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"First Impressions"
Canada, AB • Canada •

First Impressions

Posted 12:26 AM ET | Comments 0
It's Thursday night and the East Coast games are done. Everyone in New York State, where all four teams are miraculously in the playoffs, are done. Tonight, everyone except the Isles won. Hold on. I just included the Devils as a team from New York. Does this count? I say yes. I lived in New York in the mid-90's and was a Devil's fan. There were people like me. Sure, the arena sucks, and you have to line up at the Port Authority and catch a bus over to the hideous Meadowlands to see a game in an atmosphere-free arena, but the Devils were worth the trip. Well,actually they weren't. They won, but in the same way that lawyers rule the world: without passion.

I digress.

Let me say this, however. I'm liking that the Rangers won. The Devils deserve to lose, because Louie the GM has no sense of humour, and the Islanders looked great losing to the Sabres. In fact, I have rarely felt better about backing the losing side--I picked the Isles to pull off the miracle and topple the Sabres--than tonight.

I like Ryan Smyth (Living in Calgary, I saw enough of the guy when he played for Oil). I love that little 40 goal scoring whatsisname. I love Dublowitz, or Slipowitz or whatever his name is. The worst possible move by Teddie Ballgame would be to put Rick DiPietro back in goal yet. And I love Nolan!

Watch out in Game 2.

Elsewhere, the Flames stank. Talk radio is melting down. They want Playfair beheaded. And tonight at Safeway, the cashier and the grifter behind me in line were just badmouthing the Flames to pieces. I was a little stunned. Canadians are so eager to expect the very worst from their teams.

The Canucks were outplayed, but what an epic! L-U-O-N-G-O! You won't forget that name soon. Boy I bet those guys are sore today.

Nashville looked astonishing in their double OT loss to the Sharks. I forgot Forsberg is on the Preds. They looked magnificent, although San Jose are damn good too.

If I'm Anaheim, I have Jacques Lemaire killed before he does something and ruins their spring.

Ottawa bashed the young Penguins brains in. It was not pretty to watch. The Pens need a goalie.

All that said, Game 1 is just game 1. And as Mike Francesca so accurately says, you aren't in trouble until you've lost at home. It should be an awesome weekend of wall-to-wall hockey.
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