(Ed Note: Exotic Wagers looks at the unusual ways through which the outcome of the Stanley Cup playoffs can be predicted. Join us in the next two days for more peculiar experiments regarding fate, probability and utter coincidence.)
There are Labatt Blue NHL trophy bottle caps. As you can see from both the League and Mighty Ducks logos, they're a little old. But if Hermione from the "Harry Potter" movies has taught us anything, it's that magic keeps getting better with age.
After allowing artificial intelligence to select the Boston Bruins as Stanley Cup champions in an EA Sports simulation, we felt it necessary to swing the Exotic Wagers experiment the other way -- allowing a glorious mix of hockey god fate, human error and chaos theory to select a 2009 Cup champ.
So we loaded the Eastern Conference and then the Western Conference into a hat and eliminated teams until two finalists remained. And not just any hat: a disgustingly filthy 1995 New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup champions hat that was purchased the night of Game 4 against the Detroit Red Wings. A hat filled with underdog magic ... and potentially moth larvae.
For the record: The first two teams eliminated were the Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes. And your Stanley Cup finalists were these two teams.
Whoa! Sorry, don't know how that got in there. These two teams.
We completed the (*cough*) simulation, and it appears that the Columbus Blue Jackets will defeat the Montreal Canadiens in a four-game sweep for the Stanley Cup. According to, you know, 16 beer caps in an old hat.
If this works, Leahy and I are going on the road as faith healers. "Please, sir, place ye goiter in thy Devils hat."
Previously: EA Sports Picks The Bruins
Wednesday: Your Stanley Cup Champion Through the Magic of Tarot