I couldn’t do this again if I tried…

About 3 weeks ago(before the playoffs started), I posted my NHL Playoff predictions.  You can see the full predictions here:

https://moneymaaster.wordpress.com/2019/04/08/nhl-playoff-predictions-go-jets-go/

Guess what happened…..

I managed to get EVERY SINGLE SERIES……….WRONG.

That’s right – I’m not sure why,  but i’m somehow impressed with myself.

Since my Jets are out – I’ll be rooting for a St.Louis/BlueJackets or St.Louis/Canes final.

 

 

NHL Playoff Predictions. Go Jets Go!

NHL Playoff Hockey Is Back!

The NHL regular season is behind us. Everything that was accomplished since October means nothing.  There are 16 teams left, and each one of them is just 16 wins away from hoisting the Cup!

I decided to take a stab at predicting each round (I may be slightly biased).

NHL Playoff Bracket

I have all 3 Canadian teams making it out of round 1.

Western Conference Round 1 Predictions

As long as their goal-tending is even AVERAGE – Calgary should be able to overpower Colorado.  Calgary has too good of a defence and too much firepower up front to bow out in round 1.  Colorado has an amazing first line – but after that – their team is average at best.

Calgary in 5

San Jose vs Vegas should be a fun series to watch.  Burns & Karlsson will give Vegas a good fight – but I expect Fleury will come through and backstop his team to another playoff series win.

Vegas in 7

I have both Nashville & Winnipeg winning, however it wouldn’t surprise me if both get knocked out in the first round.  Since just before Christmas, both these teams have really started sucking major ass.  At the start of the season, these 2 were both expected to be Stanley Cup Favourites – but oh how the mighty have fallen.  That said, I think both of them scrape by their first round matchups and make it through so we can see an epic rematch from last year.

Nashville in 6

Jets in 5 (more on the Jets Below)

Eastern Conference Predictions

Tampa should dominate Columbus – which will be hilarious considering Columbus sacrificed their future for a deep playoff run this year.  Plus who doesn’t like seeing Tortorella losing his mind.

Tampa in 5

Even though I think Barry Trotz should win Coach of the year- I think Crosby, Malkin & Kessel are just too damn good.  I expect an early exit for the Islanders.

Penguins in 6

The champs from last year have a decent match up. It will be the experienced Caps against the “bunch of Jerks”.  Although I would LOVE to see the Hurricane’s upset the Capitals..I just don’t see it happening.

Caps in 5

Toronto Vs Boston.  This is the round 1 Matchup on the East I am most looking forward to.  This one can go either way – I’ve always hated the leafs, but I’m actually rooting for them.  They’ve come along way, and have some players that are so much fun to watch (Tavares & Marner in particular).

Leafs in 6 (probably 7)

 

Why the The Jets Will Win The Stanley Cup

Winnipeg Jets

Okay…Obviously I chose with my heart probably a bit more than my brain…but as my father always says…YOU GOTTA BELIEVE!

Lately, I haven’t been too excited about the Jet’s chances – they have been playing like shit since Christmas.  That said, there are a few reasons for optimism:

  1. The big man is back.  Dustin Byfuglien is a game changer.  He has played a few games since returning from his injury – and should be 100% for game 1.  We all know what he can do when he get’s pumped up – and playing at home, in front of the WHITE OUT, should get him pumped up pretty damn quick!

  2. Josh Morrissey should also be ready for game 1.  In my opinion he is the best defenceman on the team.  He is extremely underrated, and great at both ends of the ice.  Being able to play him and Trouba together 20-25 mins a game is just what this team needs. When the Jet’s lost Byfluglien to injury it hurt – but when they lost Morrissey – the team straight up fell apart.
  3. The White Out.  There really is quite nothing like it.  Home ice advantage in one of the loudest arenas in the league.  I cannot wait until Wednesday!
    Jets White out
    Side Note- The guy in the custom Jets White out Vader mask is a friend of mine!
  4. Mark Scheifele is a playoff beast.  Last year he had 20 points in 17 playoff games – including a whopping FOURTEEN goals!  He has slowed down near the end of the season, but I fully expect him to rip it up in the post season.
  5. Helly getting hot at JUST the right time.  Everyone knows goalies win playoff series.  Although he hasn’t had nearly as good as a season as last year – he is rounding into form just at the right time!  He finished March with a .926 Save %.  (His best month all year).
  6. Let’s face it -this has been a brutal season for Laine (and he still scored 30 goals).  The good news – he can only go up from here!  If Laine can score a goal or two in the first game, he could very well lead the entire playoffs in goals.  Just need the kid to get hot at the right time – and what better time then Wednesday!

    Go Jets Go!

A few bloggers I’d like to have a beer with!

Beer with my fellow bloggers!

Tomorrow is Friday – which means twitter will probably be full of “Follow Friday” tweets.  I’ll get it started one day early.

This edition of Follow Friday will include 5 personal finance bloggers that I’d most like to have a beer with.  This means they are people who, aside from having interesting websites I think would be fun to hang out with on a personal level – enjoy having a drink or two with – and share some of the same personal interests (mostly sports and booze 🙂

 

  1. CheesyFinance Even though he is currently having a No Beer in 2019 year- Cheesy is was always on twitter posting pics of some of the rare and interesting beers he is drinking.  Check out his recent post on his reason for no beer in 2019 HERE
    I guess I’ll have to wait until 2020….
  2. Rob @ Passive Canadian Income Rob and I have a lot of similarities.  We are the same age, married, have 2 young children and a dog.  We own a lot of the same stocks, and more importantly we also both like sports and beer.    Aside from being a Maple Leafs fan – everything else about him seems alright.
  3. Sarah @ Smile & Conquer
    Much like Rob – Sarah and I, have a lot in common.   We are both Canadian, close in age, atheists and  big hockey fans.  Her and her boyfriend are Oilers season ticket holders (poor bastards).  Sarah posts tend to be more focused on saving & budgeting vs stock analysis, but she touches on investing as well.  She has a couple of dogs and cats and recently moved into a new house!  When I interviewed Sarah a few months back her answers really resonated with me – and I think she’d fit in well in my social circle.
  4. Sabeel @ Roadmap2Retire: This was the first site I started following/commenting on, which eventually led to the creation of my site.  Although he is not a big cocktail person (pretty sure I could change that) – he loves beer.  What I like most about Sabeel’s site is his knowledge -not just on individual stocks, but the economy, precious metals and general personal finance.
  5. Mark @ MyOwnAdvisor: Mark is probably one of the most successful bloggers in the personal finance space.  He’s been around forever and was one of the first sites I started reading.  More importantly though – he loves beer too!  Along with Roadmap2Retire & CheesyFinance he like to share pics of whatever delicious beer he is enjoying on twitter. He is also a big Senators fan, and oddly enough, the most traffic I ever got in one day, was when he shared a link to my site (the bar section).

 

Anyways, check em out, and if you ever run into them…buy them a beer!

 

 

Time to get excited Canada!

Soccer In Canada Has Never Looked So Good

No I am not referring to marijuana legalisation – though by all means – if you feel the need to have a quick toke before reading on please do.

It’s time, for probably the first time since 1986 to get excited about our Men’s Soccer team.  Yes you read that right – and NO I’m not high!

*Disclaimer*Before I start, I’d like to point out I am a HUGE supporter of our Women’s team.  I currently own a Sinclair Jersey, and I can’t wait until she breaks the all time record for goals.  I am also extremely excited to watch Jesse Fleming for the next 20 years, as I think she will be a superstar!  Now on with the post….

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or don’t really give a shit about Soccer I’m sure you’ve already heard of Alphonso Davies.  He is the 17 year old wonder kid who plays for the Whitecaps in the MLS, and one day could be the most famous Canadian athlete of all time (no pressure).

Here are just a few of his accomplishments.  Keep in mind, he isn’t even 18 yet.

  • On May 15, 2016, he scored his first professional goal, making him the youngest goal scorer in USL history at 15 years, 6 months
  • Davies made his MLS debut on July 16, 2016, becoming the second youngest player to play in MLS
  • In June 2017, he became the youngest player to appear for the Canadian men’s national team
  • He was named one of the 60 best young soccer talents in the world in 2017.
  • On June 29, 2018, Davies was included in the MLS All-Star roster
  • Davies played his first game for the Canada Mens team at the age of 16, making him the youngest player to play for the national team.
  • Davies played for Canada in the Cold Cup – scoring 3 goals and winning the golden boot.  Davies was also awarded the “young player of the tournament” award
  • In 25 starts for the Whitecaps this year, Davies currently has 11 assists (tied for 7th in league) to go along with 6 goals.

 

Although the stats above probably give you a good idea of just how good he is, the fact that he was recently signed by Bayern Munich (one of the best teams in the world) for an MLS record fee of 22 million dollars should hammer home just how highly skilled and touted he is.

If you needed any more proof. Take a minute and watch this:

 

Aside from Alphonso Davies, here are 5 other young Canadian players to get excited about.

  1. Ballou Tabla- WingerEarlier this month, it was reported that 19 year old Ballou Tabla would play for Canada.  He could have played for either Canada or Ivory Coast, so the fact he chose Canada is a big deal, and I have to think he sees a the potential of this young Canadian team for the next decade or more.  Tabla is a skilled, fast winger, and will look great playing in front of Davies for the next decade or more. There aren’t many clubs in the world bigger than Bayern Munich where Alphonso signed, however Barcelona would be one of the few.  Earlier this year, Ballou Tabla signed a 5 year deal with the Barcelona B team, and included a buyout clause of 25 million euros for the first 3 years, up to 75 million for the last 2 years.
  2. Jonathan David – StrikerAt just 18 years old, it looks like Canada may have a bonafide striker who has a knack for scoring goals.  David was recently signed by Gent in the top division in Belgium.  In his first 5 games for Gent, he scored 5 goals.  David was recently called up to play for Canada and in his first 2 games he has scored 3 goals (including a beauty earlier this week set up by Alphonso Davies) in which he hammered it into the top corner 2 minutes into the game.
  3. Liam Millar – StrikerAnother Canadian signed by a top club – this time it’s Liverpool’s under 23 team.  Admittedly I have only seen him play once, and it was out of his natural position, but again the fact a top club is signing a 19 year old Canadian is great news for the future of our program (and quite frankly, something that was almost unheard of just a few years ago).
  4. Alessandro Busti – Goalkeeper18 year old Busti, just earned his first cap (and clean sheet) playing in Canada’s last game.  He currently plays for Juventus F.C Under 23 team.  Although Canada currently has a more than capable goalkeeper in Borjan, the future is bright with Busti officially in the system now.
  5. Zachary Brault-Guillard – DefenderCanada is in an unusual spot of having a wealth of attacking options, however the one area they definitely still need to improve is their backline.  This is why I included Guillard on my list.  He is currently playing in France for French club Lyon II, where he was recently appointed captain.  Like Tabla & Busti, Guillard earned his first cap for Canada in the recent 5-0 win against Dominica.

With all the attention Davies, and these other youngsters have been getting, it is easy to forget that Canada also has a few other bright spots in their lineup:

Junior Hoilett who currently plays in the English Premier League for Cardiff City is still only 28 years old, and should be a mainstay in the midfield for the next few years.  Although the opponent’s weren’t the strongest, in his last 2 appearances for Canada he has did score 2 goals.  Hoilett has a lot of offensive ability, and now has some other really talented players to play with on the national team.

Scott Arfield was recently named captain of the Canada team, and is just 29 years old.  He spent the last 2 years playing for Burnley in the English Premier League (scoring 3 goals).  This season he moved to the Scottish Premier league and plays for Celtic Rangers. In his first 7 games this season he already has 2 goals.  Scott Arfield is an all around solid midfield player who is responsible defensively but can play well with the ball as well.

Cyle Larin is still just 23 years old, and is just 3 years away from scoring 17 goals in the MLS & being awarded rookie of the year.  He has since moved on to play in the top league in Turkey for Besiktas. Although there is a lot more competition on this Canadian team at striker(David & Cavalliini), Larin should still get his chances to play, and with 8 goals in 26 appearances for Canada it’s easy to understand why.

Aside from the players, one last reason to perhaps get excited, is the new coach: John Herdman.

herdman
Over the last 7 years Herdman coached the Canada Woman’s team.  In that time they accomplished:

  • Gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games
  • Qualified for and won Bronze at London Olympics
  • Qualified for and won Bronze at Rio Olympics
  • Perhaps more important than the medals, he has really pushed for the growth of the game in Canada, development of young players, bringing soccer to the forefront in Canada, I’ve definitely seen big improvements in all 3 since his tenure began.

Although it has only been 3 games since he has moved to the Men’s team, I think it is important to note, they have won all 3 games, and broke some records along the way.  Sure the opponents weren’t the strongest, but I remember lots of close games between Canada and some weaker teams in years past.  In his first 3 games, Herdman has led the Canadian team to the following:

  • Beat New Zealand 1-0
  • Beat U.S Virgin Islands 8-0
  • Beat Dominica 5-0

The US Virgin Island win broke a record, for Canada’s biggest ever win.  The Dominica win tied a record for most goals ever scored on Canadian soil.

The next game for our National team is March 26, for our 3rd game in the Concacaf Nations Cup.  I’ll be watching, I hope some of you do too!