THE REAL SEASON BEGINS

On Wednesday evening the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs begin. Sixteen NHL teams will begin their battle for Lord Stanley’s revered mug. This year, the Vancouver Canucks are once again back in the post-season.

I want to make one thing very clear. While I will root for the Canucks, I am very much a realist when it comes to being a hockey supporter for the Vancouver club. There have been local polls asking if the Canucks will win it all. While the majority are grounded in reality, a fair number of respondents clearly don’t know a lot about hockey, especially the Vancouver team. The Canucks have been dreadful at times, especially in January when people thought the season was over. Sure, they’ve been great at times as well but the championship teams are never this bipolar. Sure champs slip once in a while, losing a game or three but they manage to maintain a championship demeanor. The current Detroit Red Wings are a classic example of such a team.

Having said that, we have to throw in terms like “Cinderella” and “dark horse” so let’s “expect the unexpected”. In other words, anything can happen but just don’t bet on it happening for sure.

The Canucks will be in tough against the Blues. The Blues have a great team and easily have the capacity to win four games against the ‘nucks. Expect a gritty and bruising series.

Before I end this post, I’d like to point you to two bloggers who’ll be writing about the playoffs. The first is a guy named Kevin Smith. Yeah, that Kevin Smith. The NHL forced him not to swear in his posts, so he’s had to insert Wayne Gretzky related words where naughty ones might go. For example:

“I know what you’re thinking: ‘Listen to this fat [Gretzky] braggin’ about all the money he’s got! Big man, with the pregnant-lady gut and the [Gretzin’] arm flab! Hey, Fatty – you’re gonna die alone, you morbidly obese [Great One]!”

Look for more Kevin here.

The other blogger is Jason Reitman. He directed Juno, a movie some of you might have seen. You also might know his father Ivan, he directed a movie called Ghostbusters. Jason is a Canadian and a Canucks fan. It gets even better. He’s actually in St. Louis directing a movie and promises to go to games four and five while wearing ‘nucks gear. Jason is an alright guy. How do I know? He wrote this:

“Sundin has never won a Cup… Now he’s on the Canucks. The Leafs didn’t even make the playoffs. Ha ha. Only downside? Would have been fun to watch the Canucks beat the Leafs in the Stanley Cup Final and prolong Sundin’s jersey retirement in the Air Canada Centre by a decade.”

More from Jason here.

Ok, it all begins Wednesday night. Let’s cheer for the good guys but don’t be stupid about it.

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