The Montreal Canadiens have a unique nickname - Habs - that has its roots in Quebec history. (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
I’ll knock off another mailbag Tuesday, but as revealed EXCLUSIVELY in this space on Tuesday, my brief Las Vegas vacation will prevent me from completing (or even starting) my mailbag next Friday.
However, the other chaps I work with are downright overjoyed at the chance to be assigned more work, so they’ll be answering your questions that day.
Keep ‘em coming to the usual spot (HERE), and I’ll pass a select few their way.
Until then, though, we carry on as usual. And as usual, some of you wisenheimers out there were quick to throw the sarcasm right back at me.
Yo Adam! What's a Hab?
Sorry. After reading your last mailbag, I just couldn't resist!
Jim R. Vancouver, B.C.
I didn’t say you couldn’t ask what a Hab was; I only said my man P. Singh couldn’t. And though I’m sure you asked only in jest, those looking for an answer to this question can look at the comments at the very bottom of the last mailbag column for a lovely little recap from a generous reader.
I'd like to start by asking if I'm the only person who wasn't fooled by Detroit's four-game sweep of the Avalanche and still remembers the Red Wings’ struggle in the first round against Nashville?
The Red Wings won their surprisingly low-scoring series against the Predators, but had difficulty beating Dan Ellis, only scoring more than three goals in Game 2. I also believe the series-clincher was Lidstrom's fluky center ice dump in.
Yes, Chris Osgood is still undefeated, but Colorado was a team missing five of its top six forwards: way to go Ozzi. Call it a hunch, but I think the Dallas Stars will get a bit more rubber on Osgood and won't give Johan Franzen so many giveaways and turnovers to play with.
Almost every NHL expert has picked Detroit to beat Dallas with varying expectations of difficulty, a few say Wings in seven games or six, but one ‘expert’ who will remain nameless picked Detroit to win in five games.
Where's the love for big D? I am not a Dallas fan, I'm a basement dwelling LA fan who picked Dallas to beat our California rival Ducks and Sharks, which they did convincingly, even though they were the underdogs since the Sharks and Ducks were thought by experts to be cup contenders.
Marty Turco is coming off a 61 save, 4OT game and is looking hot now that he's gotten out of that first round. Morrow is an unstoppable force (ask Milan Michalek and Evgeni Nabokov), and Sergei Zubov is only getting stronger now that he's back. Stephane Robidas has been playing out of his mind since Zubov first went down.
Throw in Mike Modano, Mike Ribeiro, Brad Richards, Jere Lehtinen, Mattias Norstrom and all the rest, and I don't see why Dallas doesn't have a shot to play for the Cup this year. Until October, GO STARS!
Rory Weden, La Crescenta, Calif.
Nope, you’re not the only one who believes the Stars have a shot. I like Dallas in seven, for all the reasons you point out.
Even after the Wings drubbed them 4-1 in Game 1 of the West final on Thursday, I didn’t see a Stars team that was totally outclassed. Tired and undisciplined, yes, but not outclassed.
It could very well turn out that Detroit is as good as they’ve looked thus far in the post-season. But I expect Dallas to be their toughest test yet – and maybe the toughest test they’ve got left.
Originally from T.O., I'm slowly becoming more of a Canucks fan than a Leafs fan. I think it's because of the media.
In Toronto, it seems the media continues to report on the possibilities with the Leafs (i.e. their interest in Fabian Brunnstrom) and have already proclaimed them as frontrunners for the acquisition. Here's the argument: The Leafs suck, come to a bad team, and you'll be able to play on one of our two top lines. It's amazing how the media is now commending the Leaf’s short-of-talent-roster as the key reason a player like Brunnstrom would chose them over Detroit, Dallas and Montreal.
Please give me your perspective. However, my question is, why would other teams be out of the picture? What do Dallas, Detroit and Montreal have to offer that the likes of Vancouver, Columbus, or Chicago are missing?
Seems to me, the chance to play with the Sedins, Rich Nash or Jonathan Toews is just as attractive as playing with Michael Ryder, Stephane Robidas or Henrik Zetterberg. (Ok, Zetterberg would be tempting.) However if Brunnstrom wants to play on a top line, it seems to me there's dozens of other choices out there that are much better than the Leafs.
Ian Archambault, Vancouver
I don’t know that my media colleagues here in Toronto are different than any other, at least when it comes to writing about the home angle. And it wasn’t as if they were fabricating Brunnstrom’s interest in the Leafs. That’s what they’re paid to do, and in an ultra-competitive media market like Toronto, the speculation and manufactured drama is always bound to spiral faster than it does in other places.
We certainly don’t know all the reasons yet why Brunnstrom chose Dallas, but there can be a myriad of factors behind any player’s decision. Sometimes it’s players he knows and likes on the team; sometimes it’s a fondness for a particular city’s weather or extracurricular activities; sometimes it has something to do with escaping the eye of the media and heading somewhere where hockey is the third or fourth or fifth most-popular sport.
The truth is, there’s never any way to completely make an organization all things to all players. Unless you win Stanley Cups every other year. Then you get the benefit of the doubt.
Wouldn't it be good for the Sabres if Jim Balsillie buys the team since actual owner Thomas Golisano doesn't want to raise the payroll? Balsillie seems to have a lot of money to spend and with an already good team in Buffalo, it wouldn't take much to bring them back to contention.
Thomas Lessard, Sherbrooke, Que.
In one respect, you’re absolutely correct. Having a non-corner-cutter like Balsillie for an owner would be much better for Sabres fans than Mr. Golisano, if only for his willingness to spend whatever it takes in all aspects of the hockey department.
But let’s get real here – everybody knows Balsillie wants to move an NHL franchise to Southern Ontario and I think there are targets far more deserving of relocation than a Sabres team that is greatly supported by the good people of Buffalo. Those folks still need a savior, but Balsillie ain’t it.
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