There's almost 36hrs now till the puck drops on the Conference Finals so it's time for some thoughts on life in the off-season for this Flames fan....
It was very disappointing to see the end of the Rangers - they were the last dark horse left in the playoffs and while I didn't really expect them to make it past the Sabres, I just really miss there being a "cinderella" team to root for.
Was very disappointed to read that apparently Shane Doan had been interested in perhaps joining the Flames this coming season only to get a negative reply about playing in Calgary from (apparently) a current, prominent player according to a writer for the local Sun paper. The writer cited said anonymous player mentioned the pressure of being THE team in town and how you couldn't get out of the spotlight as being less than attractive. Maybe it's just me, but I would think being a player in a town that worshipped your team would be a good thing but then I guess I don't really know what they go thru.....I just hope this doesn't mean Calgary is tagged with some of the unfair rep that Edmonton got following the Pronger trade.
How annoying/infuriating was it to witness some idiotic politicians attempt to gain themselves some face time in the media by again trying to drag a guy like Shane Doan thru the mud over allegations of slurs that he supposedly uttered to a French referee back in 2005. It's amazing to me that not one party decided to point out that they were wasting time trying to make a mountain out of the molehill of a charge that was investigated and cleared off Doan's shoulders by the NHL back in time and then Hockey Canada when they were compiling the 2006 Olympic team.
What an embarassment to Canada as far as its politicians go - what a wonderful display by Bob Nicholson and the rest of the hockey community in defending Shane.
Even better? Shane's response to all his critics by scoring a hat trick in Team Canada's next game over in Moscow.
It might be wrong to be thinking this but.....how cool would it be to have Patrick Marleau don the Flaming C in 07/08? With all the talk of changes needing to be made in San Jose following another 2nd round exit you just know Sutter will try and get Patty up here in red if it can be done and that would leave a really impressive depth at center with Marleau/Langkow/Lombardi/Conroy/Yelle nevermind any potential rookies that might try and make the team. Something tells me that if this could happen, we'd be saying goodbye to Lombo but that wouldn't be a bad exchange overall.....
My Marleau-meter is at a even 5 out of 10 right now, stay tuned for updates!
(And we can chat about the Gomez-ometer another time...*lol*)
As much as I think Playfair's coaching left something to be desired this past season, I really don't want to see Jim Playfair turfed in the off-season. The window where the Flames have their best chance of returning to the Finals and scoring the goal (and having it counted this time...) they need to bring Stanley back to Calgary is finite. We don't need to lose another year to getting a new coach in and having him figure out his way behind the bench learning the particular quirks of the team he's hired into. Jimmy deserves one more year and folks calling for his dismissal and a return of Sutter behind the bench are kidding themselves...Darryl won't come back and do both jobs and let's not forget, we went out in the 1st round last year too with him there!
This is my wish for the Finals....I want the Sens or Sabres to win.
I know that as a result liking both Eastern teams, only one of my choices will have a chance to play for the Cup. Why the Sens and Sabres, you ask? Well, one's the last remaining Canadian team and the other is a team and a city that are hard not to root for (plus they, along with Grand Forks are adopted Cdn cities anyways). If the Cup can't come to Canada then I hope it comes to Buffalo - at least there it would be properly appreciated and rejoiced in. (Besides, Buffalo remind me too much of Calgary in 03/04 not to root for them in the long run....)