Month: June 2006

my thoughts on the sharks

In a hockey writing mood tonight — catching up, in some ways, for the last couple of weeks when I’ve been off thinking through stuff (hockey and not….) and trying to shove some things to closure (of which, stay tuned). I’m sorry the Sharks didn’t go further. I thought they would. Watching the Oilers, though, they sure seem to have gotten into “mission from god” mode, and I’m not sure anyone’s going to keep them from winning the Cup. It’s no great insult to lose to a team everyone else loses to…. I’m going to say something that’s probably never been uttered by a hockey fan before in the history of hockey: If the sharks show up opening night with exactly the same roster as they played their last game in the playoffs with, I’ll be perfectly satisfied. They can make NO CHANGES WHATSOEVER, and I won’t complain. 90% of what was “wrong” with the Sharks in the playoff series against Edmonton can be improved by having our young players be a year older, and a year wiser, and a year battle-hardened in the playoffs. That’s how much I like the team, and how satisfied I was with their play — given circumstances. I sure would have liked a conference finals, but the same could be said of Anaheim’s team and fans…. Now, having said that, do I think...

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thoughts on the Buffalo/Carolina series.

I was truly impressed by both teams. Evenly matched, fast, aggressive, giving no quarter. And while it’s a tough day in Buffalo — they have nothing to be ashamed of. And while Buffalo did the “Black Knight” thing — constantly losing key pieces while claiming it to be flesh wounds and nothing to notice — they actually DID find a way to carry on, despite losing four key defensemen and a top-six forward. that they even made it into game 7 is in some ways a miracle (actually: an indication of the guts the team showed); that it took until period 3 for Carolina to take the lead and then put it away was amazing. Some folks I’ve talked to have made this sound like Carollina isn’t the team people say it is; I think the opposite is true, that Buffalo did things nobody had any right to expect of them. Health and experience finally won out, but the Sabres should be proud; and a bit angry, and use that anger to drive themselves next year…. But thanks, to both teams, for some really wonderful, memorable...

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Stanley Cup final prediction

Going into the conference finals, was 6-6 and I predicted Edmonton in 7 and Carolina in 7. So now I’m 8-6, and guaranteed to be over .500 for the playoffs. amazing. lucky. I guess. Heck, Maggie the Monkey won the playoff pool on TSn, and was just 9-5. So anyway…. It’s going to be an interesting series. I’m going to pick Edmonton, and I’m going to pick them in 7 games. It’s a tough call, because ultimately, this time of year, the two teams are generally very evenly matched and playing well (or they’re GOLFING ALREADY!); to me, it usually comes down to a couple of key guys who know how to elevate their game that last little bit, who refuse to NOT make a difference. And both teams are full of those guys. For edmonton, you have Pronger, who’s impressed the hell out of me, and Roloson in goal, and Jason Smith, and Mike Peca. Any one of which could be a legitimate Conn-Smythe candidate; but to me, it’s Roloson’s award to lose if Edmonton takes this, and if he does, he’ll lose it to Pronger. For Carolina, it’s Rod Brind’Amour, and it’s Doug Weight, and to a lesser degree Ray Whitney — and a bunch of other guys contributing as well, but in the world of “game changing” and “series changing” goals, and experience, and history, and...

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