Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gratuitous Hockey Post

With my hopes of an all-Canadian series dashed some time ago, I was slowly coming round to the idea of a California Confrontation. This didn't present much of a stretch for me, given my fondness for things Californian. And so I greeted this morning's news with raised coffee cup and a cheer. Yes, despite an almost overwhelming presence of Mennonite talent, the Calgary Flames were blanked by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

I still hate "The Mighty Ducks" as a name and franchise. But coach Randy Carlisle (once indefatigable defenceman for the Jets) carries a substantial charm-factor for this former Winnipeg resident. And what's not to like about San Jose? Go, California!


Trent Reimer said...

Well, if you think about it the women's speed skating team won a suitcase full of Olympic medals despite Mennonite talent so maybe someone has figured out how to work with them and shared it with Carlisle?

Other things to like about the Ducks:

- They made certain the Flames got checked just as hard as they were dishing it out.

- The brothers Neidermayer (spelling?) "slanting the ice" and covering for each other when one or the other joins a rush. The puck seems to spend a lot of time in the opposition's end.

- The Finnish Flash leaving teeth on the ice and skating like the kid who set the rookie season record with the Winnipeg Jets. (Wasn't he a force at the Olympics? That Finnish team was awesome.)

Whisky Prajer said...

"Finnish Flash" - you're absolutely right. I couldn't get over his performance. Reminds me just a little of a young Bobby Clarke, but with finesse.

Trent Reimer said...

You know on further reflection one of the things both Anahiem and Edmonton demonstrated in the first round was the flexibility to adapt a new playbook and execute it convincingly.

I wonder how much of that is coaching and how much is the players?

DarkoV said...

We of the Olde Tyme Hockey Empire on the East Coast have, alas, missed the Flambe Ducks. Sun sets faster out here on the Atlantic, so feathers of the goose down variety were of a higher temptation than duck feathers. Hopefully, they'll be playing a bit earlier, as my mind may need to be changed. I'm thinking it's the Devils or the Sabres or WP's Senators that will be sloshing about in Stanley's Cup since all I've been exposed to has been East Coast Hockey.

I know the Mightys came oh so close that one year. Personally, I believe it was the hockey gods that determined the result of the Ducks-Devils Finals that year. They just could not come to terms with the idea that the Cup would have "Mighty Ducks" inscribed thereon. And that reason alone will stand as to why Anaheim will never win the Cup until they change their name. I propose the Anaheim Lotus Eaters.

Whisky Prajer said...

TR - that's the bajillion-dollar question, isn't it? Based on 20 minutes of conversation I once had with Mr. Carlisle while seated next to him on a YYZ to YWG flight, I'd guess he's one of those former players who can get into the heads of his younger charges and coax them to heightened performance. Mind you, the conversation ended badly when I spoke the words, "You know, I've played defence, too." The poor man was so stricken with laughter, he had to be helped to his feet by the stewardess and led to the washroom.

DV - it seems we've come across a franchise name even worse than "The Senators"!

Trent Reimer said...

DV - My sin has been missing too many East Coast games so I can easily claim just as much, if not more ignorance than you and WP put together :)

That being said the Devils looked pretty comfortable to me from what I did catch. If the Sens stay healthy, particularly Chara, I can see them going the distance too.

As far as the lame-named-ducks go I suspect things will get harder from here on out. I think even an aging Colorado has more depth than Calgary, no?