Humour, Originally Written Elsewhere

How to Win Friends, Influence People, and Perfectly Predict NHL Playoff Games

originally posted at, Wed, 04/27/2011 – 13:35


I won’t deny that the first two items in the title were designed to get you to read my article.  I actually have no idea how to win friends or influence people but you could try money as a starter.

No – what I’m writing about today is how to predict the outcome of NHL playoff games – and with perfect accuracy.  I found it relatively amusing to watch facial expressions when I told my customers that I was writing an article about hockey.  This is actually my second article about hockey.  As a professional sports writer (I just keep giving myself new titles as I go along here) I have to pump out the articles to keep the readers satisfied.  Here is my first hockey article:

For the following explanations, I will be using Chicago Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks.

Step 1: Don’t Watch any Hockey

Watching hockey will influence your predictions.  You must vigilantly remain unbiased.  After all – it’s hard not to feel sorry for the underdog or cheer for a team that lives near you.  Since I wouldn’t know a Canuck from a Mighty Duck, I am in a perfect position.  Many people ask if I am ‘for real’.   When I ask ‘How’d the game turn out last night?” the countenance of most people will drop and they’ll ask if I’m serious.  Of course I’m serious.  I’m a professional NHL Playoff Predictor (NHLPP).  It’s acceptabl to hear information from others, but make sure that you don’t actually participate.

Step 2: Research the Political Landscape of the Two Teams

The Canucks needed to win game seven because Canada has a federal election coming next week.  If there weren’t games going on last week, the people would have had to take a serious look at how dismal their voting options really are.  They also might have noticed that somehow Jack Layton increased in popularity.  Surely he is friends with a few NHL team owners and asked for a favour.  “Hey, man.  I need you guys to keep these people occupied for another week while I slip in the back door and take a large share of the ridings.  There will be tax breaks for professional sports coming down the pipe I’m thinking…”

Step 3: Understand the Business of Hockey (where the $$$ flows)

As an unbiased hockey outsider I’ve noticed that NHL players get paid quite a bit.  I’m sure the owners do alright as well.  Where does that money come from?  I haven’t actually studied this but I’m guessing that the following sources produce most of the revenue and likely in this order: advertising, merchandise sales, ticket sales.  It was also explained to me today by a customer that all hocky team owners share the profit from the entire league.  If this can be validated, it would indeed substantiate the possibility of top level shoulder-rubbing and the influence thereof.  The dialogue might look like this:

Hockey Team Owner A: Hi! I’ve noticed your team is ahead by three games.  I think that means all the games stop for us if you win the next game.  Do you think it’s possible you could chill a bit for a game or two so we can ramp up some extra revenue?  Since we pool the winnings then you’ll benefit from this, too.  Sound good?

Hockey Team Owner B: No. I’m not interested in throwing matches for extra money.  PSYCH!  Of course, buddy! hahaha.  Watch how bad we’re gonna play next game.  Make sure your wife is watching.  It’ll be a lark.

Step 4: Research the Economic Landscape of Both Sides

Chicago had a tough year.  The impact of the recession on the auto industry in that place was devastating.  They needed some good news coming out of this recession. And good news they got!  Look at the mighty comeback!  I mean, they almost took the series.

Vancouver has a lot of affluent people and video game programmers.  Both of these groups of people seem to be serious hockey fans.  They have been waiting many years for a win they’ve been telling me.  Well, patience has paid off.  They get to go to round two.

The economic landscape of a city can create the necessary atmosphere to play out the pre-scheduled wins and losses as the fans work themselves up into a frenzy.

In conclusion, I’ve hogged entirely too much of your time.  As usual, we would love your feedback so tweet us up at @seymourblenz  or email

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1 thought on “How to Win Friends, Influence People, and Perfectly Predict NHL Playoff Games

  1. First off, the Chicago Bruins are not a team — it’s the Boston Bruins, I’m sure you have been told this since this article but you should probably get the team right. Also the owners don’t have a direct influence on the play of the players, you may want to research the workings of a hockey team. However, there are many outrageous ideas used to pick the outcome of hockey games, and some crazy ones seem to work. You should actually attempt your method, and keep a record of your stats. I doubt you would find a positive outcome, but I would love to be proven wrong.

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