“I Might Just Be A Hockey Fan In California” is a feature that is posted every Saturday here at the View From My Seats. There are plenty of things going on in the hockey world (and even the sports world); and you know everyone has an opinion. This is a place for some quick hits of the week that was.
I might just be a hockey fan in California, but:
- Someone asked me this week if I thought the Dustin Penner trade would work out for the Kings in the long run. I thanked them for the softball question.
- It seems like it was only a week ago when most people thought the Green Men were the best thing to ever happen to a penalty box. Then Game 2 in Vancouver happened and Ben Eager went to the box. Ever since, the Green Men don’t seem quite as cool.
- Patrice Bergeron may be the perfect hockey player.
- How long before the young team with potential that was assembled in Atlanta is successful in Winnipeg? When it happens, the building is electric, and the team is one of the good stories of the league; just remember that’s exactly the type of team Atlanta always needed to build a foundation.
- When the schedule for the Stanley Cup Finals was released earlier this week, I noticed a couple of Canadian media members bashing the NHL because they were (paraphrasing), “once again bending to the will of American television” because there were going to be two days between Games 1 and 2. On Friday we learned the only reason there are two days between is because there’s a Bruno Mars concert on Friday at Rogers Arena that can’t be moved. I’m assuming the concert is somehow sponsored by NBC or VS.
- Injuries are never a good thing. But in Long Island, there has to be a little bit of happiness that they were able to lock up Kyle Okposo for less than $3 million per season for the next 5 years. There’s no way they get that done if he’s a healthy and productive player this season. Maybe they can take that money they saved to pay off some politicians in Hempstead/Nassau counties to get a new arena deal done.
- I’ve heard some people frame the Stanley Cup Finals as a series where all Canadians are rooting for one of their own to bring home the first Cup to the Great White North since 1993. But I don’t know a single Flames fan in Calgary rooting for the Canucks to win anything. Ever. Under any circumstances.
- I want to make sure I have something straight. Starting next season, former Hamilton (Habs’ AHL affiliate) coach will be in Tampa and hot shot assistant Kirk Muller will likely be in a new city leading a new team. And the Canadiens will still have Jacques Martin. Well, that’s one way to go.
- Best hockey story of the week really isn’t about hockey at all. Manny Malhotra was cleared for practice with contact for the Canucks. Sure, he’d be a great boost to a team who is already proving to be ridiculously good—but it’s great to hear that it looks like he’s going to fully recover from an injury that threatened to end his career. Some things are just a little more important than hockey.
- I understand both sides of the argument regarding Nathan Horton and the non-suspension for the water bottle incident after Game 6. For one, I’m glad that he wasn’t suspended because I wanted to see the best players possible out there for a Game 7; and didn’t want the series possibly decided because hundreds of people were throwing crap on the ice (and at Bruins players) and Horton was pissed. All that being said, it certainly doesn’t help anyone defending the decision that Colin Campbell is the one making these decisions. As everyone has said a hundred times before, there’s no way a man in that position can have that kind of conflict of interest. Even if it doesn’t play a role (which I don’t believe it did), the situation still allows outsiders to question the integrity of every single decision.
- It’s time to retire the “San Jose Sharks always choke” jokes. The team made it to the Western Finals for the second year in a row and was beaten by a better team for the second year in a row. It happens. But Joe Thornton stepped up. Patrick Marleau stepped up. Just about everyone stepped up at some point in the playoffs. Just because they didn’t win the Cup doesn’t mean they are chokers. If you need a place to recycle all of those jokes, just look at the Washington Capitals.
- You know when a game is a big deal in a community? When a jury asks to watch Game 7 even though they’ve been sequestered. Want more proof? The judge in the case approved.
- It was a tough week for USA Hockey when both Doug Weight and Brian Rafalski hung up the skates. Weight’s retirement simply means he’ll move behind the bench (and into the press box) with the Islanders; while Rafalski’s symbolizes a shift in life priorities for the 38-year-old defenseman. Props to him for having the guts to leave 1-year and $6 million on the table because his faith and family were more important than hockey.
- It was nice to see that Boston Pizza changed their name on their website to Vancouver Pizza mere minute after the Bruins won the Eastern Conference.
- Sarcasm. A quick sense of humor. And certainly hockey intelligence. I’ll say it: I’d love for Chris Pronger to become an analyst when his playing career is over.
- It wasn’t really surprising that the refs put their whistles away for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. They didn’t call a penalty on either team—so if anyone is going to bitch, then both sides can bitch. However, the Bruins power play can’t score and they were getting to the point where their penalty kill was just as bad. Make no mistake about it; the fact that no penalties were called in the game was a huge break for the Bruins.
- I had no idea that Devin Setoguchi planned on becoming a monk when his season was over.
- By all accounts, it looks like the Buffalo Sabres are going to buy the AHL’s Rochester Americans so the nearby club can serve as their farm team. Can Terry Pegula do anything wrong?
- Gary Bettman is a pompous little person that needs to be fired for the good of the game.
Click here for our archive of past editions of our “I Might Just Be A Hockey Fan In California” feature.