Well, we're a few days out from the sad loss in 2OT to the Wings and the pain of that night has certainly dulled which is nice. It helps to still be able to go to games as our Jr team, the Calgary Hitmen, are playing in the Conference finals right now - beyond most expectations of the team this year (unlike the Flames).
My wish list for the Flames now that we're in the off season is:
- that they keep Playfair around for next year as there will be some youth in the lineup from Omaha and he's a great teaching coach (maybe less of a vets coach which the team was predominantly made up of this year)
- that they manage to sign Kipper to a new, 3-5yr contract in the summer and that Iggy is reasonable about his own extension, if he wants to be in Calgary - losing either player would be a blow but clearly Kipper comes first now
- that the players who come back next year come back determined to live up to their potential and get more consistent becoming an elite team rather than just a really good team
My thoughts tho are now thankfully clear of the playoff haze and the hope that all fans have for their teams that enter the first round. I can start looking at the remaining playoffs much more objectively, generally rooting for the teams that take may fancy in each match-up more a fan of all (except the Canucks of course! *lol*) than a fan of one.
My predictions? I thought you'd never ask.....
Anaheim vs Vancouver
--> gotta go with the Ducks, they're better across the board except maybe
in goal - could be a long series but Anaheim will prevail
Detroit vs San Jose
--> much harder to call than the other west semis - I tip my hat to the Wings tho just by a shade...I've seen them up close and have to respect their overall ability and the Sharks are good and can beat the Wings but Thornton has to show up and be more a factor than he was against Nashville - this should go 7 games
NY Rangers vs Buffalo Sabres
--> I like both these teams and think the Rangers will give Buffalo a real test, the key to this series is whether the Sabres can right some little problems that seemed to be creeping in during the NYI series that they should have dominated - I pick the Sabres but mainly cuz they are my sentimental faves, 7 games
Ottawa vs NJ Devils
--> I'm picking the Sens here cuz this team is deep enough and getting contributions from all lines and they're tough, TB pounded on the Devs but they were a one trick pony really once you got past their top 3 who were exhausted by the time game 6 started - Sens in 6
Best of luck all still in the race!!!
(except the Canucks....LOL!)