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May 7, 2006
Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day so I decided to head down to one of the comic book stores that I usually buy my Transformers from to see what it was all about. From their web site they describe this event as:

As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world are giving away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores.

I was disappointed to find that no normal comic books were available for free. They create special edition comics for this specific occassion. In anycase, I was able to pick up a free Transformers comic book. I also got TFC #21 Blaster. I was also tempted to get Lazer Optimus Prime and WST (World's Smallest Transformers) Snarl.
May 3, 2006
The Conservatives announced their 2006 Federal Budget yesterday, and how much does it affect me? About one percent. The 1% reduction in the GST tax is the only thing that really applies to me.

Overall I think that most Canadians will probably think it's a decent budget. It's an obvious tactic to win more votes to obtain a majority government in the next federal election. I can see Stephen Harper now, diabolically laughing somewhere. Soon children will be colouring pictures of Stephen Harper in their colouring books. Parades will be thrown for the Conservative party, and there will be a court judgement to send the Liberal party into space, never to return. In 'Harper's Master Plan - Part 2', we'll all be working for him in his BC slave mines, then we'll all be sorry.

Reference Material:
- Megatron's Master Plan - Part 1
May 2, 2006
Eastern Conference

Ottawa (1) vs Buffalo (4)

I'm sure more than a few people think that Ottawa will run over Buffalo but I think this will be a really close series. If Emery continues to play well Ottawa should be able to get a narrow victory over the Sabres in this series. Hopefully Briere will be able to get a lot of points nonetheless since I recently picked him up for my fantasy hockey team.

My prediction: Ottawa over Buffalo (4-3)

Carolina (2) vs New Jersey (3)

New Jersey seems like they are on a mission. Carolina is a good team but an inexperienced team and I don't know if they can get by this determined Devils team. Jersy is the clear favourite for me in this one.

My prediction: New Jersey over Carolina (4-2)

Western Conference

San Jose (5) vs Edmonton (8)

The obvious answer here would be San Jose over Edmonton 4-1, but I under estimated Edmonton in the first round so I won't do that again here. The Sharks have more skill on paper but the Oilers have more grit. In my opinion Thornton was disappointing in the first series. Marleau on the other hand really stepped it up. I'm going to pick skill over grit in this case, just because San Jose has more than one capable scoring line which makes them harder to stop.

My prediction: San Jose over Edmonton (4-3)

Anaheim (6) vs Colorado (7)

This should be a pretty good series. I agree with Selanne in a way that if you stop Sakic you can stop the Avalanche. The only variable here is if Theodore steps up his game. I'm going to go with Colorado on this one. I really think the winner of this series will make it to the finals. I'll disagree with Kelly Hrudey on this one and say that this series will go longer than five.

My prediction: Colorado over Anaheim (4-3)
April 30, 2006
New Jersey (3) vs New York Rangers (6)

My prediction: New Jersy over New York Rangers (4-0)
Result: New Jersy defeated New York Rangers (4-0)

This was one of the easier predictions in my opinion. The Devils are red hot and when Jagr got hurt it was pretty much over.

Ottawa (1) vs Tampa Bay (8)

My prediction: Ottawa over Tampa Bay (4-2)
Result: Ottawa defeated Tampa Bay (4-1)

Tampa Bay just didn't have what it takes to win this year. It wasn't for a lack of effort, they just didn't have the defense or the goaltending.

Dallas (3) vs Colorado (6)

My prediction: Dallas over Colorado (4-3)
Result: Colorado defeated Dallas (4-1)

Sakic is my hero. He absolutely carried the Avalanche down the stretch and throughout this series. The reason I thought Dallas would win is because Theodore is not playing well but he wasn't even a factor. The rest of the team played so well and Turco played so poorly that it didn't matter who was in net for Colorado. I did however say that I would not be surprised if there was an upset in this series.

Nashville (4) vs San Jose (5)

My prediction: San Jose over Nashville (4-2)
Result: San Jose defeated Nashville (4-1)

Nashville may be a pretty good team but San Jose has been so much better since the arrival of Joe Thornton. That and the fact that Nashville's #1 goalie was injured made it easy to pick San Jose as the favourite.

Detroit (1) vs Edmonton (8)

My prediction: Detroit over Edmonton (4-1)
Result: Edmonton defeated Detroit (4-2)

What a performance by Dwayne Roloson. Detroit out shot Edmonton in every game if I'm not mistaken and Edmonton still managed to win. Roloson really stepped up his game in this series and Legace did not, and that was the difference. I think Legace's days as the #1 goaltender in Detroit are numbered, and that number is zero.

Buffalo (4) vs Philadelphia (5)

My prediction: Buffalo over Philadelphia (4-2)
Result: Buffalo defeated Philadelphia (4-2)

Philadelphia was going downhill in the second half of the season and not even having Peter Forsberg could save them. Being beaten 7-1 in your elimination game is really sad.

Carolina (2) vs Montreal (7)

My prediction: Carolina over Montreal (4-3)
Result: Carolina defeated Montreal (4-2)

This series would have been much closer if Koivu didn't get hurt. I give Montreal credit for their effort. Their loses were close losses. Hopefully Koivu will be able to completely recover from his eye injury.

Calgary (3) vs Anaheim (6)

My prediction: Calgary over Anaheim (4-3)
Result: Anaheim defeated Calgary (4-3)

Wow, what crazy first round. All the lower half teams in the Western Conference made it through. Conversely, all the top teams in the Eastern Conference made it through to the second round. It's not a big surprise that the Ducks won this series. As I had said in my first round predictions, these teams are very simliar and either one could have won the series. I don't think the Flames had enough gritty players this year. I mean, Amonte is no Conroy in that respect. Selanne played really well also. He's one of my favourite players.

Related Articles
- VXT's NHL First Round Matchups Analysis
April 30, 2006
This site hasn't had a new look in awhile. I've been meaning to create a new design but haven't had time. So while procrastinating on doing my taxes this weekend I decided to redesign the site.

The old site has been archived as a theme so if you preferred that layout you can go to the Settings nav and choose "April_2006" as your theme.
April 18, 2006
Eastern Conference

Ottawa (1) vs Tampa Bay (8)

Tampa Bay may be the defending champs and want to fight to defend their championship but I don't know if they have what it takes to do it. Tampa (5-4-1) have been barely better than Ottawa (3-5-2) down the stretch and Ottawa have injuried players returning to the lineup. Ottawa is much better than they have been playing lately and I think they will win this series.

My prediction: Ottawa over Tampa Bay (4-2)

Carolina (2) vs Montreal (7)

This matchup is tougher to call. Carolina has dominated Montreal in the regular season but the playoffs are a different thing all together. According to the hockey experts, the big question mark for Montreal will be who will start in goal for them. I personally don't understand why there is a question at all. Huet has a .930 save percentage, a 2.14 GAA and has carried this team down the stretch. Aebischer is not that good a goalie, definitely not good enough to turn their backs on Huet for. If the Canadiens work hard and keep the team chemistry they've had down the stretch they could give the Hurricanes some trouble. I will give the edge to Carolina because they have been better thoughout the season.

My prediction: Carolina over Montreal (4-3)

New Jersey (3) vs New York Rangers (6)

Jagr and Lundqvist have been fantastic for New York but I don't like their chances against a red hot Devils team (11-0-0) in their last 11 games. New Jersey is riding on a lot of confidence right now and I don't think they can be beat.

My prediction: New Jersy over New York Rangers (4-0)

Buffalo (4) vs Philadelphia (5)

Philly hasn't shown any consistency at all. Forsberg will give them a big boost but he can only take them so far. I think Buffalo has this one.

My prediction: Buffalo over Philadelphia (4-2)

Western Conference

Detroit (1) vs Edmonton (8)

Although I like Calgary a lot too because of Kipper but overall I think Detroit is a better team. Detroit is my pick to make it to the finals from the west. Detroit shouldn't have any problems with Edmonton. If they can get Datsyuk back they will be an even bigger threat.

My prediction: Detroit over Edmonton (4-1)

Dallas (2) vs Colorado (7)

Statistically Dallas is the better team but I can see Colorado upsetting them. Having said that Colorado will have to get it together pretty fast. For now I will give the nod to Dallas.

My prediction: Dallas over Colorado (4-3)

Calgary (3) vs Anaheim (6)

This will also be another close matchup. Both teams are hard working teams and are pretty equal in skill. Iginla (Calary) vs Selanne (Anaheim), Phaneuf (Calgary) vs Neidermayer (Anaheim), Kiprusoff (Calgary) vs Jean-Sabastien Giguere (Anaheim). Because of the recent playoff success I give the edge to Calgary.

My prediction: Calgary over Anaheim (4-3)

Nashville (4) vs San Jose (5)

Nashville probably doesn't get enough credit but I don't think they will be good enough without Vokoun. San Jose has been hot in the second half of the season and Thornton and Cheechoo are on fire. I give this one to San Jose.

My prediction: San Jose over Nashville (4-2)

Related Articles
- VXT's 2006 NHL Playoff Rankings
April 17, 2006
  1. Detroit Red Wings

    The Red Wings have been the most consistently dominant team this season and they don't look like they are going to let up. The biggest question mark is probably in goal. Legace is an untested playoff goalie but I think he will step up to the challenge. They have a solid defense and a decent offense. Babcock has done a really good job this year.

  2. Carolina Hurricanes

    The Hurricanes are an inexperience team but they have a lot of offensive talent. They actually remind me of the Tampa Bay Lightning when they won the Cup. Their biggest star Eric Staal is pretty inconsistent so that might be a problem. If they can get Erik Cole back any time soon it will be a big plus for them. Gerber will also have to prove that he can be a playoff goalie.

  3. Calgary Flames

    The Flames had a really bad start or else they would be in a better position right now. A lot of people say they don't have enough offense but I don't recall the playoffs being a scoring spree. They have one of the best if not the best goalie in the league. I think that and if they continue their work ethic it will take them a long way.

  4. New Jersey Devils

    They have been very inconsistent throughout the season but they are on fire heading into the playoffs going 10-0-0 in their last ten games. They have a good chance of upsetting their first round opponent. Marty Brodeur will have to play well and we know he can.

  5. Dallas Stars

    The Stars have been a very overlooked team this season but they have 111 pts with 1 game to play. I don't know if they have the types of players that will step up in the playoffs but they should at least make it past the first round.

  6. San Jose Sharks

    I would put the next four teams almost at a tie. The Sharks have been hot lately but they are somewhat inconsistent. They have done very well ever since obtaining Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins but they will need to be able to play consistently to have success in the playoffs.

  7. Buffalo Sabres

    The Sabres are a bit like the Flames. They are a hard working team but I'm not sure that Miller is as good as Kiprusoff. Their success will depend a lot on how Miller will play.

  8. New York Rangers

    The Rangers are probably the second biggest surprise this season next to the Hurricanes. If it wasn't for Lundqvist I would say they wouldn't make it far. If Jagr is allowed to continue to roam freely in the playoffs he should also help them a lot.

  9. Ottawa Senators

    One of the favourites at the start of the season, the Senators are in bad shape right now, plagued by injuries. Some of the injured are coming back but will they have enough time to get ready for the playoffs? Only time will tell. Also, not having Hasek in net is a big minus for them.

  10. Philadelphia Flyers

    The Flyers only have a chance if they get Forsberg back. Even then they may not make it that far. The lack of a true #1 goaltender and a leader on that team will prevent them from going far.

  11. Anaheim Might Ducks

    Anaheim has been play fairly well lately but has cooled off a bit. Nonetheless, they have proven that they can play well and they have an experienced goalie who has played well in the playoffs before.

  12. Nashville Predators

    Nashville is a pretty low profile team to me. Because Vokoun is out I have ranked them below the Mighty Ducks.

  13. Colorado Avalanche

    Colorado has been hot lately as well but I don't know if they have a goalie that is good enough to take them far. Budja has no experience and who knows what Theodore is going to do. Theodore does not look like he is going to bounce back based on his last couple of games. I would start with Theodore to give him a chance to prove himself. If he doesn't win the first game then go with Budja.

  14. Montreal Canadiens

    The Habs have been playing very well to keep their playoff spot. If they play Carolina I don't think they can win but they might have a chance against the beat up Ottawa Senators.

  15. Edmonton Oilers

    I think the Oilers were lucky to make it into the playoffs. They will have a tough time beating the Red Wings. I don't think they can do it.

  16. Tampa Bay Lightning

    The Lightning are in bad shape. They have been playing very poorly fighting for their playoff lives. I don't know if they can do any better in the playoffs. It will be extremely unlikely that they will repeat. I don't think they can beat Carolina or Ottawa. They don't have a solid goaltender and their offense has been inconsistent.
April 9, 2006
February 26, 2006
As the 2006 winter olympics comes to a close, Canada ends it with a personal best 24 medals. Congrats to all of our medal winners. I believe the Canadian Olympic Committee predicted that we would win 25 medals. My bitterness must point out that a gold medal in mens hockey would have met that mark. Sweden defeated Finland today to win the gold medal for men's hockey, making them the #1 ranked hockey nation. Canada has been bumped down to #2 after three years at #1. Two Toronto Maple Leafs players will be bringing back the gold to Toronto, Leafs captain Mats Sundin and backup goalie Mikael Tellqvist. Congrats to them. Sundin assisted on the game winning goal by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nikolas Lidstrom. Other Leafs that will be bringing back a medal will be Finish player Aki Berg (silver) and Czech player Tomas Kaberle (bronze). Congrats to them as well.
February 24, 2006
I was watching "Attack of the Show" on G4 TechTV a couple of days ago and they had an interview with some guy from Hasbro who was talking about Transformers Alternators and he said that Mirage (Ford GT-40) would be coming out in the fall this year. Alternators Mirage is the Transformer I'm most looking forward to that's coming out this year. I was hoping to get the BT version (mmmm...metal) but it seems like Takara has put their BT line on hold with their recent merger. I'm still undecided whether I am going to get the Takara reissue of G1 Blaster. His alt mode is pretty cool but his robot mode is a bit of an unappealing brick.

Speaking of G4 TechTV, I'm really glad I have it again. I got to see a preview of it during a trial period and thought it was an interesting channel but not good enough to upgrade to the "gold" package of my cable service. There seems to be only three or four shows on it that keeps repeating. I don't usually watch "Attack of the Show" because it's pretty silly. It's a combination of useless/silly/annoying but once in awhile it will have something funny or interesting. Two shows that I like on the channel are "Call for Help" and "X-Play". Call for Help is technology support show that usually gives useful tech tips. They also give reviews on interesting web sites. X-Play is a video game reviews show. X-Play is fun to watch because they review a lot of games on there, most of which I would never know about otherwise. For the most part though, I watch X-Play for its co-host Morgan Webb. Morgan and her co-host Adam give funny cynical reviews of video games. Usually I'm not a fan of cynicism but Morgan's witty and charming delivery makes it enjoyable to watch, also making her a very attractive geek girl.
Total blogs: 74
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