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Saturday Morning Coffee- Coming Home

SCORPIONS- Coming Home

Every moring when I wake up yawning
I'm still far away
Trucks still rolling through the early morning
To the place we play
Boy you'r home, you're dreaming, don't you know
The tour's still far away
Boy you'r home, you're dreaming, don't you know
You're having just a break
Dream we're going out on stage, it feels like
Coming home again
Dream we're going out on stage, it feels like
Coming home again
Dream we're going out on stage, it feels like ...
Year after year out on the road
It's great to be here to see you all
I know, for me it is like
Coming home
Day after day out on the road
There's no place too far that we wouldn't go
We go wherever you like
To rock'n roll
Jump on the seats, put your hands in the air
Give me a shout, let me hear you're out there
The wilder you scream for some more rock'n roll
The higher we'll go
Year after year out on the road
It's great to be here to rock you all
I know, for me it is like
Coming home
Like coming home ...

Much like a band that's been on a world tour, the Canucks are now home to play in front of their fans.  It seems like an eternity since they took to the ice in GM Place, and no doubt it will feel like a playoff game tonight, especially when they pay tribute to the Olympians before the game.  I am getting goosebumps as I think about how loud that place is going to be when they salute Roberto Luongo as a member of Canada's gold medal winning squad.

After that, it's down to business, as this team gears up for what it hopes to be a long playoff run.  They get some good news as Kevin 'Kevlar Sox' Bieksa will make his return to the lineup tonight.  Bieksa's been out since before Christmas, so it's a good thing to have his physical presence back on the blueline, especially with a huge match against Calgary tomorrow night.

Another thing to watch is how fans react to Ryan Kesler.  I am stunned to hear that there are still people carrying a grudge against Kes over the comments he made during the Olympics.  People, seriously... In the Olympics, he doesn't play for the Canucks.  He plays for another team.  He hates the team we were cheering for.  I don't see the issue.  If you're at the game tonight, and hear someone slagging Kes, give 'em a piece of your mind.  He did this club proud, not only during the Olympics, but on the road trip too.  People all over North America now know why we value him so much.

With the playoff threshold expected to be at 94 points this season in the Western Conference, the Canucks are 4 wins and an OT loss from reaching that point.  They do have some tough games ahead of them though as they wind down the last 5 weeks of the season.  3 against San Jose, 2 against Calgary, plus the Red Wings, Coyotes, and Kings amongst their 15 remaining games means it's not gonna be easy by any stretch of the imagination.

But 10 of these 15 are at home, where they have dominated this season, and with a little luck they could be poised to clinch a spot as early as next week.  But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  This is a very good Ottawa squad here to face the Canucks tonight as we saw on the first part of the RTFH(tm).  The Canucks will need to be strong defensively and use their speed to create chances.  The come from behind victories are all great and stuff, but getting on the Sens early will help greatly.

I've had this breakfast before...

Watching the buildup to the Pittsburgh/Boston game next week, as a Canucks fan is kind of like watching two cars on a collision course.  You know it's going to be ugly yet there's nothing you can do to stop it.  The feeling gets worse when you realize this is an intersection known for terrible accidents, and the people in charge did nothing to prevent another accident from happening.  If anything, they encouraged it through negligence.

The New York Rangers made Sean Avery a healthy scratch last night, then went on to cruise to a 5-2 win over Atlanta.  Hmm.  That's odd.  You'd almost think that oh, I don't know, the Rangers played better because Avery wasn't there?  Interesting...

Nashville gave themselves a little breathing space with a 1-0 win over Anaheim last night, and now sit 3 points up on the 8th place Flames.  The Flames could find themselves on the outside looking in tonight as the Red Wings look to hurdle back into the 8th spot with a win over Buffalo.  The Sabres lost a 3-2 squeaker to Minnesota last night.

Crazy one in New Jersey last night as the Devils beat the Penguins 3-1.  Craig Adams got 5 and a game for Charging when he hit Martin Skoula after the whistle on an icing call.  There's a lot of outrage coming from Pittsburgh about this call, but considering the attention given to these kinds of hits lately I like the message this sends, if they're not going to change to the no touch icing, then players who play the man instead of the puck on an icing call and make it into a dangerous situation should be penalized for it.  Too many players have been injured in these situations.

Washington lost a rare regulation home game last night to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Matt  Walker had a goal and an assist on Vincent Lecavalier's game winner as they defeated the Caps 3-2.  The game marked the first time in 15 home games that the Capitals didn't earn at least a point.