Dustin Byfuglien may be gone, but the Hawks are back in!

The Ex-Panther Factor. For Some It's A Nightmare.

Last evening I posted my 2011 first round playoff picks for both conferences.  I’ll bet you can’t wait to see how I do!  While those picks were truly gut feelings, there’s really another approach that will make you take another look at how to pick your Stanley Cup Winner.  Silly as it may seem, it works.  A team can actually have a “curse” put on them by the history of the players on their roster.  Allow me to explain.

Growing up in Chicago, the Cubs as a team were known for breaking hearts.  Little did you know that when some of these players were dispersed to other teams in the league either via trade or free agency, the team with the most amount of Ex-Cubs would lose the World Series.  Called The Ex-Cub factor.  It really exists and here’s a link to who and how it was developed.  Not always a fool proof method for a prediction, but definitely cause for concern.  Last year I decided that I would use the same analysis for the NHL playoffs. Here’s a link to that post.

As I mentioned in the previous article from last season, there’s a lot of movement due to free agency, and while you may like the player you’re getting from Florida, you need to be mindful of how many of these players are on your roster at the same time during the post season.  If you are superstitious, have rituals and habits like growing a playoff beard, then you’ll fully understand what I mean.

Let’s breakdown each matchup in the opening round starting in the Eastern Conference:

Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers:  The Capitals have Dennis Wideman, but he’s injured and sidelined indefintely.  The Rangers have Vinny Prospal and former captain Bryan McCabe.

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres:  The Flyers have Nick Boynton.  Buffalo has Steve Montador, Jordan Leopold who’s injured, and Mark Parrish.  Parrish however only played two games and may not be seen.  Ever again.

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadians: Boston has Nathan Horton, Gregory Campbell and Dennis Seidenberg.  The Canadians have Jaroslav Spacek, Alex Auld, and of course Jacques Martin.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning:  Pittsburgh somehow gets away with no Ex-Panthers on the roster. There’s no guarantee that this gets you a Cup victory however.  Tampa has only Dominic Moore.

Let’s now move over to the Western Conference:

Vancouver Canucks vs. Chicago Blackhawks: Well, the nuckleheads have six  Ex-Cats! Roberto Luongo, Mikael Samuelsson, Chris Higgins, Tanner Glass and Keith BallardVictor Oreskovich played 16 games for Vancouver this year, but is not on the current roster.  The Hawks have two.  Michael Frolik and Jassen Cullimore.  Needless to say, but besides Luongo having nightmares, this little “hex” just adds to Vancouver remaining cupless.  The Can’t-Nucks was phrased someplace on Twitter yesterday and I forgot who coined it, but whoever you are, that was great.

San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings:  The Sharks have Dan Boyle, while the Kings are another team that managed to keep an Ex-Panther off it’s roster.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Phoenix Coyotes:  The Wings besides being old have Todd Bertuzzi and Ruslan Salei.  The Coyotes have Ed Jovanovski.

Anaheim Ducks vs. Nashville Predators:  The Ducks have defenceman Andreas Lilja, while the Preds have Wade Belak.

If you haven’t picked a team to get behind, please study this list before you do.  As a Panther fan you’re already upset about not making the playoffs.  I’d hate for you to jump on the bandwagon of a team you’d really like to follow without considering all the options.  If you’re a fan of one of these teams, especially Vancouver, or the Rangers, Habs or Bruins, beware.  You might win a round or two, but getting to drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup most likely isn’t going to happen.

Roberto Luongo may not have Dustin Byfuglien to get in his head this time, but I’m sure the memories of two playoff eliminations are swirling in his brain.  Sleepless nights, nightmares, and worries about performance have to be going through his mind.  The Hawks know how to get to him, and will do their best to throw him off his off his game.

Like I said, Hawks in 6!

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Tags: Alex Auld Boston Bruins Chicago Blackhawks Curses Ex-panther Factor Jacques Martin Nathan Horton Playoff Curses Roberto Luongo Todd Bertuzzi Vancouver Canucks

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