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Patiently Waiting For An Opponent

Now you know what Vancouver celebrations would look like if Bieksa was seven and a half feet tall.
Now you know what Vancouver celebrations would look like if Bieksa was seven and a half feet tall.

It's been almost a week since Vancouver sent the Blues packing and it's been a nice break of sorts from the usual nail-biting anxiety that goes hand in hand with playoff hockey. I've enjoyed watching the other first round match-ups without a care in the world.

(To that end, note that tomorrow's game seven between the Capitals and Rangers is New York's first game seven since a certain 1994 series that they won. Can I get a "Go Caps Go" please?)

It's time to get back into game shape folks. The second round is just a few days away and just as Vancouver better not come back to the rink rusty (except whatever is left of you Mats), it's time for the Vancouver faithful to find that anxiety monkey and place it back on their shoulders. And for good reason; as Zanstorm noted yesterday, Vancouver hasn't been past the second round in 15 years. Hot damn.

Both games tonight are important if that streak is going to end. If the Sharks can pull off the series they should have won already aren't they the President's Trophy winners? upset, the Canucks will be staring down the barrel of the defending Cup champions gun (to which Mr. Mitchell has already said bring it). Sharks need to win tonight to keep their hopes alive or else it's the Wings/Ducks.

More than likely the road to the conference finals for Vancouver will be going through Calgary or Chicago who also play this evening. Calgary's injuries are out of control (Phaneuf is officially out) and Chicago has a great deal of momentum based on their game five domination. But Calgary has yet to lose at home in the series and could be equally as motivated by their game five no show to get the win tonight in a convincing fashion.

Part of me just wants to see more game sevens so I'm cool with waiting until Wednesday. But maybe we'll know by the morning who our next crop of hated opponents will be. Either way, in the spirit of getting to know your enemy, you should probably be watching tonight.

Check the SBN playoffs hub for more.

NHL Playoffs Blog Coverage, Schedule and Scores - SB Nation