You get an incident like a knee-on-knee hit from Hartnell to Cheechoo and you can figure out very quickly where somebody stands. So Hartnell is headed to jail in San Jose and Cheechoo is getting an Oscar in Nashville.
I don’t have any idea why people are so convinced that the sun rises and sets over their home teams. “Real” hockey fans know that there is ebb and flow to hockey. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It’s never worth getting upset over a silly score.
Mind you, my prediction that the Wild would upset the Ducks in 7 games is based entirely upon detailed hockey knowledge and insightful analysis. It has nothing to do with living in Minnesota. I would feel the same way if I lived in say, Orange County, CA (which I did up until a year ago). No question, I’d be at the Ponda saying, “it’s nice to see the Ducks give it their all, but I won’t be coming to game 7. I’ll be out playing golf.”
Each play, each whistle. Is it really worth fighting over? To be fair, I’ve developed my enviable attitude after 10-plus years reffing competitive hockey. They’d say, “Ref, you screwed us with that call!” To which I’d reply, “If you spent half as much time playing, as you do whining, you’d probably have two more goals by now.”
Isn’t that easy? Let it slide off your back, and everybody’s happy. No muss, no fuss. Just happy hockey. Fans can do the same. It’s not your bonus on the line. You’ll have season tickets next year. Take it easy guys, it’s just a game!
So, in conclusion, I’d like to make a few comments about tonight’s game between the Wild and Ducks. Pronger is a punk. He gets away with everything. It’s amazing to me that he’s ever allowed out of the box. Clearly, Brian Burke has Stephen Walkom in his back pocket. All that talk about great D in Anaheim? Please. They run roughshod over the rulebook when they can't keep up with talent.
Tonight, the Wild will be rewarded for being a better team. Lemaire is twice the coach of Carlyle. Adjustments will kill the Ducks. Look to speed down the middle, and Bryzgaolov will get caught swimming for a change. He left a few open nets on Weds. He'll do it again, and the Wild will convert. Selanne will trip on the blue line. Twice.
So Ducks fans, don’t be upset when I say Wild in 7. But feel free to head to the golf course for game 7; your time will be better spent.