This year Mercury Retrograde(MRx) is creating opportunities for a handful of players; giving teams a leg up. And if you don’t know what or why Mercury Retrograde matters in Hockey take a minute to read this: Why Randos are Owning Round 1 of Stanley Cup Playoffs
The MRX Match up
Here’s how just a few of the match-ups are impacted by this years game schedule. Keep in mind, this small advantage or disadvantage will subside by Second Round, and we’ll see more of what we expected from the usual go-to guys. Each game night has additional lunar shifts that can offset Mercury Retrograde. Teams with balanced allocation are the most likely to get through Round 1 unscathed.
Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators
Boston and Ottawa are fairly equal with regards to their Mercury Retrograde risk %. While on paper I’d say the Sens are more consistent team, they Bruins have the potential to use the frenetic energy of Round 1 to keep this interesting. You can read my full take on each night of this series to see who I say will ultimately take it. More importantly for these two teams is that BOTH team’s goalies are not negatively influenced by Mercury Retrograde.
Washington Capitals v. Toronto Maple Leafs
Luckily, the Capitals’ playoff roster is slightly better than last year’s Mercury Retrograde record. But not much better. The Caps are a team that thrives with structure and really only struggle when an opponent’s energy becomes chaotic and unpredictable. They are the best at their game but when certain players on the opposing team have explosive moments, a handful of the Caps players tend to go into their own heads and try to reroute their game play. The Leafs definitely have the potential to rattle the Capitals during this Mercury Retrograde period.
The Leafs have a stronger tool kit to change things up on the fly. They have fewer players hindered by Mercury Retrograde but also don’t necessarily attract luck. Basically they don’t have any great advantage or disadvantage. EXCEPT Anderson, who unfortunately is not immune to MRx and is likely to struggle with tracking the puck. Holtby’s chart, on the other hand, is more robot than human. He does have a trigger switch which can throw him off, but Mercury Retrograde is not it.
New York Rangers v. Montreal Canadiens
Hands down the Rangers pull it out of no where when Mercury is in Retrograde. This team really needs smoke-and-mirrors to get anything done, so the more chaos the better for them. However, this energy can’t get them past Second Round. The Canadiens have enough players who benefit and they have the advantage of a goalie who is not remotely impacted by Mercury Retrograde. Lundqvist is also exempt from Mercury Retrograde but his chart (Pisces heavy) means he’s subject to off nights simply because of the Moon’s placement. Not ideal for every-other-night playoff schedules.
Pittsburgh Penguins v. Columbus Blue Jackets
The reason the Blue Jacket’s season read likes a diary of a teenage girl is because this roster is so moody. Hot and cold, up and down and it’s spread across the whole bench. Diversification is good, right? Well not always. These guys definitely benefit from Mercury Retrograde but their overall ability to consistently mobilize in something that represents a “team style” is impossible.
The Penguins actually don’t hold up as well during Mercury Retrograde, so I can see them giving up a game or two to Columbus. But end of the day the Penguins – hands down – have fewer players with volatile charts. I will say, it’s a good thing Fluery ended up starting this series. He actually holds up better than Murray during MRx. But once it’s over, Murray needs to get back in the crease.
Anaheim Ducks v. Calgary Flames
I get on the Ducks’ case a lot for being too much of a thinking team. Being a thinking team can be a great asset at times, but it’s definitely a liability when Mercury is retrograde. Over half of the Duck’s roster is made up of players who just struggle with lack of structure. Anything that throws off the scenarios they have running through their minds can slow their momentum and get them questioning their hockey intuition. This is the key to stopping the Ducks. The Flames, are far less of a cerebral team.
The Flames favor a more spontaneous play style and while they do have some players who don’t thrive under the Mercury Retrograde energy, they tend to be more fluid and ok with rebounding from back luck, bounces or deficits. It’s this temperament that will keep this series fun and interesting.
Chicago Blackhawks v. Nashville Predators
Strictly Mercury Retrograde speaking…these two teams carry the same % of game time volatility. That said, the players impacted on each team are RADICALLY different. This year’s Blackhawks playoff roster carries a lot of Water signs, which can go either way with regards to MRx. More importantly, several of their KEY contributors historically under perform during Mercury Retrograde. Why? Well Coach Q thrives under a culture of micro-management. And when Mercury is in Retrograde things that seemingly should go as planned, breakdown. This current roster has troubles mentally pivoting when the machine glitches. Making matters worse, Corey Crawford is painfully impacted by this as he requires a tremendous amount of structure and routine to feel good about his game. His chart indicates that he doesn’t like surprises or things out of his immediate control. He needs conditions to be how he likes them and gets rattled when others try to suggest alternative strategies. He is subject to shutting down mentally and struggling to emotionally center himself during MRx games.
Nashville is in a similar boat, however in the while their roster relies less on explosive performances and more on consistent plays from elite grinder style players. While they do have players who struggle with change or unforeseen scenario, it is not anyone who is critical path to putting up healthy points. The game day schedule for this series could not have been more of a gift for Nashville. That said, when the astrological chaos settles down in the second series, if they make it that far, they will find they don’t have enough passion to overcome teams who are emotionally dialed in and have the structure to dominate.
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