Friday, May 28, 2010

Many Thanks and A Stanley Prediction

Before I talk about the Stanley Cup finals I want to thank all of you for your kind words regarding Ben's passing. The notes of condolence, the suggestions, the shared stories ... all were greatly appreciated by Jenn and I. Its been a strange week here, mostly because for the first time in nearly thirteen years someone is missing. Every morning I walk down the stairs and am surprised not to see him there and I wonder how long it will take me to stop looking for him.

The greatest of ironies (and perhaps one of the greatest tributes to Ben) is that Jenn has been pretty shattered by his passing, so much so that she has said that soem point down the road we probably will have to get another dog. Her biggest worry is that we probably won't find one as wonderful as him. For those of you who are regular visitors here you will know that this may be the biggest twist ending of all time.

All kidding aside, once again thank you for all of your kind comments. They have meant a lot to us.


I will be taking more time, hopefully tomorrow night, to write a little bit more about the Chicago Blackhawks. They were my first love when it came to being a fan and now here they are, four wins away from ending the longest present Stanley Cup drought. A few weeks ago, when they were finishing off the Canucks, I was over at my best friend's place. We have known each other since we were five. He asked me what I thought of the Hawks and if I was hoping for them to go all the way.

I certainly do. Watching the end of their sweep of the Sharks I saw a woman in the crowd, probably my age or a little older, crying, saying to the person next to her 'I'm so happy' when they asked her why the tears. The Blackhawks, like a lot of 'cursed' franchises, have not suffered so much from bad luck as from terrible ownership over the decades. I remember complaints about EIG and commenting that until you've been a fan of a team owned by Bill Wirtz you don't know bad ownership.

So I hope they win. For my Dad. For a dear friend back in Sudbury who has been a fan forever. For all of their fans and their great city.

And I think that they will win. They are the better team. I would like to think that this is a mismatch along the lines of those late 90s series when the Avs or Wings or Devils would get to take on the Panthers or the Capitals or the Ducks but I'm not sure if this is the case. The Flyers have a nice top four on the back end and they have three decent lines although I don't think they match up with the Hawks in either case. I don't know how the matchups will run but I think that the Hawks are too deep once again. Its one thing to be able to run Richards against Toews and hope for a sawoff but I can't see Briere handling Sharp and Hossa and while I like Giroux he's going to be in tough against Bolland and Versteeg as well.

We all know that anything can happen but I do believe that a Flyers victory would be a considerable upset. The Flyers are good but they've beaten three pretty flawed clubs on the way to the finals. They barely beat a Boston club with little depth up front or on the blue and Montreal, as we know, was certainly more lucky than good.

Hawks in six.


Olivier said...

Pronger is good but slow as molass; against the habs it was ok, but the Habitants have nothing up front that compares to Toews, Kane, Hossa, Sharp or Bufyuiuhoinljkensomethingsomething. Timonen is teh shits but Corbun and Carle doesn't look like anything but good sidekicks.

Giroux is making me mad the habs drafted something called "Fisher" right before him, but he is still young. Brière had trouble handling Dominic Moore consistently, even when paired with Gagné.

Hawks in 5, and that's if Leighton is out of his mind (he wasn't against the habs). They are so good I couldn't bear to watch them over the playoffs, made scoring chances for the habs too painful after that.

Bar Qu said...

When my wife and I were away, I kept checking tvs everywhere we went to see how the Hawks were doing. Even went so far as doing a minor dance when they scored in OT to win game three as we were getting in line to go into a show. I am pumped about this finals, though I do not think it will be so close as others I have read. West is best and in this case, markedly so.

And I know it has all been said in the last comment section, but I am sorry man.

Swabbubba said...

The Hawks man. For the long suffering fans.. jeebus soon people will start saying that about Oiler fans. I said on some blog somewhere last year that Penner needs to play like Buff and for the most part he did this year. I like the Philly story but I think it wouldbe cool to see Hawks win it.

Brad said...

I the curse.
Hossa = Philly in an outstanding game 7.

doritogrande said...

For Winnipeg's sake, I hope the Hawks take it, but you can't discount the veteran factor that may tip the scales in Philly's favour.

As you said, Hawks in six.

As an aside, I've started up a new blog geared towards the prospect side of hockey. I've made a commitment to keep this blog going for longer than a single post, so something to consider adding to the blogroll.

HBomb said...

Hawks in six sounds right. Toews with the Conn Smythe as he cements his place as the best young forward in the game not named Crosby or Ovechkin.

The Flyers have had a great run, but midnight always strikes for Cinderella. They haven't met a team this good through the first three rounds - not even close.

Black Dog said...

dg- I'll get that on the list really soon, looking forward to it

The difference in this series is going to be in the top nine. Flyers run Leino, JVR and Asham out there, JVR is going to be a nice player and Leino looks better than he did with the WIngs and Asham is useful but I don't think they rate with what the Hawks can send out there.

And the Hawks go five deep on the back end, not just four.

Killer depth.

macaotim said...

Had the Hawks from the start...I'm so smart!

Had Philly out in the first round...I'm so dumb!

Hawks take it...they better...some managerial issues that will no doubt affect how this team looks next year.

Go Hawks.