Despite the headline, I have no issue with Tortarella. I thought he needed to go in New York, but only because the team want buying into what he was saying and it is much harder to jettison the core of your roster than your coach. Having said that…
For the hockey world, June 15th 2011 will be a bittersweet day. It will be memorable, no doubt, and it represents easily the most important and exciting day of the calendar for the NHL, but it also will be the end. Game 7 will be played tonight in Vancouver, British Columbia. With that we know, beyond any doubt, that this is the last day that we will have hockey. That will lead to a bipolarity that comes with the last day of the NHL season.
It was no secret that heading into the conference finals, the West appeared to be not a little bit stronger than the Eastern conference in the NHL. Boston and Tampa Bay need to get quite a bit of credit. They are very good teams who have had impressive seasons, and one of them will be in the Stanley Cup Finals. But the two top teams appear, rather clearly, to be the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks, who are playing each other in the Western Conference Finals.
Roberto Luongo and the Canucks have the opportunity to put themselves in the history books. It is an oppertunity that they would like to avoid.
It is, in fact, an opportunity to put themselves at the TOP of the history books, because if they blow the fourth chance to move to round 2, it just may be the biggest NHL choke job of all time.
You have seen the same previews 1000s of times. Why this team can win. Why that team can win. Strengths. Weaknesses. Matchups. Predictions. It is a formula so predictable that Mike Singletary tried to install it as the 49ers offense.