Yeeha! Game On at Roy Rogers Arena! What? It's not named after the gentleman cowboy?!? I'm disappointed. So , that's not a statue of Trigger outside? ... Also disappointing is the Canucks organization didn't even try to trump what they did in Boston. Then again, that was probably the smart thing to do. Boston had Cam Neely. And Bobby Orr entering to the dulcet tones of Audioslave. What were the Canucks going to do? Orland Kurtenbach and Bachman-Turner Overdrive? Stan Smyl and Loverboy? How about Bryan Adams singing the national anthem? He's sort of from Vancouver.
NEW AGE GAME IN REAL LIFE
This might be the perfect Stanley Cup showdown of this new NHL age. There are no great teams anymore. This has pros and cons. One positive is you just don't know what you're going to get virtually from game to game. The Bruins and Canucks absolutely personify this from their goaltenders on out. From the beginning of the playoffs, you can't get a pure sense of either team. Just when Bobby Lou starts to look locked in -- bingo, the B's are in double digits. Tim Thomas makes the other team's fans cry -- then he makes his own fans cry. Just when the Sedins start to look like Scandinavian muskox, they become sisters again. But it has been interesting, hasn't it?
TIM COULD BE A HORTON
Tim Thomas: Dominik Hasek meets Billy Smith. Gotta love him. I'm all in with the theory he should be a Canadian. He was a momentarily a Hamilton Bulldog. You ain't Canadian if you haven't spent time in Hamilton ... What will Thomas do after he retires? Surely, opening a Tim Thomas Fine Arts Academy of Goaltending isn't an option. How can you can show kids how to do what he's doing? Unless the academic ethos of the school is, "Don't try this at home, kids." ... If John Garrett was in a forest, would the trees listen to him? ... Is there a broadcasting quota for ex-goalies? Surely it's been filled by now ... Johnny Boychuk: A great name that sounds like he patrolled the blueline with Gordie Howe and the Detroit Red Wings in the '50s. Plays like it, too.
Let the bidding war begin: Both Barcelona and Real Madrid are preparing transfer bids for Maxim Lapierre. You can teach someone how to dive, but then some just have natural abilities ... Someone just said to me, "I don't ever want to hear anyone say 'physicality ever again.' " ... Has there ever been a team with a powerplay as bad as Boston's that has made it this far in the playoffs? Has there ever been a powerplay this bad? ... It would be interesting to see the difference in the parking lots in and around the arena on back-to-back nights. Friday night, my guess is Beemers and Lexae as the upper-crust-yuppies stuff the suites. On Saturday for UFC, I'm guessing Nissan Skyliners and a sea of tricked-out Civics.
LITTLE BIG MAN
Andrew Ference gets no credit. Brad Ference was the preferred big, towering early-draft-boy beast that scouts and GMs were so in love with for too long. He didn't last. But overlooked Andrew is still ticking. The little dude d-man is in a long line of undersized overacheiving blueliners. See Sweeney, Don. ... and, hey, whatever happened to Joe Zanussi?
QUOTE OF THE WEEK (YEAR?)
Whatever it was that Canucks goalie Corey Schneider said -- something about, "Who cares what Brian Burke says?" Centre-of-the-universe media please take note.