Yes, the Stanley Cup playoffs are upon us.
I admit that in the first round, I focus mainly on following the Canucks. While the first round isn't boring by any means - NHL playoff hockey could never be boring - I just find it's overload. Too much too follow at once, and it's too early to tell who really has a chance to go deep in the playoffs.
So my boys pulled it off and beat LA. Woo hoo! Not sure they can go much further on that defence. I just don't think they're deep enough. Or fast enough. They'd be in tough no matter who they played in the next round. Except maybe the one team they can't play - San Jose, the one team who is better at the Vancouver Canucks at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. I am sensing another second round ouster for the hapless Sharks, and I don't even know who they're playing. I've given up trying to understand the permutations of possible match ups at this point. But it's not relevant. These are the Sharks and the Canucks. If they do play each other at some point, it could be the first series where there is no declared winner. And the sad thing is they are two of my three favorite teams.
My favorite is already on the golf course, as usual. I have a terrible confession to make: I am a Leafs fan.
There. I said it.
They say ownership of the problem is the first step in the recovery process. We'll see...
And now a bit of hockey eye candy, starting with a Bobby Lu picture, as promised to my friend Darcy...
I've got a bunch more from the games we were at, but they aren't great quality.
Much as I love the NHL product, nothing is quite like being at the Olympics. Now, on many levels I was opposed to the Olympics, for financial and poltical reasons. Still, I'm a hockey fan, so when the chance to see the USA/Switzerland game and the Canada/Norway game presented itself, no wasn't really an option.
I hated the having to be there two hours early, I hated the extravagent concession prices, I was less than thrilled with crowded concourse, (not to mention the lovely people sitting just in front of us who stood up and cheered every time Canada scored, so I couldn't really see to take any pictures) and I really hated the fact that after buy a pop at that overpriced concession, I had to toss half of it because they required us to leave between games and I couldn't bring it back in.
But the hockey games itself??? Amazing. Stunning. Incredible. Best experience of my life. Part of that was the sheer atmosphere of it. Witness this:
And they say Americans don't care about hockey.
The best part of the experience was our seats. We had to be in the Captain`s Club or something. We weren`t in the regular disabled seating area - that is on level 3. We were in box 428. Right next to us was a door leading into what is normally a lounge; that is why we figured it had to be a special box for like Canuck Place or something. Anyway.... They were using that lounge for a place to allow family members of players to sit. We didn't recognize anyone though.
We figured that the GMs and such must have been on the 500 level directly above us, though. We saw so many famous people coming out of that elevator. We shared it with some of them. Ken Hitchcock, for one. Saw Luc Robitaille, Ken Holland, Marc Denis, and probably a few others I've forgotten.
Like I say, surreal.