DETROIT (WWJ) – What if the race for the Stanley Cup was more like the Oscars?

Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal has cast Hollywood A-listers as each of the 16 NHL playoff teams, based on which actors’ careers mostly closely resemble the performance of those teams.

Sielski said when it came to matching the Detroit Red Wings with an actor, he had several options.

“You can always count on the Red Wings to deliver a pretty good performance, generally speaking. They are likeable, nobody accuses them of dirty play or anything like that, they play a tough position, pretty aesthetically pleasing type of game,” he said.

Sielski said he ultimately decided on Tom Hanks as the Wings, because they’re both steady performers who are well-liked.

“Everybody likes Tom Hanks, you know, everybody generally likes his movies, he’s a pretty affable guy and plays generally affable people on the screen. Having said that, Tom Hanks hasn’t exactly been at the top of his game lately when it comes to turning out mega box office hits. Similarly, you know, the Wings haven’t won the cup since 2008 and haven’t been to the finals since 2009,” he said.

The Wings’ first-round opponent, the Anaheim Ducks, is “played” by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sielski said both have muscles, and aren’t afraid to use them.

“The Ducks’ success, much like Arnold’s in the movies, has been predicated on size and strength and basically beating people up,” he said with a laugh. “They are the third biggest team in the league, they average more than 207 pounds per player, and when they won a Stanley Cup back in 2007, they led the league in fighting majors by a wide, wide margin.”

So, who does Sielski think will take the whole thing? He said the Chicago Blackhawks, played by Bradley Cooper, will win the Oscar/Stanley Cup.

Here’s how the rest of the teams match up:

  • Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 1 seed in the East) — Will Smith
  • Montreal Canadiens (No. 2 seed in the East) — Robert De Niro
  • Washington Capitals (No. 3 seed in the East) — Charlie Sheen
  • Boston Bruins (No. 4 seed in the East) — Mark Wahlberg
  • Toronto Maple Leafs (No. 5 seed in the East) — Matthew McConaughey
  • New York Rangers (No. 6 seed in the East) — Tom Cruise
  • Ottawa Senators (No. 7 seed in the East) — Christoph Waltz
  • New York Islanders (No. 8 seed in the East) — Sylvester Stallone
  • Chicago Blackhawks (No. 1 seed in the West) — Bradley Cooper
  • Anaheim Ducks (No. 2 seed in the West) — Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Vancouver Canucks (No. 3 in the West) — Liam Neeson
  • St. Louis Blues (No. 4 seed in the West) — Henry Cavill
  • Los Angeles Kings (No. 5 seed in the West) — Channing Tatum
  • San Jose Sharks (No. 6 seed in the West) — Colin Farrell
  • Detroit Red Wings (No. 7 seed in the West) — Tom Hanks
  • Minnesota Wild (No. 8 seed in the West) — Kevin Costner

Want to know Sielski’s reasoning behind the picks? Read his article at


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