Thursday, May 12, 2011
Sharks or Wings? Decisions, decisions
I'm on the fence about who I want to win the San Jose-Detroit series. I want the easiest route for the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals, but I'm conflicted as to what that is, so I thought I would put the pros and cons in writing.
Why I Want the Canucks to Play the Sharks
* They have always had a history of tanking. At some point, somewhere in the playoff run they pull an Ovechkin and turtle. give up. Wave the white flag. So even if they squash Detroit's comeback, they may still turtle in the conference finals. Let's face it the Canucks aren't going to make it easy on anyone.
* I hate Danny Heatley and would love, love, love to dash his dreams. How fun would it be to see Kevin Bieksa crush him into the boards or Alex Burrows taunt him into taking a ridiculous penalty or Ryan Kesler school him? It would be lovely.
* The travel would be easy. I feel like they don't get under our skin as much as Detroit because they don't come with the badass history. And I feel like we know exactly what they can give and what they can't.
* If the Shane O'Brien Roxy jokes weren't phenomenal enough, now we can have Kyle Wellwood Cheesburger jokes. Wonder if he has ever eaten a Roxy Burger? SOB may have taken him there when they played here together, since it's affliated with his favorite skank hangout... I would ask Shane but he probably was too drunk to remember.
Why I Don't Want the Canucks to Play the Sharks
* Anti Niemi. He's had his sporadic moments but this isn't his first ice capades. Being Chicago's goalie last year means two things - he knows how to win a Cup and he's played a part in keeping Vancouver from advancing in the playoffs. Both of those things make me nervous.
* If they do beat Detroit - as we all know from what happened in the Canucks round 1 - the mental boost and confidence that comes from regaining the series can be huge. It might even be enough to keep them from turtling again this year.
Why I Want to Play the Red Wings
* They're old, they're tired and they tend to break. Coming back from a 3-0 deficit requires a monumental amount of mental and physical endurance. Sure there is a high from doing that but even endorphins can't quel the exhaustion. The Canucks on the other hand have had 5 days off. I think this would make the Wings more easily beatable.
* Jimmy Howard. The goalie may have a better save average than Niemi in the playoffs but he's not a Cup winner. Although they gave him an honorary Stanley Cup ring when they won in 2008, he hadn't played anough games to have his name on the cup. And he lost last year to San Jose. He's shakey more often than Niemi, especially the deeper he goes in playoffs.
Why I Don't Want to Play the Red Wings
* The Detroit Red Wings are the Goonies of the NHL - they never say die. They don't care what the odds are when they're down 3-0 in a series. They don't worry about the clock being in the final second of the third period - they just keep playing, keep shooting and in the end more times than not keep winning.
* Mike Babcock - the man is the epitimy of a playoff coach. And yes, I believe that there is a difference between a a regular season coach and a playoff coach. Your proof is named Bruce Boudreau and sadly, so far, Alain Vigneault. Babcock is also a Gold Medal Winning coach. And another scary little fact - the last time the Detroit Red Wings were swept out of a series it was 2004 and the Anaheim Ducks are the ones that did it - and the Ducks head coach was Mike Babcock. Honestly, Babcock is a bigger secret weapon than Datsyuk and scarier than Todd Bertuzzi's beard.
* I know it's an unpopular opinion but I still like Todd Bertuzzi and remember him fondly from his time here in Vancouver. I don't want to play him in the playoffs because I know it will make me dislike him. Also, it seems the Preds have traded one of their players - Shea Weber's beard - to Todd Bertuzzi's face... and I don't want to have to look at a sasquatch for another round.