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Series #1: Texans V Canucks

Back when this season started, I took an honest, wordy attempt at guessing what this team would be. My basic thought then was that Nonis had made the right changes and the team transition would likely take a season or two before the organization, the fans and the city would see concrete results.

Well, I was wrong. Quicker then you could say "Cloutier got pulled in the first" this team did EXACTLY what everyone thought they couldn’t do. They won consistently. They broke a lot of records. They received amazing goaltending. They learned to score. They mastered the penalty kill. Eventually they won their division. And, oh yeah, they put together the best season in the history of the franchise.

I thought it would be a long season with more downs the ups, but this team did just the opposite. In fact they did exactly what I hope this team would do every year I’ve been a fan: go out there and get the job done, no matter what. Making it all the more rewarding is that they did all this when no one – media or many fans – believed in them.

Now, time to put all of that aside. Tomorrow, they join 15 other groups in the quest for a large, metal drinking vessel.

You know me, I hate predictions. The only lock you have is that two teams that are so similar on paper it begs to be laughed at will square off at GM Place tomorrow. It’s too close in most aspects of the game to guess a winner accurately. Barring any sudden injuries or a comet striking the northern hemisphere, it's likely that whichever team can employ a consistent enough attack to knock the opposing netminder off his game may just about do the trick to take the series.

That aside, some of joy of the NHL playoffs is the amazing hatred you can build for a team in a short period of time. Sadly, it’s tough to despise the Stars because they are painfully boring. However, I have a job to do here, so let’s go:

Why You'll Hate The Stars In 7 Games Or Less

1. They are frontloaded with a few NY Ranger cast offs: Lindros, Barnaby, Zubov and Norström. OK, that helps me maybe more then you, but still. Speaking of which…

2. Lindros? Seriously? Do you really want to see this "haunted" fool have any remote level of success in the post season at Vancouver's expense? He likely won’t even play because of a nagging groin injury, but the theme remains: any team that employs this overrated medical experiment should immediately skyrocket to the top of your "fuck ‘em" list.

3. Their website doesn't work in Firefox; some tabs on the left mysteriously disappear and reappear at will. Sure, I’m a tool for pointing that out, but there’s something to be said for not fucking up your main online PR vehicle. How about cutting Lindros loose and hiring a QA guy for a day?

4. The "Stars" moved a first round pick & Mathias Tjarnqvist for Ladislav Nagy; Tjarnqvist outscored him down that stretch. With any luck, overated-agy will somehow be responsible for a retarded own goal that leads to a Canucks win. He’s certainly on the right team for it.

5. Mike Modano, who looks like a horse, is engaged to this. I recognize Texans may enjoy lowering their standards, but seriously. Even eunuchs have to be angry at this. And so should you.

6. Stephane Robidas just looks like an untrustworthy person. Ditto Krys Barch who looks like he'd be better suited for one of the many wonderful prisons in Texas and not on the ice.

7. Mooterus makes our Orca whale look hot, trendy and fun for the whole family.

8. Tom Hicks, the Stars grand pooba, is an adamant George W. Bush supporter. I don’t want to get political, but permit me to suggest that any Dallas playoff success could mean more revenue in Hick’s pocket which theoretically could find its way to Bush or his party in the form of donations or massage happy-ending tips and, in turn…sooner or later, he’ll bomb downtown Vancouver for being a tough city to spell (what, with the two v’s and all). Think of the children people, think of the children.

8. They drafted Iginla in the first round, 11th overall, in 1995. Revolting.

In the spirit of sportsmanship:

Why You'll Like The Stars In 7 Games Or Less

1. The Dallas Stars Planet Tan Ice Girls. I respect their talents and look forward to whatever it is they do during games 3 and 4.

Canuck fans should rest assured with this reality: Scott Burnside picked the Canucks to miss the playoffs and finish 9th in the conference. Now he picked the Stars to win the series. Clearly, if Burnside - who used his vastly superior analytical skillz to guess that 5 of the 8 series will be going to a game seven where he, I presume, flipped a coin to pick the winner - thinks that, well, then you should sleep well all week long.

A combination of work, an interview and a concert will mean that I will likely miss most, if not all, of game #1. I’m positive the other solid Canuck voices will be all over what happens. I’ll be back in force late Thursday and ready to get stupid on Friday for game #2.

Not that they need it, but what the hell

Go Canucks Go