The Canucks rode 5-on-3 powerplay success to a Game 4 win over the Sharks, giving them a 3-1 series lead and putting them one win away from the Cup final. They haven't been to the final (and by "they" I mostly mean their supporters and rooters of their logo of the month) in 17 years, when some team from New York beat them. Before that it had been 12 years, when some better team from New York beat them, and Canuck Dave "Tiger" Williams described how Vancouver had taken to hockey after the wild Roger Nielsen playoff run of 1982:
"Hockey was a secondary thing in this town for a long time, and suddenly, it became No.1. We built a tradition in three months, and I think it will go a long way.''
Oh, I'm sure Ken Campbell would've never stood for such happy talk.
But there was other hockey this weekend -- and not just Dwayne Roloson getting yanked twice in the other series. (It's okay, he's still #1 in more than just your hearts).
In the Memorial Cup, Casey Cizikas and the host Majors lost to the favorites St. John Sea Dogs (and top prospect Jonathan Huberduberduberdau), but made up for that with a tight win over Kootenay -- Avenging Nino! -- to go to 1-1. Mississauga next faces Owen Sound Wednesday, in a rematch of the OHL final and the conclusion of the Memorial Cup's round-robin phase.
- 7th Woman is a bit fed up with the "but where's our cut?" attitude for Nassau Coliseum redevelopment.
- If you "like" the Islanders on Facebook, you could win season tickets.
- Clip from MSG on John Tavares.
- Interesting Petteri Nokelainen bit: The Coyotes signed him as a free agent...after buying him out last summer.
- You know you're serious about superstition when you ban your own mother from playoff games.
Thrashers players have no idea where they're playing next year. Birdwatchers Anonymous has posts from the Thrashers fan rally, as well as several other heartfelt posts as their team is essentially a dead team walking. "Atlanta Spirit Group" sure sounds like an Orwellian name, doesn't it?
- For the draft wonks: Some interesting links from Bryan, with an interview at In Lou We Trust and the site where he shares more detailed observations on 2011 prospects.
- Speaking of, those links came from our draft discussions, as the Lighthouse Hockey Mock Draft hit the ground running over the weekend with picks for Edmonton, Colorado, Florida and New Jersey (check those links for rationale with each pick). Great stuff, everybody. Now the more divisive fun starts as Fabtraption has to pick for the Islanders and draw our scorn.
- More of that McLean's feature on NHL concussion victims is now online.
- John Tavares talks about the 2010-2011 season at the official site, also available is Kyle Okposo's and Matt Moulson's interviews about the season.
I haven't posted one of these in a few weeks, but Mike (ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles) has been dutifully adding playoff results to update them -- theory being that Power Rankings are done in sports to account for uneven schedules against different strengths of opponents. So the playoff teams play on, changing (slightly) the "power" of teams they played before.
And the fun there? The Islanders have now pulled even with the Panthers. Go, team!
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Something tells me there's no catching the Thrashers though. With or without chasing them to Winnipeg.