It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year! The beginning of April has long been the best part of the sports calendar for me, the NHL and NBA playoffs kick off and the MLB season starts back up again. Things were inevitably delayed a bit this year to mid-May, however the added bonus of this wait is that NFL camps are starting up now too!
Getting back to hockey, the playoffs kicked off this weekend and if opening weekend was any indication of what’s to come, this year is going to be an incredible ride. Usually at this point in the NHL season all the high profile analyst (Hot Sauce falls under this umbrella right) come out with their deep dives into the small details that will give one team the edge over their opponent. In our case, we decided to shake things up and let a rabbit choose the winners of each series. If Maggie the Monkey can do it, why can’t Ollie the Rabbit!
A quick backstory, Ollie is a 2 year old Mini-Rex, he loves apple sticks, grapes, blueberries and especially bananas. Just yell Naners to him and watch him come binking (if you don’t know what this means) around the corner. Ollie loves to join us on the couch and watch his favourite team, Les Habitants!
For the picks we placed Ollie in front of two bowls of his favourite food and let his choose which team he thinks will move on to the second round. Admittedly this took wayyy longer than anticipated because apparently Ollie is a diva and needed his rest between takes. He’s also an arsehole so if he didn’t pick your team don’t take it personally; or do, he probably wants you to. But without further ado, Ollie’s pick!
(1) CAROLINA HURRICANES vs (4) NASHVILLE PREDATORS
It took a few tries but Ollie finally got over being camera shy in his first pick of the NHL playoff. Although he seemed a bit hesitant with his pick, not even eating his grape. I think the idea of not picking a team named the Predators scared him too much. The Preds also have a Montreal native on the team in Jeremy Davies so let’s just stick with that story line.
It’s a bold inaugural pick for the young Ollie, but who remembers when Maggie chose Anaheim over Detroit?
(2) FLORIDA PANTHERS vs (3) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Ollie joined me on the couch last evening to watch would could easily be argued as one of the greatest Game 1 Round 1 matchups we have ever seen. This pick may have been swayed by what Ollie saw on TV or it could be the return of one Nikita Kucherov, who knows, he won’t tell me that arsehole. One thing is clear though, he will be joining me on the couch for Game 2 because he is obsessed now!
(1) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS vs (4) NEW YORK ISLANDERS
When pressured for a comment, all Ollie had to say was: “I’m a kid and the team is led by Sid the Kid”. Basic I know, I am starting to get worried that my rabbit is developing an attitude or something. However, it cannot be denied that Ollie knows that our boy Mikey Matheson is on the team and of course we are always going to route for the hometown kid. PTC represent!
(2) WASHINGTON CAPITALS vs (3) BOSTON BRUINS
I have officially failed as a bunny father. After multiple takes (not really, but I thought about it) this guy chose the Bruins every single time much to my chagrin, but alas, Ollie has spoken. Your welcome Bruins fans, but as a Habs fan, silver lining, the team has a chance to take down the Leafs and Bruins in the same playoffs.
One can dream ok! I also refuse to accept any other narrative in which my bunny would support the Bruins.
(1) COLORADO AVALANCHE vs (4) ST LOUIS BLUES
I really thought St. Louis had a chance since Ollie loves him some blueberries, but logic prevailed. It’s hard to not get swept up in the Avalanche Stanley Cup hype even as a bunny, however there is more to the story that just this. When asked for comment Ollie had the following to say regarding his decision:
“Well you call the dog Grubauer for some reason, so why wouldn’t I take the Avalanche.” It’s a long story that goes back to college.
(2) VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS vs (3) MINNESOTA WILD
A bunny choosing the Wild just melts your heart. It should at least, or you may not have a soul!!!! All jokes aside I love this pick because I want to see as much Jordan Greenway (and Kaprizov, of course) as possible in the playoffs. Vegas on the other hand has been getting the s**t end of the stick for a few rounds in a row now dating back to last year’s playoffs.
Can they break the trend and finally start seeing the results they deserve? No, not according to Ollie
(2) EDMONTON OILERS vs (3) WINNIPEG JETS
Ollie says ironically with an apple stick hanging out of the Oilers’ dish.
(1) TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS vs (4) MONTREAL CANADIENS
Suck it Leafs fans! After watching Ollie pick Boston I refused to take a chance, no bunny of mine will ever choose the Toronto Maple Leafs! Again all kidding aside, I have never been this excited for a playoff series and I am truly thankful to get to experience a Leafs vs Habs playoff series. It’s been a long wait but well worth it. Here’s to hoping that this is but the first of many to come!
To recap, Ollie chose the following teams to advance past the first round:
North – Montreal Canadiens & Winnipeg Jets
East – Pittsburgh Penguins & Boston Bruins
Central – Tampa Bay Lightning & Nashville Predators
West – Colorado Avalanche & Minnesota Wild
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we did making it, and don’t forget to check back in for Round 2!
As always don’t forget to check out the rest of the Hot Sauce Family as well as our Youtube channel for all of our podcasts and videos! This week on the Chtib & Zhang Show the guys talk Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders, Lakers, Habs and the Paul brothers vs Mayfield. And as a special bonus check out HotStreak Fantasy and register NOW to the best InPlay Fantasy app on the market. Pick 2-3 players and watch them win you money in 180 seconds! Sounds easy because it is!