(I'm aware that the second round has now begun, and this has been a work-in-progress for a while... I had no idea when to post this. Go Sharks! Or Red Wings!)
A hell of a week round, this was. What DIDN'T happen? TV is gearing up for sweeps, I spotted a man who looked like he might have been Larry Robinson (maybe), I spotted a man who looked like he might have been Paul Mara (but with short beard and longer hair... I almost spoke to him but his beard wasn't "super epic and unmistakeable" as ~czechtacular would say), I went to the amazing Olympic parade and touched a women's hockey gold medal and spoke ever so briefly to a Stanley Cup winner, I had a great birthday during which the Canadiens were not knocked out of the playoffs, and my #1 team eliminated the Eastern Conference's #1 team. Thus, this week's Plus Minus is equally huge.
BETTER THAN HAVING A PARADE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY
+ It goes without saying that the Habs in general have made me prouder than a valedictorian's mommy at graduation: a solid PK, a stronger, more defensive outing in Game 5, a mind-blowing game 6, and an awesome Game 7.
+ Is it scandalous if I say that I approve of putting Carey Price in net for two games against the Caps? Think about it: those games gave Halak the rest he needed to be superhuman again, and proved that Price has still got it.
+ Dan Boyle made the most embarrassing mistake a hockey player could make, and then compensated beautifully with a fantastic goal the following game.
+ The Canadiens organization has a great initiative in letsretirethesejerseys.com. Instead of just sounding like poor little rich boys moaning that everyone's buying cheap jerseys, the website is informative, telling you how to spot a counterfeit jersey and explaining why you shouldn't buy one - shady labour practices and potential ties to organized crime, and the incentives of coupons and trade-ins certainly don't hurt (warning: they expire April 30th). The rest of the league has taken note.
+ Thanks to Friday's Olympic athlete parade, I'd like to reiterate how great it is to see awesome, talented, gracious athletes like Canada's 2010 Olympians. Aside from the men's hockey team, Olympic athletes don't get much exposure outside of the Games, but their hard work warrants it. They had a great crowd cheering for them, and I was happy to be in that crowd. (Except when that old man hit me in the chest. Gross.)
+ Our buddies over at TheCheckingLine ran a great liveblog on Friday... more of a chat than a liveblog, but when fans are having this much fun, who cares about semantics?
+ After Game 7, Brooks Laich saw a fan and her daughter waiting for roadside assistance (by the highway, in the dark), got out of his car, and changed a tire for them.
WORSE THAN PATRICK KANE'S MULLET
- Poor Eric Belanger. I don't think I like the guy very much, but he lost seven teeth in one game. And he pulled at least one of those out by himself. Hockey players are tough, but there's a limit. He gets a plus, though, for sheer badassery.
- The recent demonizing of Alexander Ovechkin, especially by Habs fans. Sure, he sprayed some snow on a kid and didn't even pat him on the head as he skated by. Sure, he didn't give some other kid an autograph. Sure, it's kind of a bad thing that these two things happened in the same week, but it doesn't necessarily make him a bad guy. It's completely unnecessary backlash. (Heck, my request for a picture with Scott Niedermayer was refused on my birthday, and I don't mind. I'm sure I'm not the first person who's asked him for something, and I won't be the last.)
- Spacek is still sick? Where did he catch this thing? Is it biological warfare?
- Ron McLean's response to a spandex-clad Green Girl in his studio is... ew. That's all I have to say, is "ew.'
- Is there anyone in sports journalism more petulant than Jack Todd? The Habs forced a Game 6 on home ice against the league's best team. And all Jack Todd discussed on Monday was Scott Gomez's face and Carey Price's fans. Really, that's all the material he had? You'd think Canwest would start cutting unnecessary costs in these crappy economic times, and Negative Jones' column/bitchfest would be one of them. But no, he's still getting paid to write, if you can call it that.
It starts tomorrow. There will be cupcakes.