* Virtually everybody in the “expert” business picks Boston to win The Cup and that IS the kiss of death.

* Figure the Bruins to go bye-bye no later than the second round.

* Boston is well-round and well-coached but considerably less than invincible.

* My pal Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun picks the Sharks to do the so-far-un-do-able-in-San Jose and take the Mug. Why not?

* The Law of Averages is on the Sharks side and so is Joe Thornton. Then again, if San Jose has become hockey’s answer to the Chicago Cubs, Pal Steve has another thing coming.

* Some bettors in Vegas argue that you should never bet against The Champs. There’s something to that theory until you realize that nobody wins two Cups in a row anymore.

* Just ask Joel Q and he’ll tell you why; it’s a combination of attrition, overconfidence, and the malaise that comes with being defending champs.

* Sure it’s a lot to ask of Mike Babcock and Tom Renney since they already crafted a miracle just by getting IN to the post-season but writing another unthinkable chapter by beating Boston is — well — almost impossible.

* Then again, the Red Wings mantra under Babcock-Renney is, “The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.

* Henrik Lundqvist knows better than anyone that he’d darn well excel in this year’s playoffs or that “King” moniker will be stashed in the NHL Storage bin.

* The Blue Jackets franchise has grown to a point where Columbus had better win at least one playoff game this time around or my buddy, John Davidson, will not be a Smiling JD this Spring.

* If you happen to believe the “expert” picking winners, then you might as well buy either a ouija board or crystal ball and you’ll get better results.

* Broad Street bullying won’t work against the Rangers; which is why I pick the Blueshirts in six or fewer games. Lundqvist over either Philly goaltender is a sure thing.

* Another day goes by without hearing a word from Donald Fehr; and that’s a good day for hockey.

* I love Bruce Boudreau and what he’s done for Anaheim but I believe that the Kings are capable of doing precisely what they did in 2012.

* Pick any game you like and bet that officiating plays as much a part in the final result as goaltending.