hockey art. artist on left, mark gaskin. on right, lisa ovens
by Lisa Ovens
Two Canadian based NHL teams advanced to Round Two: cue the “All Canadian Stanley Cup Final” talk. Yeah, a Canucks/ Canadiens final would be kind of neat, but, it would only last four, maybe five games, making it dull, and fan created damage to the losing team’s city, Montreal would be in the millions.
Four out of six Original Six teams are vying for a place in the Eastern or Western Conference Final. It’s Original Sixy, Original Sexy!
Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Canadiens dropped the first game to the Pens. But the hab fans’ red jerseys sure stood out well in the Igloo’s White Out, if that means anything! The Habs were the last Canadian based NHL team to win the Stanley Cup (1993). It was their twenty-fourth Cup celebration. Unfortunately that stat will remain unchanged.
Hey cute and cuddly Penguins, What’s up with you and only playing Canadian teams this year? First you knock out the Ottawa Senators, you’ll most likely send the Canadiens packing next. The only thing that will be standing in the way of you and the last Canadian team to tussle with will be either a blip of flyer Orange or Bruin yellow. Be afraid, Canuck fans, the Penguins are gunning for us!!!
Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Vancouver Canucks
Chicago is the runt of the original Sixy litter. They’ve been around forever but have only won three Stanley Cups. The Blackhawks bandwagon has quickly filled up over the last couple of years for two reasons: sucking for years plus high draft picks equals some great young talent to mold, and the death of owner Bill Wirtz and the stingy managerial ways.
I guess as far as playoff rivalries go this year, the Hawks vs. Canucks has the freshest of bad blood. There’s a laundry list of incidents from the 2009 Playoff’s round two. The BHawks won that series in six, and this time around, we can expect the Canucks will be on the warpath, righting as many wrongs along the way. The Canucks will find a way to win the series, but it’s going to be a rough ride.
Detroit Red Wings vs. The San Jose Sharks
Let’s face it: The Detroit Red Wings are the Original Sexy of the Original Sixy! The eleven time Stanley Cup champions (four wins since 1997) have brought out the Wing Envy of many. And here’s a cool snippet of history: The first woman to have her name engraved on the Stanley Cup is Marguerite Norris, president of the Detroit Red Wings in 1954/ 1955 season. I am going to quote myself from my round one prediction: “It's hard for me not to pick the Red Wings to win this series. They just know how to deal, those Wings. They deal with everything so well; whatever the storm, they deal with it. They are by definition, Retrosexual Men.”
The San Jose Sharks, as rested as they are, don’t have the “deal with it” trait to the extent the Wings have, even though the Sharks won game one of this series. But you go ahead and try your darndest, Sharkies!
Boston Bruin vs. Philadelphia Flyers
When I think of the Boston Bruins I often think of Don Cherry and Bobby Orr. Now I think of Tuukka Rask and Milan Lucic. But can these two guys and the rest of the B’s win a sixth cup for this Original Sixy born in the year of the Rat? If you think Tuukka Rask is a cool name with all that U and K action, check out this former Bruin name: Dit Clapper (Aubrey Victor, given names) Dit Clapper played 20 seasons (1927-1947) wore number five and after Yzerman and Bourque, is next on longest serving captain on the NHL list.
The Philadelphia Flyers have not met the Bruins in the post season since 1978. Both teams are going to be playing a “so you think you’re tough” kind of game in this series. Which ever team is left standing could be easy pickings in the Eastern Conference Final for the Penguins. The Flyers have had the longest lay off this post season (nine days), and because of that I am going to give the Bruins the edge.
First Round...how’d I do? I picked the Pens, the Canucks, the Flyers and the Wings to win round one. Four right out of eight!!