Thursday, May 08, 2008

First Annual Predictions Contest Ends in FHF Victory!

Prospect Park Weaves His Magic Spell

Well, the season has ended for our favourite bleu, blanc et rouge team, which means it's time for ... no, not some sort of silly season review ... it's time for ... the results of the First Annual FourHabsFans/Blueshirt Bulletin Canadiens/Rangers Prediction Contest, featuring noted Blueshirt Bulletin contributor, Dubi sycophant, FHF flame commenter,and overzealous Ranger attack dog Prospect Park! Thanks for playing, Prospect!*

*The inventors of the First Annual FourHabsFans/Blueshirt Bulletin Canadiens/Rangers Prediction Contest make absolutely no guarantees that noted Blueshirt Bulletin contributor, Dubi sycophant, FHF flame commenter and overzealous Ranger attack dog Prospect Park is

a) a willing participant in this contest or

b) even knew the contest existed, since HF10 made it up about a week ago.

The inventors would also like to point out that all predictions were freely provided by noted Blueshirt Bulletin contributor, Dubi sycophant, FHF flame commenter and overzealous Ranger attack dog Prospect Park in the FHF comments section, and as such, we're going to do whatever the hell we want with them.

On with the predictions!!

Category One: The Offseason Moves

Prospect Park said: The Ranger gave their fans reasons to get excited about this up-coming season, the Habs just did nothing.

We say: Fair enough prediction when first made. The signings of big-game stud Chris Drury and assist machine Scott Gomez, the continued excellence of Henrik Lundqvist, Jaromir Jagr, and Brendan Shanahan, and the hoped-for development of kids like Marc Staal and Nigel Dawes had New York fans envisioning a long playoff run. Montreal's offseason of losing Sheldon Souray and signing lower-tier free agents did not look very promising.

Advantage: Prospect!

Prospect Park said: Ranger fans get to talk about adding Drury and Gomez while Hab fans get to talk about adding Roman Hamrlik and Bryan Smolinski.

Prospect Park also said: Rangers have Chris Drury throwing checks and scoring goals, Hab fans get to watch Hamrlik cash more of his paychecks than throwing checks

We say: Looked like it could be true for the reasons above. However...

Hamrlik immediately stabilised the second pairing on the Montreal defence with his steady play and cool head, and proved an excellent mentor to youngsters Ryan O'Byrne and Josh Gorges and a valuable partner to whomever he was placed with, from Doom and Markov all the way down to the Breezer.

Advantage: FHF!

Smolinski took some stick for his slow start, and the team seemed to play better when he was injured early on, but his late-season return gave the Habs a much-needed faceoff man and veteran presence in the room, and his playoff performance between Steve Begin and Montreal's free-agent steal Greek Lightning probably saved the team from the embarrassment of a first-round exit. He was consistent and money well-spent on a cheap one year deal.

Advantage: FHF!

Drury signed a 5 year, $32.5 million deal in the summer and went on to post 25 goals, 33 assists and 58 points in 82 games in the regular season and 3 goals and 3 assists in 10 playoff games. Gomez signed a 7 year, $51.5 million deal on the same day as Drury, and rewarded the Rangers with 16 goals and 54 assists for 70 points in 81 games and a further 11 points in the playoffs. Drury and Gomez ended the playoffs as the second and third line centres behind rookie Brandon Dubinsky. Perhaps if their output and impact on the Rangers had matched their enormous contracts, the Blueshirts would have placed higher than 5th in the conference, maybe even wresting home ice advantage away from their eventual conquerors in Pittsburgh.

Advantage: FHF!

Category Two: The Season

Prospect Park said: The Rangers will be playing meaningful games this season as the Habs will be playing for a lottery pick.

We say: Yep, the Rangers played exactly as many meaningful games as the Habs ... only not at all, since Montreal had a bunch of meaningful games to decide who would finish first overall in the East, and the Rangers didn't. As for the lottery pick ...

Advantage: FHF!

Prospect Park said: Ranger fans are looking at a number one seed in the playoffs, Hab fans a lottery pick that they will have traded away trying to get the 8th seed.

We say: The Rangers weren't even number one seed in the greater New York area. And the 8th seed was in the Bell Centre this spring, but only to get beat by the number one seed Canadiens.


Category Three: Management

Prospect Park said:
Ranger fans will get to chant "We want the Cup", Hab fans will get to chant "Fire Gainey" (but you guys will do it in English and French)

We say: Rangers fans spent most of their time crying "we got screwed by the refs" and "Crosby is a diver". FHF and the rest of the Habs fans repeat the mantra "Trust in Bob."

Advantage: FHF!

Prospect Park said: Tom Renney has a shot at Coach of the Year, Hab Fans wish Guy Carbonneau would just disappear.

We say: While he's not perfect, Carbo made the Habs a more defensively responsible team, made nice with Kovalev, found room for younger players and let them play, and came up with some very good lines, not to mention the almost unbeatable lucky tie strategy. Oh, and he's a nominee for Coach of the Year.

Tom Renney spent the year being second guessed for his use of timeouts, the dismal Ranger powerplay, and his continued preference for veterans over kids. He was then outcoached by Michel Fucking Therien in the playoffs.

Advantage: FHF!

Category Four: The Future

Prospect Park said:
The Rangers have said "The Future is Now and Tomorrow", The Habs say "The Future is Someday we just do not know when"
We say: Marc Staal is a star in the making. Brandon Dubinsky looked impressive at times. Nigel Dawes has his moments, and is an excellent little playmaker. But Jagr and Straka may bolt, Avery might be a goner, Shanahan looks done, and the Rangers defence doesn't scare anyone.

As for Montreal ... Big and Little Tits. Mad Max. Gui! Gui! Gui! Panger's Boy Chips. Rhino. Price and Halak. Grabs. All under the age of 25. Oh, and Higgins & Komisarek are both just 26. Saku and Kovy are still under contract, as is Hamr. Of their UFAs, only Mark Streit would be a huge loss.

Advantage: FHF!

Category Five: In conclusion

Prospect Park said: Rangers are headed towards the Stanley Cup, the Habs towards nowhere, their fans know it and that is why come next spring when you get to watch the Rangers and their fans partying all spring and summer long you guys will be crying about how much you hate the Rangers.

We say: Have you guys stopped crying about the refs yet? We're trying to get amped for the Battle of Pennsylvania here and the wailing is really fucking distracting.

Advantage: Well, you know. FHF!

Final Score: Prospect goes down faster than Ryan Hollweg turtled versus Josh Gorges. FHF 9, Prospect Park 1.


Vintage HF29 said...

Advantage: HF10!

came up with some very good lines

If infinite Carbonneaus put together infinite line combinations, eventually he'll come up with Macbeth. or something like that.

Anonymous said...

Haha, very funny. I am a Ranger fan and frequent reader of the Blueshirt Bulletin, and I got a kick out of this.

Great job all year. Happy offseason to us all, and I'll check back in when July 1 approaches.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, HF10, although I must admit I'm somewhat disturbed by the tag "anything you write in the FHF comments can and will be used against you in a subsequent post"...


HFF33 aka Panger said...

HF10, once again, great post.

To be nit-picky (and the everyone knows Dubi et al will be) regarding the future, Grabs likely will not be back next year and it's possible Halak and Big Tits won't either (although it seems Halak a leadt won't be leaving for nothing since he sad he wants to play int he NHL). But on the other hand, you could add future Darius Karparitis clone Pavel Valentenko and Alexei Emelin (if he signs) to that list, who could both arrive as early as next season.

GoHabsGo11 said...

Great post HF10!

One addition can't forget turtleplek in the future section second in points in the regular season even though he played like a "little girl" in the playoffs.

Ranger suck they should sign some more unmotivated high priced free agents.

Habsfan10 said...

@LG77 - you usually don't make rash predictions that can come back and bite you in the ass, so you're safe.

@gohabsgo11 - You're right, Turtleplek should have been mentioned.

@Panger - I leave the real prospect list to you, my expert friend. I usually only deal with what I see on my tv screen ... and I don't see too many Hamilton games!