Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Playoffs - Vol.1

At times, playoff hockey resembles the following quote from William Faulkner, a Noble Prize-winning authour - "To the innocent, it seemed discorded and inconsequent, bizarre and paradoxical like the frantic darting of weightless bugs which run on the surface of stagnant pools" - this quote is attributed to Faulkner after watching an NHL game in 1955.

Team Canada. The Nation certainly is being well represented by the Vancouver Canucks (3-0 vs. Chicago) and Montreal Canadiens (2-1 vs. Boston) Both teams are playing excellent defensive hockey with Roberto Luongo and Carey Price setting the pace for their respective clubs.

An image I can't erase from the current Budweiser ad. The custodians of Lord Stanley, delicately holding the Cup, hands enclosed in white gloves. What the ad doesn't show is what happens next. The Stanley Cup is mauled by sweaty hands belonging to players who have spent several hours engaged in rigorous physical activity.

You have to admire the fans in Philadelphia. On television, the sea of orange spectators is a striking sight to witness. Their enthusiasm fills the Wells Fargo Centre and I'm sure the players feel the vibe.

The stress of playoff action is really evident on the faces and body language of the coaches. During game 1 and 2 in Boston, coach Claude Julien appeared to let his emotions get the best of him. He seemed distracted by the officials, instead of concentrating on his bench duties. I wonder what impact this has on his players?

Just a thought. How about making the first round of competition a best-of-five series. Teams would have to be ready right from the opening faceoff of Game 1, as there would be little room for error.

As a reward for winning the Stanley Cup, how about giving the champions a salary cap option. The Cup winner would have a cap exemption to carry two salaries over the ceiling. In the case of defending champs, Chicago, I'm certain they would love to have a combination of Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg in their line-up.

Jaroslav Who?

Congratulations to the 2011 Allan Cup champions - The Clarenville Caribous!

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