we all win.

Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H
If Bryan Wins He Gets Into the Main Event, if He Loses He Will Not Get Another Shot At The Title

Another match that pretty much has to happen. These two would have a great match that could really help make this a phenomenal event. Add in this stipulation, and the WWE may be able to book themselves out of the corner that they painted themselves into by having Batista win the Rumble. Obviously D-Bry wins the match and goes onto the main event. Sure he can get a big beatdown right after the match to make him have to overcome the odds, but that just makes the story all the better.

Emma and The Bellas vs. AJ Lee, Tamina, and Summer Rae
Six Diva Tag Team Match

They need to have a Divas Match, so we may as well put the ones they want to push in their with the ones that they have been pushing. Make it short, sweet, and have Emma pin AJ to set up a title feud in the spring.

John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt

How amazing is this? Wyatt makes his debut in the summer and eight months later he’s getting a  match with the biggest star in the industry at the biggest event of the year! It’s shocking when we see things like this and somehow people say that the WWE does not create new stars. This feud is great and crazy Wyatt really is the perfect foil for straight-laced Cena. The good guy really should get the win Mania but a Wyatt win would be amazing for his character.

Hall of Fame shin-dig…please let Warrior speak.

The Usos vs. The New Age Outlaws vs. Curtis Axel & Ryback vs. Goldust & Cody Rhodes
Fatal Four Way Tag Team Title Match

You know what’s amazing about this match? All four teams have at least one second generation superstar on them. If they could have every team accompanied by their fathers, or grandfather in Rybaxel’s case, it would be an awesome nod to the past. A great way to lend importance to Wrestlemania XXX, and a great way to hype the Network. I’m sure Bullet Bob, Rikishi, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, and Dusty could make the trip to New Orleans. The match doesn’t need to be long, just a fun fast-paced affair, similar to the tag matches at Wrestlemania XX. Of course after the match someone will have to eat a stinkface, preferably Ryback.

The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar

We know this match is happening, and it should be amazing. Last year these two separately put on probably the two best matches of the year with CM Punk. Now it’s their turn to show that they were not carried. I think that they are both proud enough to rise to the challenge. Sure the result is not in question, but damn will it be a fun ride.

Randy Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan
Triple Threat Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title 

This has to happen, doesn’t it?

Feb 23

WWE Elimination Chamber: What SHOULD Happen vs. What WILL Happen

“Let’s just put the boss on the cover” – WWE Creative after running out of other ideas, probably. Photo from Wikimedia.

First off…what cruel mix of fate to put this event the same day as the Gold Medal Game? What are we to do here??

After an incredibly disappointing Royal Rumble, we’re here in a strange place. Have they learned that Daniel Bryan is who the fans want? Will they give him his big win here?

More importantly, what the hell is going to happen at Wrestlemania? It really seems like the company has no idea what’s going to happen at their biggest event of the year, and that really is a shame. The company is stacked with in-ring talent, but that just doesn’t seem to translate to the booking team. No wonder Punk walked out.

Honestly, we may be in for the strangest Road to Wrestlemania since the Year 2000, when the Main Event changed every other day it seems.

Get ready, it’ll e a bumpy ride…

 

Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel
You-Tube Kickoff Match


What SHOULD Happen: 
Seriously, why is this match happening? Has anyone been able to give a reason why? Also, why are Ryback and Axel still a team? They were Heyman guys, but he wants nothing to do with them anymore so….what exactly is going on here? Everyone and their mother is thinking that we will see the Rhodeseses Explodeseses, and it’s the right call. If we’re going to get a Wrestlemania match between these two, and I think that we SHOULD, it’s now or never to start the dissension. I don’t think that we’ll see the explosion here, but some miscommunication here followed by a few more mess ups in the coming weeks and we have a highlight of the undercard all set up and ready to go.

What WILL Happen: Rybaxxel should get the win, probably the propel them into a four-way match for the Tag Titles at Mania.

Match #1
Big E Langston vs. Jack Swagger

Intercontinental Title Match

What SHOULD Happen: Big E None Given has been pretty good about defending the title since winning it back in November. Sadly though, he hasn’t been too great about being involved in a feud. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have turned Fandango, Sandow, or anyone really, into a legit contender who got a couple of cracks at the big guy. Nonetheless, this match should be fun and spirited between two big guys who can flat out go in the ring. I’m a little confused about how the Real Americans split is going to go. It seems like they are setting up a Swagger face turn, but that doesn’t make any sense at all. Cesaro is the one getting over as the face and Swagger is just so damn unlikable I don’t see it working. I imagine we’ll see Swagger try to regain his form by taking his aggression out on Cesaro. It’s just a question of when that will happen. I don’t see those two getting any space to have a match on the Wrestlemania Card, but it could be a great thing to happen once all the part-timers leave, and it would be a nice addition to Extreme Rules. Oh right this match, Big E retains in a pretty fun match. Coulter slaps Swagger a bit post-match.

What WILL Happen: Probably exactly what I said…

Match #2
Darren Young vs. Titus O’Neil

What SHOULD Happen: I don’t about all of you, but I’m pretty impressed that we’re actually getting a match between these two at a Pay-Per-View. Anyone else remember Brodus Clay and Tensai? Because I think that the WWE doesn’t. O’Neil is the clear pet project here. As much as Young got some good publicity for coming out, I think that the company sees dollar signs in O’Neil. I think he’s going to get the W and maybe even find himself on the Wrestlemania Card in one of the multi-man matches. I don’t see the company releasing Young anytime soon, so hopefully they can find him a new tag team partner, maybe Mark Henry, Tyson Kidd, Zach Ryder or someone from NXT.

What WILL Happen: I really don’t see O’Neil losing here.

Impromptu Match/Segment #1

What SHOULD Happen: Bray Wyatt sings more gospel songs and says that once The Shield are gone he will move “on to the next phase” What WILL Happen: Yeah, this will definitely happen at some point…

Match #3

The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family

What SHOULD Happen: I really wish that this was happening either at Wrestlemania, or inside The Elimination Chamber. But alas, beggars can’t be chosers, and I’m just thrilled that we’ll actually get to see this match. The WWE does a great job with six-man tag matches, and both of these teams have really delivered fun, frantic matches over the past year. There’s no question that the company wants the Wyatts to look strong going forward, and for Roman Reigns to be a huge star. It really seems like we will see Ambrose take the fall after a very competitive match, somehow Reigns will get blamed and The Shield will explode soon after that. It’s obvious, but it’s damn effective. Let’s make that happen!

What WILL Happen: Pretty much the same, but I’m worried we may see the actual explosion tonight. Save it for later people, please!

Match #4 The New Age Outlaws vs. The Usos

Tag Team Title Match

What SHOULD Happen: Man, it wasn’t that long ago that we were amazed at the depth of the Tag Team Division, but we’ve seen break-ups of Tons of Funk and The Prime Time Players, and we will most certainly see splits coming for The Real Americans, The Rhodes Brothers, and The Shield. If some new teams don’t form, we may see this matchup play out several dozen times in the coming months. The Usos have to win here, The Outlaws are WAYYYYYY too old to be holding these titles and really don’t have a place in the company in 2014. Nonetheless, they are a decent choice to be transitional champions, although The Real Americans would have been better. Usos win, clean as a whistle. And right after their match The Miz and Dolph Ziggler come down and beat the two up. They take the mics and say that they are both former world champions but can’t get booked. Yet somehow these two nobody are on RAW every week. I read that they want to team them up as a team of “Angry Men”, what a better way to get that started then here?

What WILL Happen: I have a bad feeling that we’ll see the NAO retain to save up The Usos big win until Wrestlemania.

Match #5

Batista vs. Alberto Del Rio

What SHOULD Happen: This has been one of the strangest “Main Event” matches in recent memory. When on earth has Del Rio ever looked good in this feud? Batista has consistently crushed Del Rio, even pushing him while he was wearing a neck brace.

Let’s have Del Rio surprise Batista and control some of the offence. However, a ref bump later, Del Rio grabs a chair and starts levelling Batista with it. When he lifts the chair up high, down runs Rey Mysterio (or hobbles more like it…), he grabs the chair from Del Rio, which allows Batista to get up, hit the Demon Bomb and get the win. Everyone looks great, and we set up a Del Rio-Rey match at Mania, hopefully with a Mask vs. Hair stipulation.

What WILL Happen: Batista will absolutely destroy Del Rio, and it will mean absolutely nothing.

Impromptu Match/Segment #2

What SHOULD Happen: Kane comes to the ring and says that we have time for one more match, an says that it’s a match over a year in the making, it’ll be him vs. Daniel Bryan, if Bryan doesn’t come down he will have to forfeit his spot in the Chamber.

Bryan comes down, they have a short match but once Bryan gets the upper hand Kane grabs a chair and starts to nail Bryan getting DQed. He eventually chokeslams him through the table and tells him that he’s going to start the Elimination Chamber.

What WILL Happen: Fandango and Summer Rae vs. Santino and Emma round a zillion. Hopefully Emma gets to look good in the process.

Match #6

Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan vs. John Cena vs. Sheamus vs. Cesaro vs. Christian Elimination Chamber Match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title 

What SHOULD Happen: Are they finally going to do it? Will we really see them finally put the belt on Bryan here? Have they learned their lesson? I honestly think that the answer to all of these is no, and for those first two things, that’s not so bad. Bryan should finally get his win at Wrestlemania and while it should be a one-on-one match, the fact remains that the WWE moronically had Batista win the Rumble so here we are. When I first read about the Orton-Batista-Bryan triple threat rumour I didn’t like it, but it’s grown on me a bit. You have two Machine Made stars, and one Fan Made star disrupting what it’s “supposed” to be. Plus, the match would be a hell of a lot more entertaining, especially with Bryan being so great at selling their offense. So how do we get there? It’s pretty easy. We know that Bryan is starting things out so let’s have Cesaro be in there with him. He throws Bryan around but Captain Beardo keeps kicking out. After a few minutes, out waltzes Cena as the third guy in. He comes in like a house o’ fire for a few minutes, but before person #4 can enter the lights go out. When they come back The Wyatt Family are in the ring. They beat down Cena, which leaves the announcers really confused. A host of agents come down and finally take them out. Cesaro then goes over and hits Cena with the Neutraizer and pins him. Yup, Cena is the first one eliminated. Christian is the next out, followed by Sheamus. Let’s have Sheamus Brogue Kick Christian out of the match before Orton comes in in the 6 spot. Despite everyone’s best efforts, Bryan won’t stay down and eventually gets a roll-up pin on Sheamus, and knees Cesaro in the face eliminating him. It’s down to Orton and Bryan. A second rope DDT on the grate still won’t keep Bryan down so Kane comes down and slip a pipe through the cage to Orton and he hits Bryan with it a bunch of times to score the win. The next night on Raw, we see Hogan comes out and he sets up something like Bryan-Orton in the Main Event and Bryan wins to make it a triple threat match. Also somehow or another, we get Triple H upset about that and he challenges Hogan to a match but since the Hulkster is too old he gets Sheamus to represent him at Mania, ta da two big matches set up, well three if you count Wyatt-Cena. What SHOULD Happen: I don’t think that we’ll see Bryan get the title here or at Mania. The ‘E really seems to want to do Orton-Batista, eight years too late. I think that Bryan will get screwed out of the title but it’ll set up Triple H-Bryan at Mania, which may even go last.   So all in all that SHOULD set up the following Mania Card (more detailed post about that to follow…)

  • WWE Title Match: Orton vs. Batista vs. Daniel Bryan
  • John Cena vs. Bray Wyatt
  • Sheamus (w/ Hogan) vs. Triple H (w/ The Authority)
  • The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar
  • Goldust vs. Cody
  • Rey vs. Del Rio: Mask vs. Hair
  • IC/US Title Unification Ladder Match: Big E vs. Ambrose vs. Reigns vs. Rollins vs. Kane vs. Kingston vs. O’Neil vs. Christian
  • Tag Title Elimination Match: The Usos vs. The Real Americans vs. Ziggler and The Miz vs. Big Show and Mark Henry
  • AJ Lee vs. Emma

 

Feb 21

A Few Thoughts on Olympic Hockey

I haven’t been the best Canadian these past few weeks. Living in China has proved to be a bit of a challenge for me. The Team Canada games have been starting at 1am local time and all of them have been on work days. However, that changes tonight as I stay up on a Friday to watch Canada play the US at Men’s Hockey with a trip to the gold medal game on the line.

This tournament has been really interesting thus far. We have three undefeated teams still in the tournament, the home team eliminated in the least upsetting upset ever, and we’ve had a few miracle runs that were both cut short last round. A few major thoughts coming from this keyboard.

The Men Can Learn Something From the Women: How great was the women’s tournament? Sure the Gold Medal game was an absolute classic, but the real thing that stands out to me is the new format for the preliminary round.

Instead of the simple idea of putting two groups of approximately equal competition, they put the top four in one group and the next four in another group. The top four all qualified for the knockout stages along with the top two of Group B. This gave us more competitive, meaningful games and less boring blowouts while we waiting for a Canada-US final.

Why can’t the men do this? If they are dead-set on bringing twelve teams to the Olympics next time (remember: South Korea gets to send a team) why not put the eight top teams in Groups A and B (ok, seven top teams plus the terrible Slovakian team), then we can have Group C consist of Austria, Slovenia, Latvia, and Norway. The top two in Groups A and B get a bye to the quarters, and then the rest of the tournament is seeded accordingly.

If you want, you can even add four more teams and have Groups A and B like I said, and Groups C and D as the lower teams then we can eliminate two teams from each of Groups C and D and still get a 12 team playoff.

Way to teach us something ladies…

Russia is the England of Hockey: All hype no substance for these guys. Sure they have all the talented players in the world but they can’t play as a team, and they really and truly never win. The Russians haven’t won a Best-on-Best tournament since the 1981 Canada Cup back when the Soviet Red Army team was at their peak. In fact, if you look at all of the Best-on-Best Tournaments (Canada Cup, World Cup, Olympics Post-98) that’s the only Russian/Soviet victory. Every English person still talks about the FIFA 1966 World Cup, well it looks like we have some competition for “Worst Good Team”…

Leave Ovie Alone!!! Having said that, how on earth is the Russian loss Ovechkin’s fault? After the loss, the Russians coach goes out and blames Ovechkin, one of only two players to speak to the media.

Was it Ovie’s fault that 9 KHL players were taken? Was it Ovie that gave Alexander Popov top minutes while leaving Vladimir Tarasenko and Valeri Nichushkin on the bench? Was it Ovie that left the reigning Vezina winner on the bench after he came off a shutout? Was it Ovie that sent  Yevgeni Medvedev out against Selanne while Fedor Tyutin was on the bench?

Honestly, the Russian hockey “Brain Trust” was more concerned with making the KHL look good, than with winning. If they actually put out their best players properly, this team would have wiped the floor with a shorthanded Finnish team.

Kunitz on the Other Hand: Seriously, how is he still playing with Sid? Maybe Crosby hasn’t scored yet because he’s saddled with Canada’s worst player. It was a gamble taking him, I get it. But how on earth has it been Duchene and St. Louis splitting time in the press box and not this guy?

The NHL Will Be Back: I know that Bettman and co. are saying that they haven’t made up their mind about 2018, but the NHL is in this right now. Sure the next games will be in Asia, and the following games will probably be in Europe, but 2026 should be in North America somewhere. There is a lot of money to be made here, the NHL knows it.

…but: The NHL will get something back, I don’t know what exactly, but they will. Their contract with NBC runs out after the 2020-21 season and hey, there’s an Olympics the next season after that, which NBC also has the rights for. Expect the NHL to get something from NBC, and more importantly from the NHLPA. The players will give up something in order to go to the Olympics so get ready for that in the next lockout.

Oh, and Tavares being hurt just adds to this. Clearly the owners now have an example in the “We’re taking all the risk” argument.

…another but….: Get ready for more International Hockey! Expect to see another World Cup of hockey start up, maybe even as early as 2015. I imagine we will see an NHL and NHLPA ran World Cup of hockey in some non-Olympic years. I could see it happening in odd-numbered years maybe rotating between North American and Europe as we go.

Jan 24

WWE Royal Rumble: What SHOULD Happen vs. What WILL Happen

Seriously, who doesn’t love the Rumble? I mean, what’s not to love about this? Every year the Rumble match is among the best matches that the WWE puts on every year. Plus last month the WWE threw us the Unification Title Match curve, which makes this match even more important than ever. In the Brand Split Era we saw the winner of the Rumble go out and compete in the middle or even bottom of the card on six separate occasions. That really can’t be the case this year. We won’t have an upper-midcarder like Sheamus or Rey Mysterio win the match and go out there early. Unless the WWE wants to give us a Cena-Taker or Rock-Brock non-title main event, we are pretty much set to be getting the winner of this match close the grandest stage of them all. Think about that, Cena and Orton are both in the title match, Triple H is (hopefully) not making an appearance, and baring any huge shocks, I don’t think that Brock Lesnar or The Rock are going to be sneaking it. I think that we are going to end up with some fresh blood at the top of the card, and I for one couldn’t be happier.

s always matches are in order of how they SHOULD Happen…

Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The New Age Outlaws
You-Tube Kickoff Match for the WWE Tag Team Titles

What SHOULD Happen: I really thought that the RhoBros were going to drop the title at the Rumble, but it’s clearly not going to happen here. The NAO are a fun nostalgia act and having them out is a fun way to promote the WWE Network but there’s no way that they should win here unless they plan on having The Usos beat them really quickly. I think that there SHOULD be some attempt at interference from The Shield only for CM Punk to run down and in the confusion the RhoBros get a win. We can have RhoBros take on the Wyatt Family next month and explode.

What WILL Happen: The Rhodeseseseseseseses win here no questions.

Match #1
Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt

What SHOULD Happen: Daniel Bryan should NOT win here, really and truly. He should lose his mind and get disqualified giving Bray the moral and symbolic victory.  After the match The Wyatt Family destroy Daniel Bryan and throw him through a table or something.

What WILL Happen: I’m torn here. I think that we may see Bryan get the big W and move away from Bray. Recent rumours have it that Bryan will not be in the Rumble, but I just don’t believe that.

Impromptu Match/Segment #1

What SHOULD Happen: I only want to see Royal Rumble number drawing segments, those are always amazing. I’d like to see The Shield get into it with Big E. Langston for reasons that will come clear later. Also, Bray Wyatt draws a number revealing himself as a Rumble participant.

What WILL Happen: I’m pretty confident in that prediction…

Match #2
AJ Lee vs. Naomi

Diva’s Title Match

What SHOULD Happen: AJ wins with interference from Tamina, the Funkadactyls clear the ring and we get ourselves a Diva’s tag match next month which can possibly set up a Tamina face turn and/or a mixed tag team match at Wrestlemania.

What WILL Happen: Really, what’s the point in taking the title off AJ at this point, especially in a throw-away match like this?

Match #3
The Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

What SHOULD Happen: Brock is winning here no questions asked. There is no reason to give the win to The Big Show here. The big question for me is where is Brock headed? Will they give him the title next month? His only real likely Wrestlemania opponents are Taker, Batista, Punk, and maybe Daniel Bryan. I think a match-up with Taker seems likely, so how on earth do they get there? I mean, Brock has already said that he wants the title, how on earth does that work?

What WILL Happen: Brock wins clean as a whistle, everyone act amazed when he F-5s The Big Show, forgetting that we saw it 12 years ago.

Impromptu Match/Segment #2

What SHOULD Happen: NUMBER DRAW! NUMBER DRAW! NUMBER DRAW!!!!

What WILL Happen: NUMBER DRAW!!!

Match #4
Randy Orton vs. John Cena

Unified WWE World Championship of the Universe Match

What SHOULD Happen: Man I hope that Kofi Kingston shows up and wins, how hilarious would that be? Not an option? Well that sucks…

Last month I thought that we were going to get Cena-Taker for the title at Wrestlemania, but now I’m not so sure. Not to spoil the end of this post, but I think that Randy Orton will be the champion headed into Wrestlemania, the whole Authority thing is really set up to end on The Grandest Stage of them All. So let’s have Orton retain the title by some sort of villainy. Maybe a double pin or some other sort of draw. I know that’s two no-contests on one card, but we’re building to something here…

What WILL Happen: Why is The Authority mad at Orton? It’s bizarre and non-sensical to me. I hope that it’s all part of the plan, but I’m not so certain. I think that Orton will retain the title on behalf of The Authority somehow here.

Match #5
30 Man Royal Rumble Match

What SHOULD Happen: Obviously there is no interest in us doing a full play-by-play of an hour long match, but here are some of the highlights:

  • We know Punk is starting things out so let’s get right to what we want to see, and have #2 be Seth Rollins. The two have a nice little match with a few near-eliminations. The ring fills with some of the lower-card guys including The Usos, Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods, R-Truth and Fandango. The match takes a while before anyone is eliminated at all.
  • Eventually at say, #9 or so down comes Dean Ambrose. He and Rollins try to work together but don’t really get anywhere when the next person out is of course Roman Reigns. The three Shield members run the ring and eliminate all of the lower-card guys in short order. Reigns does most of the heavy lifting throwing people out left, right and centre.
  • Eventually it’s just Punk left with The Shield. Punk is able to avoid a spear which “accidentally” sends Ambrose out and Rollins is dumped soon after. Punk and Reigns have some struggles and Cody and Goldust are entrants to the match, maybe toss in some other low guys who don’t last too long.
  • The New Age Outlaws run down and instead of attacking the Rhodes Bro go after Punk allowing Roman Reigns to dump him from the match. Soon after the Rhodeseseses have some miscommunications of their own and Reigns eliminates them both.
  • The next two guys are Big E. Langston and Alberto Del Rio. Ambrose and Rollins come back down to interfere with Langston which allows Reigns to eliminate him. Reigns yells at Ambrose and Rollins saying that he doesn’t need them and in that confusion Del Rio is able to eliminate him. Reigns screams at the other two and storms off while Langston brawls with Ambrose and Rollins.
  • Del Rio can look good against Rey Mysterio, who is way too injured to do much in this match. Maybe a few other low guys can come and go, but we may have burned most of them already. I guess the ring can start to fill up with a few other guys like Sandow, The Miz, Harper, Rowan and whatever other guys we have left. Maybe this would be a good time for a returning Legend like Jake Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, or Booker T.
  • The next entrant (20 something) is none other than Sheamus making his big return. He comes in and starts giving Brogue Kicks to anyone and everyone. He can maybe eliminate a scrub or two both he hasn’t done much. People cheer, everyone is happy when the next person after him is Batista. People cheer louder, everyone is happier. Sheamus looks pissed.
  • Batista of course eliminates Del Rio and also starts laying out people with Spinebusters and Batista Bombs galore. He and Sheamus don’t touch yet.
  • Batista and Sheamus go on an elimination binge throwing people out of the ring, leaving them in their with Harper and Rowan.
  • A late number, like say 28 or 29 or so is the shock of the night DANIEL BRYAN! The crowd goes nuts. Chanting YES like madmen.
  • Eventually Sheamus and Batista go toe-to-toe and we get some elimination teases, somehow or another they eliminate each other, and both look pissed. They each say something to the effect of “My return wasn’t supposed to go this way”
  • Daniel Bryan is alone in the ring with Harper and Rowan getting beaten down (remember he’s injured) when #30 is none other than Bray Wyatt, giving us a final four of Bryan and the three members of The Wyatt Family.
  • Of course we know what happens, Daniel Bryan wins, maybe with some controversy to set up a match at the next PPV.

What WILL Happen: There are really only a handful of possible winners: Batista, Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and maybe a surprise appearance from The Undertaker. I just don’t know how the company can’t give the win to Bryan, although I have said that a few too many times lately.

 

That SHOULD set us up for an Elimination Chamber event that looks like this:

  • Chamber Match for the Title: Orton vs. Cena vs. Batista vs. Sheamus vs. Punk vs. Del Rio
  • No DQ Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt
  • AJ and Tamina vs. The Funkadactyls
  • The RhoBros vs. Harper and Rowan
  • The Shield vs. Big E. Langston and Two More People (The Usos maybe?)
  • Brock Lesnar cuts a promo that’s interrupted by The Undertaker

Which should set us up for a Wrestlemania that includes:

  • Orton vs. Cena vs. Bryan for the Title
  • CM Punk vs. Triple H
  • Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
  • Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho
  • Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes
  • Multi-man Ladder Match to Unify the IC and US Titles
  • AJ vs. Tamina
  • Rey vs. Del Rio
  • Harper and Rowan defend the Tag Titles on the Pre-show against The Usos and Real Americans
Jan 06

Final Team Canada 2014 Roster Predictions: A Plea To Not Over Think It

Alright Canada, it’s game time. Well, not really…the games don’t start until February, but the deadline to announce the roster is coming pretty damn quick. Then comes the favourite Canadian pastime, bitching about roster decisions.

In 1998 and 2006 everyone blamed the inclusion of “utility guys” in Rob Zamuner and Kris Draper as the reasons Canada failed to medal. Had we lost in 2002 or 2010 the exclusion of Joe Thornton and Steven Stamkos were built in reasons, but things never quite came to that. Canada’s luxury of talent has lead to the curse of over thinking roster decisions. Already we’ve heard claims that Chris Kunitz should be on the team because of Crosby or that PK Subban should not be on the team because of all the right hand shots that Canada already has on the roster.

Last week we saw what happens when a country over thinks its roster selection, somehow or another the US Hockey brain trust convinced itself that Derek Stepan, TJ Oshie, and Blake Wheeler were all better than Bobby Ryan and that Brooks Orpik is better than Keith Yandle. Clearly they were over thinking things like chemistry.

Canada, please don’t do the same thing. You know in your heart of hearts that Chris Kunitz is not an Olympian. Sure he plays with Crosby and has played with Getzlaf and Perry but how can that vault him over someone like Jamie Benn or Logan Couture? It just doesn’t make sense, surely you see that, right?

Without further ado, here’s the roster that I clearly gave very little thought to…

Goaltending

Starter: Carey Price

He’s been the heir apparent for a while now, this will be his time to shine.

Backup: Roberto Luongo

Actually having said that…I could see Luo getting a start and losing the job to Price, similar to what happened in Vancouver with Luo and Marty. Luo had a rough year last year but has been great this season and any questions about his ego or mental state should be settled by now.

Guy we’ll never see play but we get to laugh at the fact that he scored a goal with his but: Mike Smith

I had Crawford here at the start of the year but he’s been bad and hurt for the past several months. Smith is the clear third choice, I just don’t trust Fleury if we need him and Smith’s puck handling skills could be useful on the big ice…unless he scores an overtime goal with his rear end he should be fine.

Defense

Top Pairing: Duncan Keith – Drew Doughty

Yeah these guys are alright, eh? Keith gets top billing because of his skating and the fact that he’s one of the few lefties we have on our back end. This pair should be just fine…

These Guys Ain’t Too Bad Either: PK Subban – Shea Weber

Subban would have to shift to his other side here but I think he’d be fine. Weber more than makes up for whatever defensive flaws Subban has and Subban more than makes up for Weber’s slower game.

Pairing Put Together Because of Chemistry:   Jay Bouwmeester –  Alex Pietrangelo

Bouwmeester can skate like the wind, the ice is big, he belongs pure and simple. He and Pietrangelo are playing great together so keep them together here.

Two Reserves Who We Will Froget Are On the Team: Marc-Eduard Vlassic – Brent Seabrook

Seabrook is here to play with Keith when needed, especially killing a penalty and Vlassic is here because we only have two lefties and it would be tough to get too many people to switch sides. Vlassic is a very good player and gets the nod over Marc Staal and Marc Giordano because of the injuries both guys have had all season.

Forwards:

That line’s pretty good…I guess: Stamkos – Crosby – St. Louis

I think that Crosby would be just fine sharing a line with those two. St. Louis has been on a lot of bubble lists, but I don’t really understand why. He won the Art Ross trophy last year, he can skate like the wind, and he’s defensively responsible, doesn’t make sense to exclude him at all. He and Crosby would do some great give-and-go, and of course you have the best finisher/cyborg you could ask for on the left side.

They’re Not So Bad Either: Duchene – Getzlaf – Perry

How awesome of a second line is this? You have two vets who can throw their weight around and finish and combine them with probably the best skater our country has. These three together could cause fits for any team, especially if they put their best defenders out against the Crosby line.

The “Checking” Line: Benn – Toews – Couture

This is precisely why Kunitz can’t make the team, it would probably cost one of these two wingers their spot. These three together would see a lot of the Sedins and Ovechkin and would be just fine slowing them down while still being able to turn things around and put the puck in the net.

The Fourth Line That Any NHL Team Would Kill To Have As Their First:  Hall – Tavares – Giroux

Here’s where I’m getting worried. This is not a “fourth” line in an NHL sense, but these are the Olympics. You need teams to go our and score some goals, not grind things down for a slog. We need a different mindset for a sprint than a marathon. These three would make a great third scoring line and could really cause some havoc as opposing teams try to match lines.

The Two Spares to Play in Special Teams Situations:  Bergeron  – Thornton

This is simple, Patrice Bergeron is there to kill penalties, and Joe Thornton is there to centre a powerplay. Both men have Olympic experience and could easily slot into any of those other lines if need be. I originally had Eric Staal in here instead of Joe Thornton, but the elder Staal hasn’t looked great this year while Thornton has defied time a little bit.

 

So not a bad team now is it? Even with the “crisis” in goaltending, it’s hard not to put Canada as medal favourites with a team like that. What about any of you out there in comment land, who did I miss? Who did I underrate? Who did I overate?