Monday, May 28, 2012

Pool Report: The Props Contest Begins

Julio Cortez/AP

A couple of teams nobody thought would go far in the playoffs this year have made it to the finals. And some of the experts who insisted neither had a chance are now claiming they might be bringing the best Cup series we’ve seen in a while.

Each team features high-scoring forwards, tough defenses and spectacular goalies. Two unstoppable forces meeting equally immovable objects.

Expect some fireworks.

Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo

And for those still bemoaning the lack of CanCon in the Finals. Remember these two things…

1. Most of the LA Kings are Canadian.

2. Nickleback is the official Music provider of this year’s NHL Final Series.

As an added note: As of May 25, 2012, more people own a Nickleback album than any album released by The Rolling Stones, Queen, Kiss, Jay-Z, Foo Fighters, The Band, Beyonce, The Black Keys, Kanye West, Oasis, TLC, Janet Jackson, Beck, Katy Perry, Adele, Kanye West, Blink-182, Dave Matthews Band, Ludacris, Dr. Dre, Radiohead, R.E.M., Bob Seger, Blackstreet, The Strokes, Soundgarden, or -- Brandy.

Any minute now, Thomas Mulcair will issue a press release claiming Nickleback’s success is preventing Eastern Canada from discovering the next Justin Bieber.

As for successful players in the Infamous Writers Hockey Pool – as we go into the Finals, John McFetridge leads Maurey Loeffler, Mike Vardy and Will Dixon.

The rest of us are pretty much out of the running.

Which means this little life-saver is coming along at just the right time…


For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a little history.

Betting on sports has been around as long as there have been guys who needed to pump up their self-esteem by proving they were right about something.

And for centuries money changed hands based on who won or lost a contest.

Then Las Vegas and the Super Bowl were invented. Pretty soon the smart guys who ran the Casinos realized that while you could make millions on who won a football game, you could make Billions with side wagers.

So Proposition Betting was created to give us sports degenerates an opportunity to blow our money on outcomes nobody in their right mind can confidently predict.

wayne gambles


You might be wagering on the coin toss (Janet Gretzky's favorite -- seen here at Caesar's Palace with absolutely non-betting husband and Hockey Great One Wayne) or if a touchdown is made by a player whose jersey number is over 30.

Props are also not one bet options. You need to pick at least a half dozen. The odds of collecting on your bet are infinitesimal. But then, you can't put a price on a good time, can you?

So here's how the "Infamous Writers Pool Hockey Props"  works…

There are six bets. All are related to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Some require sports knowledge. Some only require guts! The player with the most correct answers wins. And a special piece of Canadian Hockey memorabilia (currently treasured by Yours Truly) will be awarded to the winner.

Should there be a tie -- uh -- we'll figure that out if there's a tie.

But this contest will definitely not be decided until well after the final game!

Entry is open to all current pool players, everybody who’s been kicking themselves for not getting in on the original action and anybody else who just needs to boost their self image.

Entries must be sent to anytime between now and the 8:00 pm Eastern faceoff for Game One on Wednesday May 30 in New Jersey.

Your six Hockey Propositions are:

1. The 2011-2012 Stanley Cup winner will be decided in:

     a) Four Games

     b) Five Games

     c) Six Games

     d) Seven Games

2. The total number of goals scored in the Final series will be:

    a) Less than 20

    b) 20 to 30

    c) More than 30

3. New Jersey Goalie Martin Brodeur enters the final round with a .923 Save Percentage. LA’s Jonathan Quick's average is .946. At the end of the final series, the Highest Goalie Save Percentage will belong to:

a) Brodeur

b) Quick

c) Neither

4. "Hockey Night in Canada"  icon Don Cherry always confidently predicts the winner of each game prior to the opening faceoff. For the FOURTH game of the series, he will be:

a) Correct

b) Incorrect

For non-Canadian players -- CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" is streaming all games at, usually in more languages than English.

5. The Leading Scorer in the final series will be:

a) Ilya Kovalchuk (NJ)

b) Zach Parise (NJ)

c) Dustin Brown (LA)

d) Anze Kopitar (LA)

e) Other

6. The Captain of the winning team is the first player to hoist the Stanley Cup and skate a victory lap. The Cup is then passed to each member of his team. And it's usually passed to someone the player holding the Cup feels is especially deserving. The Goalie of the winning team will be:

a) One of the first six players to hoist the Cup

b) The Seventh to Twelfth player to hoist the Cup

c) One of the remaining players to hoist the Cup

Tough enough? C'mon, suck it up! How often do you get a chance like this?

For the record, the Pool Standings as of today:


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