Curse you SI...

During the 2004 playoffs, Sports Illustrated had a difficult decision to make. They were going to put the Flames, who had just eliminated Detroit, on the cover of their magazine. Instead, they chose to put the NBA playoffs on the cover, and Flames fans couldn't have been more grateful.

We dodged the curse.

Not so this year. The Flames, SI's pick to win it all, are struggling to find their identity. Hell, the Flames are struggling to kill a penalty. Sitting at 1-3-1, the Flames are probably wishing the media pundits would have left them alone so that they could climb into a dark hole in peace.

Fortunately, Calgary has some company. SI's #2 pick? The Flyers. The team that SI called "Young, fast and ready to roll" have sputtered as well, stumbling out of the gates at 1-2-0. Even if one can only count the number of games played on one hand, who would have figured that Washington would have won more games than either the Flames or Flyers? Who would have figured the Capitals would win two games in the entire month?

The Lightning, SI's #4 pick, havent exactly wowed either, sporting a very pedestrian 2-2-1 record, in the very pedestrian Southwest Division.

The only team out of SI's top four that is doing well are the Ottawa Senators, the only undefeated team at 4-0. While at first thought it appears they have escaped the wrath of Sports Illustrated, you just know they are going to end up facing the Leafs in the playoffs, and have their hopes crushed just like ever year.

Thankfully, with a new edition on the stands, Sports Illustrated will have cast hockey to the shadows like it usually does, and the hockey world can right itself.

But until then, to add insult to injury, the New York rangers are 2-1-2 and leading the Atlantic. They were SI's pick to finish dead last.