(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.)
We've been somewhat skeptical of fortune tellers since the unfortunate "Basement in the Alamo" incident in "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure." But that's not to say that they're aren't reputable individuals that are in touch with a psychic energy and enhanced understanding of the universe.
Debbie is a tarot card reader who appears at the Gas Light in Ridley Park, Pa. She agreed to assist us in predicting this year's Stanley Cup playoffs with her abilities. She claims not to have knowledge of the current state of the NHL; she asked for logos, team names and specific questions about the postseason.
As for the first round, here's what she was able to predict:
Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens? - Canadiens
Washington Capitals and New York Rangers? - Rangers
New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes? - Devils
Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers?- Flyers
San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks? - Sharks
Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets? - Red Wings
Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues?- Blues
Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames? - Flames
As for the Stanley Cup champion ... well, things got a little more mysterious.
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From Debbie, via email:
"I was drawn to four teams, the color red was significant and the team has (or had) a royal history in the sport (I saw the crown as a symbol). The winning team is very confident and can't wait to gloat when they do win.
I don't know what this means but I also saw the possibility of two home arenas for the winning teams, for example -- a new one being built or the close proximity to each other.
Lastly, I saw an angel watching over this team, someone significant to this team has crossed over.
The four teams I was drawn to are:
New Jersey Devils (Stanley Cup winner)
New York Rangers
Detroit Red Wings
Now, here's the thing: Some of her inklings seem to point to teams outside of her four.
"Someone significant to this team has crossed over" ... in no way making light of this tragedy, the loss of Taylor Pyatt's fiancée would fit this description for the Vancouver Canucks. Then again, the Columbus Blue Jackets have also dedicated their season to founding owner John H. McConnell, who died a year ago this month.
"The possibility of two home arenas for the winning teams" ... say, aren't the Pittsburgh Penguins getting a new barn soon?
The accuracy and validity of this stuff is in the eye of the beholder. But it all sort of creeps us out. Please note that we're not dragging out the Ouija board for Exotic Wagers, either. If only because we fear a furious Bill Wirtz will cross over and attempt to black out the Chicago playoff games.
If anyone lives in the Ridley Park area and is interested in a reading with Deborah, email us and we'll put you in touch.
Previously: Beer Caps in a Dirty Hat.