When I found out hockeyandhighheels.com columnist, Jan Snyder was going to be in Vancouver for a conference at the same time the Canucks would be, if necessary, playing game seven against the Stars, I suggested she be my game buddy. I have to admit after game four, we might have been just meeting for a leisurely dinner and drinks on Monday night. But, in typical Canuck playoff fashion, the darn series did go to game seven, and so did Jan and I. Although Jan’s from Texas, her heart is completely with the Penguins, so she was quite happy to cheer on the hometown team. And did she cheer and wave a towel…wearing a Mario Lemieux Penguins shirt, of course! It was great to share this game with her, as she has contributed fabulous hockey columns to this website. It was the first time we had ever met in person…up until this game we communicated via email and a few telephone calls. She enjoyed the atmosphere in GM Place and we had some laughs while I madly honked my horn during the drive back to her hotel. By the way, that was the first time I’ve ever been in charge of honking a horn after a playoff win, and my God, did I love it!!!
Thanks Jan! You are one heck of a hockey fan!!!
The next day TSN’s Pierre Maguire, during a radio interview, had this to say about the fans at the game in Vancouver... “I wish we could take you to every city...that was awesome!” That’s true; the fan support throughout the series was loud and proud. I was too hyped up to sleep that night so I took the time to come up with my first ever published predictions for Round Two....
Vancouver Canucks Anaheim Ducks
I pick the Canucks in 6. This will be 2007’s major upset because the Islanders couldn’t knock out the Sabres. More and more people are picking the Ducks. That’s fine. But they’ll lose. Sorry Quackers, but the refs will keep the Ducks on a very short leash, if you can imagine a Duck...on a leash. I believe it’s in the cards for the Canucks to continue their work into the Conference Finals, because they are waiting for Matt Cooke to get healthy again so he can score one of those goals within the last two seconds of a crucial game as he is so prone to do.
Detroit Red WingsSan Jose Sharks
This will be an entertaining series that the Wings will win in 6 games. For some reason, I feel the Sharks will run out of gas. Gas that they should have bought and stored in Gerry cans several days ago, but neglected to so because they were so excited to get the Red Wings, instead of the Ducks, and they forgot all about stocking up on the fuel for this cross country series.
Ottawa Senators New Jersey Devils
My apologies to Dancin’ Lou Lamoriello, but the Devils are going down in this series, in the seventh game. The Senators will make good on that conference final game seven loss against you back in 2003. And why do I call you Dancin’ Lou? No one really has moves like you, Lou. By all means, enjoy the ball while you can. The Senators will get very angry at the Devils in game two. This anger will intensify and it will shock the Devils and they’ll eventually forget they are the Devils and will wake up on the morning of the seventh game and will believe they are Minnesota Wild...on a really bad day.
New York Rangers Buffalo Sabres
I pick the Rangers in seven. Sean Avery will help make this an ugly series to watch, and in turn, will drive up the television ratings so much, networks will be throwing contracts at the NHL, left right and centre. But the Buffalo Sabres will try really really hard, and we’ll all feel bad when the Sabres lose, especially their expansion brothers and sisters out here on the west coast. Never fear, the Buffalo Sabres will win the Stanley Cup in 2008.
Congratulations to the Vancouver Canucks, Canucks fans, and Roberto Luongo on his very first playoff series win in net. And good show to the Dallas Stars, their fans and goal tender, Marty Turco. Marty, it’s pretty obvious to me you didn’t hear what the fans were saying to you throughout the games in Vancouver…and if you did, I could tell it meant absolutely nothing to you by the way that you played. See y’all next season! (Meaning the Stars...I’ll be still be here...I’m not going anywhere. However, I am moving Hockey & High Heels worldwide headquarters over the next weeks...sandwiching in the big task between playoff games. I’ll still be here...sort of. )