My Ducks didn’t make it.  The second banana Kings didn’t make it.  There’s no way in H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks I’m pulling for the Sharks to hoist the Cup (although I do look forward to watching them chomp on Wings tonight).  Therefore I am throwing my allegiance to the Canucks.

I actually think I have more confidence in Vancouver than some Vancouver-ites.  I keep hearing criticisms about Louie’s netminding abilities, but he came through with flying colours in their last game.  On Saturday, he made 17 stops in the first period alone and the rest of the crew steamrollered the Blackhawks to a 5-1 blowout of a win.

Everyone thought a Brian Campbell shot was a goal – even the spotlight guy screwed up – but Bobby Lou made a fabulous toe save and everyone in the United Center had to SIDDOWN!

Write ‘em off?  Waddaya mean “write ‘em off???”

Many of the criticisms come from Luongo’s poor showing last spring, but recently, he has absodamnlutely ramped up his game and is proving that he isn’t just some overpaid sportsman waiting for retirement. 

He can smell the Cup.  He can practically taste the Cristal swirling around in it.  He’s been hoisting a snow tire over his head in his garage for practice.

The Vancouver Sun is awash in Canucks stories – everything from poking fun at former teammate Sopes to calling Antti Niemi a “flustered Finn”.

If only Southern California could get this excited about the best sport on the planet.

Perfect example: the Los Angeles Times had two tiny paragraphs about yesterday’s games.  Yes.  Two lousy paragraphs.

I often wonder what it would be like to live someplace where hockey is king and basketball can youknowwhat my youknowwhat.  What’s it like watching a Pengies game on a big screen outside the Igloo?  How loud does it really get at the Bell Center and with Cammalleri the hero of today’s game, will the Hab fans start flinging squid?  Exactly how much peril would I be in if I showed up at the Poo in Downtown Newark wearing my Ducks sweater?

In terms of switching allegiances, it all comes down to being a fan of the sport as a whole.  As any season winds down, allegiances have to be temporarily shifted.  If you don’t, you’re more than welcome to sit in a corner and pout.  Besides, hockey is all about respecting the enemy.  That’s what the handshake line is all about.  Good game, well fought, you’ve got a heckuva right cross, I can’t believe you blocked that shot, your wrister broke the sound barrier, can I have my teeth back?

During the regular season, do I like Vancouver or the Kings or the Penguins or the Rangers?  Hell no!!!  They too can youknowwhat my youknowwhat.  But this is post season and you gotta admire the guys who have survived this far.

Except the Red Wings.  They can eternally youknowwhat my youknowwhat.

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Tags: Antti Niemi Bell Center Blackhawks Brian Campbell Cammalleri Canucks Ducks Habs Kings Los Angeles Times NHL Nhl Post Season Red Wings Sharks Stanley Cup The Igloo United Center Vancouver Sun

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