Predicting the playoffs inevitably involves carefully weighing a number of factors including point production, past head-to-head matchups, key injuries, coaching style, and all sorts of other criteria.
What is rarely (if ever) taken into account is team names. Let's break down the NHL Western Conference first round playoff matchups using that as our sole criteria.
Nature, this is your cruelest match-up since ice vs. dinosaurs. Sharks can smell one part of blood in a million parts water. They have three rows of teeth. They are pure stone-cold killers.
Ducks paddle around in shallow ponds and eat bread crumbs. The feathers of their babies are used for extra-soft pillows.
Prediction: Sharks in one short snack. Oh wait they have to play four games? Sucks for you, ducks.
Sharks in four feeding-frenzy-filled free-for-alls.
You might think this is just a straight color vs color match-up. But it is not about Red vs. Blue.
It is a battle of Wings vs Jackets.
Wings help you fly. They are also a delicious and spicy snack. Jackets keep you warm, and in certain cases can help you look classy.
However, a jacket (no matter what color it is) is just not enough to beat the power of flight, nor the power of satisfying the craving for some zesty fingerfood.
Prediction: Red Wings in five.
Canucks is a slang term for Canadians. Canadians love hockey. Blues is a term for mild depression. Or a style of music that centers on being depressed.
Depression does not win hockey games. Canadians do.
Prediction: Canucks in five.
Blackhawk was a leader of the Sauk American Indian tribe and warrior who first killed a man when he was 15. A flame is what happens when something is on fire. This is a tough matchup to call.
Expect a see-saw battle of warrior vs fire.
Ultimately though, man tamed fire many years ago. That trend will continue.
Prediction: Blackhawks in seven.
Well, there you have it. The underwater killing machines, the flying snacks, the hosers, and the native warriors will all trump their competition to make it to the second round.