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Old 04-22-2003, 02:33 PM   #391
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oh man, here he goes again

Not again

can you do something about this guy Michael?
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:48 PM   #392
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Chizip - I was expecting a better effort than that! Something a little more witty perhaps? While you think of something, here's something to muse over...

http://www.faceoff.com/nhl/teams/can...22/334858.html

No tomorrow

Even grizzled veterans of the hockey wars will admit the opportunity to play in a Game 7 is the fulfilment of a boyhood dream


By IAIN MACINTYRE
Vancouver Sun

Mark van Manen, Vancouver Sun

They never dream of losing.

From the time they are old enough to ankle across frozen ponds in hand-me-down skates or play street hockey in 10-a-side neighborhood games, the dream for kids is the same: to win a Stanley Cup.

On the way, they win Game 7s. Of course they do. Some score the winning goal, some make the winning save. But always, they win. Always, it is glorious.

The kids grow up but the dream never changes for those gifted and lucky enough to make it to the National Hockey League.

A month before the Stanley Cup final begins, the Vancouver Canucks get a chance tonight to live the dream a little when they face the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

"For most of us in here, it's the biggest game of our careers so far," Canuck captain Markus Naslund said Monday. "You feel the excitement in the town and obviously we want to make this a complete comeback."

Less than a week ago, the Canucks trailed the Blues 3-1 in games and looked very much incomplete. The dream seemed more like a fantasy.

But Naslund and the Canucks' first line awakened on the weekend -- Easter Weekend -- and Vancouver has won the last two games.

The defence and Canuck goalie Dan Cloutier are getting stronger, and the Blues' Chris Osgood shakier. St. Louis has little going for it except its power play, superior playoff experience and the best player in the series: Doug Weight.

They looked tired on Sunday, perhaps due to the flu travelling through their lineup. Influenza killed more than 20 million people at the end of World War I, and it may finish off the Blues.

"It's the time of year everyone lives for," Blues' defenceman Barret Jackman said. "If you don't have enough in the tank for Game 7, you're playing the wrong sport."

Everything seems to be aligned for Vancouver: two straight wins, a 67-38 record for home teams in Game 7 since 1939, and the Canucks' history of overcoming 3-1 deficits in the playoffs.

"I'm not a big believer in that," veteran Canuck Trevor Linden said.

"Momentum starts at 7:30 p.m. when the puck drops."

Naslund said: "I think you should take it as an opportunity, and something that you'll probably cherish for a long time."

Nobody on the Canucks will cherish it more than defenceman Murray Baron, who has waited seven years for another Game 7 since losing two of them with the Blues in the 1990s.

Baron was 27 when the Canucks beat the Blues in the last game of the first round in 1995. He was still young enough to view his career almost as infinite.

Now 35 years old and without a contract for next season, Baron's career clock thunders in his ear, ticking louder with each spring miss.

He still has that childhood dream, but knows he is nearly out of time to fulfill it.

"Back then, you always thought that next year you'd get another chance," Baron said. "It never comes that easy. You only get so many kicks at the can. Who knows how many more chances I have?"

Nobody knows, but likely he will have fewer chances than, say, Jackman, who is 22.

Baron was already 24 when he made his Stanley Cup playoff debut with the Blues, 25 when he first won a series.

He won another one three years later with St. Louis, but that 1996 playoff run ended with a seven-game, second-round loss against the Detroit Red Wings.

Baron, who is from Kamloops and came home to sign with the Canucks as a free agent in 1998, hasn't advanced beyond the first round since that epic overtime loss to the Wings.

The Canucks' last series win was against the Blues in '95.

Only eight Canucks have played a Game 7. Baron is 0-for-4. The Blues have 12 players with Game 7 experience.

Baron said his failure to make a conference or Stanley Cup final gnaws at him.

"You want to go far," he said. "I've been to the second round a few times, but that's about it."

It hasn't been for lack of trying.

While Jackman's run-ins with Canuck power forward Todd Bertuzzi have been mesmerizing, Baron has battled fiercely in front of the Vancouver net with Blues forwards Keith Tkachuk and Scott Mellanby.

"Bear has played an enormous part in this," Bertuzzi said. "He's the kind of guy everyone silently leans on. The best way I can describe Bear is that he's a gamer; he lives, breathes, sleeps hockey.

"I hope it motivates some guys -- it motivates me -- to help a guy who has been through all the wars. You have got to respect what he does because it is not fun what he does. I'd love to do everything in my power to help him."

Baron said no NHL player considers his career complete until he owns a Stanley Cup ring. He may have to win four Game 7s to get one.

"I've never been on a team with this many wins, this many points," Baron said. "It's the best team I've ever been on. The ultimate goal is winning the Cup. Everyone wants to do that at least once. What kid doesn't dream that?"
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:00 PM   #393
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Hey a local reporter predicted the same score that I did. What a great omen, that must mean we are right, sorry canuckers.

DA BLUES

IT IS WHAT IT IS: When praising and/or criticizing a player, I'm praising and/or criticizing the play of the player, not the person.

Hence, while I have been loud and clear in my disappointment regarding the play of Keith Tkachuk this series... I also see a person that has re-dedicated himself to the game. He has worked more diligently in-season and during the offseason the past two years than ever before.

He has accepted a leadership role along with Scott Mellanby and Al MacInnis.

This is a person that will not be denied.

Yes, I was blatant with my criticism of the team after Game Six... but I haven't lost sight of the big picture.

I fully expect Tkachuk to prove his worth as one of the game's elite players this evening. When Walt is at his best, he opens ice for Pavol Demitra to cycle and strike. Demitra has fallen back into his old trap of playing too much on the perimeter. When Walt takes charge tonight... Demitra's game will heighten.

Doug Weight has answered my questions affirmatively and is playing at a level comparable to the best of his career. Cory Stillman has arrived, he has been a force at times in this series. He has been the second best forward for the Blues this series.

Martin Rucinsky, Petr Cajanek and Valeri Bure offer pure skill the Canucks can't match.

When it comes to grit... I'll lay my money on Scott Mellanby, Dallas Drake, Tyson Nash and Shjon Podein.

My criticism of this team on Sunday was based on Game Six, that doesn't supercede the effort and dedication this cast has displayed since October. This team has the combination of skill and grit that the Canucks can't match when the Blues are clicking on all cylinders... throw-in a pinch of Barret Jackman and Chris Pronger and there is little doubt which team will advance this evening.

Mark my word, Tkachuk will atone for poor play tonight, setting the tone for round two. The Blues will win tonight, with Walt leading the charge.

Simply stated, the team that has won the even-strength battle has won the war in the series, Vancouver can't beat the Blues when the 'Note are at their best in even-strength. I expect the Blues to dominate even-strength play forcing the Canucks into mistakes and poor penalties providing ample opportunity to win in impressive fashion.

Chris Pronger worked too hard to reach this point, as has Tkachuk, Demitra, Mellanby, Nash, Drake, Jackman, etc.

I have seen the future, the future reads Blues 5, Vancouver 2. I have seen the future leading moi to offer a preemptive VIVE LE TKACHUK, VIVE LE TKACHUK, and VIVE LE TKACHUK
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:15 PM   #394
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Conisdering all that has happened to the Blues this year, it's amazing the Canucks were only a few points ahead of them.

Quote:
Blues embrace adversity, Game 7

By Tom Wheatley


I guess that's why they call them the Blues.

The hockey gods have plotted against St. Louis since before training camp began. Why would the Stanley Cup playoffs be any different?

"It's been all season long like that," said winger Martin Rucinsky. "We'll have to do it the hard way again."

The Blues lost 447 man games to injury in the regular season, second only to Los Angeles, and still ran off 99 points. They were almost at full strength -- missing only three regulars -- when the playoffs began. And they twice had the Vancouver Canucks on the run during the Western Conference quarterfinals.

But instead of a sweep or five-game romp, the Blues blew a 3-1 series lead. They now face a winner-take-all Game 7 tonight in Vancouver.

And blew is the operative word ...

... As in the shoulder that captain Al MacInnis blew out early in Game 2 on a big hit by Todd Bertuzzi.

... As in the flu bug that blew through half the team in Game 5 and lingered in Game 6.

The Blues lost all three games -- barely -- by a total of four goals.

And when all hands are on deck, rather than leaning over the rail, the Blues make the Canucks look sick.

St. Louis won the opener by a touchdown, 6-0, in Vancouver. After losing MacInnis on the fly in Game 2 scuttled the power play in a 2-1 loss, the Blues quickly regrouped at home to win the next two games 3-1 and 4-1. That's a 13-2 scoring margin in the three wins.

But Scott Mellanby sat out Game 4 with the flu. Even though he was kept off the team plane for Vancouver, the virus weaseled its way through the team. A Blues source said 11 players were on intravenous for Game 5. No regulars started that game in sick bay, but Alexander Khavanov lasted just long enough to deflect a puck off his leg and into his own goal. That started the scoring in Vancouver's 5-3 win.

The recovering Blues had little jump in Game 6, once again trailing 4-1 before gutting out (so to speak) a third-period rally. The result was a 4-3 loss and a series tied at three games apiece. Afterward, Blues winger Cory Stillman said, "Guys are feeling better, but obviously it takes a couple days to get your strength back."

He and his teammates were most sick about the four straight penalties, all of them senseless, in the second period that let Vancouver pad its lead.

As the league's most-penalized team, discipline has been a season-long problem for the Blues. So has their goaltending.

Chris Osgood took a slashing penalty that led to a power-play goal. He was not sharp in net, showing why he was voted off Long Island at the trade deadline for a prospect. Naturally, untold cosmic factors were at work. Osgood was operating with an undisclosed leg injury that he suffered in Game 5.

"It doesn't matter how you're hurting or what you have," he said. "But we knew it wasn't going to be easy going in."

No kidding.

Job, the Biblical victim, has nothing on Joel Quenneville. The Blues coach has weathered every affliction but a plague of locusts.

This season, due to injuries and ineffectiveness, the Blues tied an NHL record by using seven goalies. A week before camp, starting goalie Brent Johnson went down with a high ankle strain suffered during a shinny session. He missed the first 27 games, plus another five later with a groin strain, and was mostly ineffective when healthy.

With Johnson out early, the Blues won four straight games with an NHL-record four different goalies -- three of them rookies. One of them was Reinhard Divis, the best goalie in all of Austria. He promptly pulled a muscle, missed half the season and was about to be recalled from the minors when he was shelved again ... by a spider bite.

Scoring leader Pavol Demitra missed four games with the chicken pox.

Center Doug Weight, who missed two games after taking a shot off an ankle at the All-Star Game, missed 10 games after a rival goalie cleared the puck off his face near the net.

A bout of food poisoning sidelined five players, weakened up to 10 others and left only 18 players on skates for a December loss in New Jersey.

Power forward Keith Tkachuk missed 26 games from injury and suspension, and still scored 31 goals.

Defenseman Jeff Finley was suspended four games for reaching out of the penalty box to stop Derian Hatcher from pounding Demitra, a pacifist, during a melee with Dallas.

All-Star defenseman Chris Pronger, the incumbent captain, missed the first 77 games after radical knee and wrist surgeries.

Bruising winger Jamal Mayers has been out since November after knee surgery.

Winger Martin Rucinsky missed a dozen games with a bum shoulder.

Rookie center Petr Cajanek missed two dozen games with a broken leg, got back in gear, missed three weeks with a head injury and just returned during Game 6.

Center Steve Dubinsky, who was emerging as the team's best faceoff man, has been out for three months with a concussion. Coincidentally or not, the Canucks are beating the Blues to the draw, 58 percent to 42 percent, the best and worst faceoff rankings in the first round.

For all of that, the Blues wound up with the No. 5 seed in the wild, wild Western Conference.

They did so despite a dangerous habit of giving up the game's first goal, which has carried over to the postseason.

Before leaving St. Louis for Game 7, a reporter reminded Osgood that his new team has done nothing the easy way.

"Neither have I," said Osgood. "I don't expect anything less the way things have been going for me."

Osgood had a late-season ankle injury with the Islanders. But his early problems were the same self-inflicted wounds that made him expendable in Detroit after winning a Cup. Namely, a suspect work ethic, a fuzzy focus and a blind spot on shots high to the glove side. Osgood has buckled down in St. Louis, stopped the goalie-go-round and started fans chanting "Oz-zie, Oz-zie'' as they used to do for Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith. This Ozzie doesn't have the same kind of heralded glove, but some pucks seem almost fated to sneak in. In Game 6, the first Vancouver goal banked in off Khavanov, a flashback to Game 5.

"It's amazing,'' said Khavanov, still looking like a whiter shade of pale. "There's been so much stuff all year."

"We've just been snake-bit,'' said Osgood, who hit town too late to know that "spider-bit'' is a more apt term.

After the flu plague struck and helped force Game 7 in a hostile rink, another team might groan and say, "Why us?" The Blues grin and say, "Why not?"

"As long as there's seven games, we're still OK,'' said Blues defenseman Bryce Salvador. "We've just got to win Game 7, and everyone will forget all the other stuff that happened.''

Unless the locusts are swarming by game time.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:15 PM   #395
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That's hilarious!

"I expect the Blues to dominate even-strength play forcing the Canucks into mistakes and poor penalties providing ample opportunity to win in impressive fashion."

He sounds like the Iraqi information minister! Did he even watch the last game? Vancouver owned the Blues 5 on 5. In fact, they scored twice at even strength and twice on the powerplay. What did the Blues do? They scored ONLY on the the powerplay. Not one even strength goal! I only hope to see such "domination" by the Blues once more.

I loved this:

"Chris Pronger worked too hard to reach this point, as has Tkachuk, Demitra, Mellanby, Nash, Drake, Jackman, etc."

Oh, like Mattias Ohlund and Dan Cloutier (both with the bum knees), Todd Bertuzzi and Matt Cooke (with the bad wrists), and Chubarov (with the injured back), as well as Salo and others -- like they haven't worked "too hard to reach this point"??? Bwahaha! This guy isn't a sports journalist. He's simply a fan!
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:18 PM   #396
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michael michael michael, i think a respected journalist would know a little more about hockey than you. please dont act so foolish, you are embarrassing yourself.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:21 PM   #397
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Wow, enough is enough. Suck it up! It's the playoffs. This sport isn't meant for whiners. The Canucks have gone through soooo much adversity this year, but do you see everyone focusing on it? No. Wow, talk about a mass complaint! If they win, you'd half expect a footnote or asterix stating how difficult it was. Tissue?
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:22 PM   #398
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chizip
michael michael michael, i think a respected journalist would know a little more about hockey than you. please dont act so foolish, you are embarrassing yourself.
I notice you don't have a retort to the lack of even strength goals last game by the Blues, while still "dominating" the Canucks 5 on 5. Interesting.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:25 PM   #399
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just plain embarrassing yourself michael
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:25 PM   #400
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Back to your last Iraqi Info Minister joke. I do have to give you propps for using the Interference background. That was genius. The dialogue could use some work, but the background...genius.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:25 PM   #401
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Quote:
Originally posted by Michael Griffiths
Where's Miss Velvet Dress when you need her?

michael you still need my help!?
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:27 PM   #402
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No, I think they've taken care of business, taken matters into their own hands, so to speak, and gotten rid of their frustrations. I was getting a little worried there, though.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:27 PM   #403
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yea, i was focusing on the background, so i just threw out some stupid dialogue, i should have thought about it more, but oh well.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:28 PM   #404
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ok, just checkin on ya.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:29 PM   #405
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i think he needs a spankin
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