Some musings and notes from two fairly anticlimactic Game 6's last night -- one of which secured the Islanders the 26th overall pick -- plus another vote for Tavares...
San Jose Falls to Anaheim, the Scariest 8 Seed in Years
On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy and validated does Ron Wilson feel this morning? I'm going with 8, shaving two notches off due to empathy for (some of) his former players.
... Not that the whole series hangs on him, but I was a little surprised to observe how often Evgeni Nabakov was swimming in his crease or playing from his tush. He seemed out of whack much of the series.
Agree with those who say it's tough to trade Thornton or Marleau, because where will you get equal, replaceable value in return? You almost have to stick with them and hope the whole team figures it out. But it must confound that Boston has inadvertently come out okay after their hardly-equal-value dealing of Jumbo Joe.
...Jeremy Roenick, both in Game 5 pre-game and throughout Game 6, had the look of a guy who believes this is the end. For anyone who remembers watching his free-wheeling Hawks days [warning: Video contains regrettable cheesedog soundtrack], it's odd to see him as a bit player. What's funny is the man can still fly a bit -- just not nearly fast enough for today's young man's game.
Khabi Shuts the Door on Cal and Gary
...Meanwhile, in the other Game 6, simply: "Khail Khabibulin." Wow.
Speaking of young Hawks, Dustin Byfuglien chronically disappoints Hawks fans, but last night was a perfect example of why he teases you and makes you want more. As Second City Hockey introduced one of his nifty plays last night: "Byfuglien shortly thereafter, still drunk off of his realization that no one can knock him off the puck when he gives a..." Pretty much, yeah.
To what will Mike Keenan ascribe this defeat? Who this time has failed "to embrace change"?
(Actually, in fairness, the full list of Flames injury carnage is pretty daunting.)
Blues Fans are Used to these Cosmic Forces
So follow this: In 2000, Chris Pronger captains the Blues to a President's Trophy only to be upset by San Jose in the first round. Then a Wal-Mart heir-in-law decides dumping Pronger makes the club more "attractive" to buyers, and Pronger leads the Oilers to upset the President's Trophy-winning Red Wings on their way to the finals. Then he helps the Ducks win a Stanley Cup. Now comes last night's Pres. Trophy-winner upset.
For Blues fans, this is par for the course: From Joey Mullen to Doug Gilmour and Rob Ramage, to Scott Stevens to Brendan Shanahan to Brett Hull -- each who departed under different circumstances -- this movie of "ex-Blue done well" has played before.
24 Hrs. Since This Blog Mentioned 'Tavares.' What Gives?
Finally, speaking of the unseen forces that toy with fan fortune: One more vote for John Tavares, from old BlogBoxer and fellow two-teamer Jon Jordan at IslandersIndependent: "The Islanders have to draft John Tavares or risk facing the wrath of the hockey gods for the rest of their existence."
As always, for more fan reactions of tears and joy around the teams in this year's playoffs, keep checking the great blogs in the SBN NHL Playoffs hub: