Ladies, grab your gaudy hats, the Kentucky Derby is upon us!
The first Saturday in May takes us to Lexington, where we get a five-hour window to guzzle as many mint julips as possible just to enjoy a 2-minute race. (And that's just from the NCAA officials trying to snoop out another John Calipari recruiting scandal. Hey, it's the SEC...if you're not cheating, you're not trying!) Of course, where there's horse-racing, there's gambling. All money lost during the Kentucky Derby goes towards Jerry Reinsdorf's bid to buy the Coyotes. The winner, per tradition, gets to wear a bouquet of roses and gets put out to stud, and eventually winds up on an episode on Maury to determine whether or not the horse is the baby-daddy of a pony.
The losers, naturally, find their way to an Alpo factory, where they're destined to feed the dogs.....just like the Stanley Cup Playoffs do. (Transitional Journalism 101, kids.)
Raise your hand if you had all three Eastern Conference division winners cleaning out their locker rooms before the month of May.
Ryan Miller and Martin Brodeur got eliminated by the likes of Rask and Boucher. The Capitals got dumped by the Canadiens. That'll teach Washington a lesson about stealing the Expos! (This really doesn't help in defending the Southeast Division, by the way.)
Pittsburgh is now the #1 seed in the East, and seemingly have about as easy a road to the Cup Final as possible. They have as much offensive firepower as the Capitals do, but are a lot more stout on defense and in goal. Montreal simply doesn't have enough to keep up, and the little rest they'll get won't help matters any. No Alpo truck needed here. Pittsburgh in 5.
Blackhawks vs. Canucks: The rematch all of British Columbia wanted since last May. Funny how that works. Last time, the 'Hawks frustrated the Canucks and made them look awful. The Canucks added Chicago-beater Samuelsson and the Blackhawks added perennial brides-maid Marian Hossa. Right now, I don't trust the Canucks defense or penalty-killing...two things the Blackhawks can feast on. The Sedins bring more to the table than Jason Arnott and Patrik Hornqvist do, but something has to be said about the 'Hawks only allowing one PP goal in a 6-game series. This one goes the distance. Blackhawks in 7.
Sharks vs. Red Wings: Two teams that underperformed for much of their respective series, but looked like themselves when it mattered most. The Sharks were close to being down 3-0 and 3-1 in their series with Colorado. The Red Wings were about as bipolar as a team can be. Luckily for Detroit...no day games this series. Luckily for San Jose...they can always depend on their early exit. Red Wings in 6.
Bruins vs. Philadelphia: I'd love to do some research about these teams, but they're just so damn boring. I actually fell asleep during one of the Sabres-Bruins games. Don't know of anyone excited about this series. Philadelphia's having trouble staying healthy, so that's gotta count for something, right? This series will cause me to sustain an upper-body injury. Boston in 6.
Oh yeah, take Awesome Act in a mild 10-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby. Icebox and Lookin At Lucky complete my trifecta.
With the games: Yeah, we'll just pretend that didn't happen.