First, will you be watching the Stanley Cup final, which begins Saturday night? (I will, I always do, and it has the chance of being a decent series.) Second, who will you root
for against? As a lifelong follower of the Isles and Blues, both finalists evils for me; they both have players I can't stand.
But a weird thing happened to me last night: I former Islander Arron Asham and former Blue saw Ian Laperriere high five, and I pictured them hoisting the Cup, and I smiled. Laperriere has a very brief Ranger stench (only 28 games though!), but I always enjoyed him and advocated the Islanders signing him last summer. (Wasn't happening, I knew. A guy puts his life on the line like Lappy does, he needs to make sure it's for a contender.) All apologies to Mr. Sopel, but no one on the Hawks grabs me that way. On the other hand ... Pronger ... and the Flyers. Ugh. That's a stench in itself.
How I yearn for two months ago, when the Islanders were beating the Flyers and their fans were ready to have them shot. Now they're in the finals. You Bible scholars can surely tell me how this is one of the signs of the apocalypse, no? Oh well, some links brought to you by a horseman or two. Hold your excitement, as the Tim Jackman report card will be up later.
- Wang cancels China trip [Us here folk | FanHouse | Point Blank | ESPN | AP | Some paper that charges]
- Funny: The Islanders have two fairly promising European goalie prospects, which is part of an NHL trend with various causes. Of course if you point out that trend, you will be featured in a Don Cherry rant on Xenophobe's Corner.
- The Times piece wondering why the Islanders Dynasty is overlooked. [NYT | BC Fanshot]
Travis Hamonic sounded so thrilled by the Wheat Kings' comeback to make the Memorial Cup final, it stinks the way it ended. It's alright though: He's moving on to better things, I promise.
- File this under Draft Coverage of the Absurd: "With a solid group of prospects up front and some potential defensive studs in Calvin de Haan and Travis Hamonic coming up through the junior ranks, the Islanders could very well take another shot at securing a franchise goaltender [Jack Campbell]." Seriously? Pass the Dutchie, pal.
- On that note, the NHL Combine is underway, as this nhl.com blog will tell you. That means half-naked teenagers being examined by men in white coats. Answering odd questions.
- Ed Snider sees his Flyers as a "team of destiny." I see him as an owner who whined about the refs in 1980.
- Picture a hipster Canadian who claims to like hockey but doesn't like the U.S. South but thinks the U.S. is eating at fast food chains and stealing hockey. Or something. (Honestly, in good conscience I can't advice you to read the whole thing. It's about 5,000 words too long.)
- Picture a Canadian fan of the Stars pointing out how Austin, Texas, draws better than Hamilton, Ontario.
- Picture the endless AHL shuffle moving the Smurfs' affiliate out of Hartford to ... Rochester?
- Brian Burke has decent reasons to question why the World Championships are held in Olympic years.
- A great question: No matter how the next two weeks go, how will Lavi's team respond to him next winter?
Word of the Day: "Procedural requirements."