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We now know the match ups for the Conference Finals. But before that begins, columnist Jan Snyder says "see you next year" to the Canadiens, the Rangers and the Sharks, (and celebrates the Penguins with another donut...woohoo!)



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Game One

Jan Snyder
Monday, May 5th 2008

“We had ‘em all the way!” (Bob Prince, Pittsburgh Pirate announcer)

Whew, now that our heart rates and blood pressure are back to normal, we can enjoy this huge win.  Where do we start?  Malkin’s beautiful backhand goal over Lundquist’s shoulder?  Fleury’s all around fantastic stops?  Hossa’s stretch to keep that puck in the zone, then going on to score twice, including the overtime winner?

The members of the Penguins and the staff are wearing shirts that read “Sacrifice” in the five languages spoken by team members. They are certainly making the sacrifices that have been necessary so far in this playoff run.  As a person of Slovak descent, I should know what the word for sacrifice is, but I don’t. I do know that Slovakian Marian Hossa made us all proud today!

Do we even realize while watching his play that Kris Letang is a rookie??  He is so cool, so good and so fast.  Our “teenager”, Jordan Staal is playing amazingly well too.  The way the entire team kept their focus and composure (as all about them others were losing theirs!) shows that this is a special team. 

Ryan Malone and Chris Drury exchanged high sticks and bloodied each other but during two different plays. The result was the ref missed the call on Malone when Drury was cut and needed to leave the ice for stitches.  When he inadvertently returned the high stick to Malone late in the third, the ref did see it, which led to a four minute power play on which the Pens couldn’t convert.  Just one of those breaks that went the Pens’ way in this game.

Pittsburgh Steeler’s quarterback Big Ben Roethlisberger was at the Igloo today cheering for the team. Hopefully Ben can impart some words of wisdom to the guys about what it takes to win the big trophy, having helped to bring the city a Super Bowl title just a couple of years ago.  And a big assist to the fans who did their part to keep the team revved up going into overtime!

Nice moment of sportsmanship in the handshake line – Jaromir Jagr offered gracious congratulations, along with eye contact, to Hal Gill and Jarko Ruutu, two players who made his life miserable throughout the series.  Jagr just seemed to run out of steam today after the impressive showing he made in the last game. Thanks for a great series, Rangers – see ya next season.

Four donuts of our dozen scarfed down, eight to go! (see Hoooooooosa above!)  I chose a tasty chocolate glazed for this particular win and it sure was satisfying.

BREAKING NEWS: On the TV news tonight there was a story about two frolicking deer running amuck in a Connecticut neighborhood.  Where did they end up?  They crashed through the window of a Dunkin’ Donuts store.  Coincidence?  I think not! Frolicking or celebrating??

Bring on the Flyboys!!  What a series this will be as we witness the Battle of Pennsylvania – the Orange and Black vs. the Black and Gold -- There Will Be Blood!

Av Revoir, Montreal

Coming in as the number one seed, Montreal was expected to win this series against the Flyers.  But in true Stanley Cup playoff upset fashion, the Habs went down without a whole lot of resistance. The Canadiens big scorers didn’t come through often enough.  Cary Price wasn’t as good as everyone hoped, but at just 20 years old, he has a bright future in the league.  Too bad there will be no Canadian team in the last two rounds this year.  Hope the Canadians will keep watching, though!  The passionate Montreal fans will be missed. The way they sang to their team, even as they were losing, to show their ardent support was awesome. We’ll expect to see you Habs back in the playoffs next year as well.
The Flyers played very well with Pittsburgh R. J. Umberger taking the lead. Goalie Marty Biron was quite effective and made some big saves for his team. To move on in the tournament after being down so low in standings is quite an accomplishment.   (Short and sweet because that’s as nice as I can be to the team the Penguins play next!)

Stars Live to Dance Again

There were some sleepy people in Dallas this morning.  The game ended in the fourth overtime at about 1:25 a.m. Central Time with a win for Dallas.
This was one of those games where it’s a shame either team has to lose. As the Sharks and Stars battled into Monday morning, Turco made 61 saves and Nabokov made 55.
Both goalies seemed to have installed Invisible Fencing in front of their goals but instead of keeping pets in, its purpose was to keep pucks out. Turco and Nabokov made brilliant save after brilliant save, keeping their respective teams in the fight. The eventual game winner came from Dallas Captain Brendan Morrow.
While Dallas expended tons of energy, the Red Wings sat in their collective recliners having a cold one.

Great play, Sharks!  Better luck next year.

One of those “little things that tickle me”: That Niklas Hagman plays for Dallas.  Larry Hagman played J.R. Ewing on Dallas.  In that same vein, I think Miroslav Satan should play for the Devils. 


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