24 May 2010

2010 Stanley Cup Finals

Awesome! Just what I wanted...well, almost. The Sharks are gone, which means I can relax and watch the finals without a care who wins, as both teams have earned their spot in the finals. A look at the match up

(2) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (7) Philadelphia Flyers

Chicago - Last final was in 1992, when they were defeated in four games to Mario and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last time they won the cup was in 1961. That was a long time ago, the longest drought between Cups at 49 years. These guys have the best chance of the two teams. They man handled the Sharks, in four games.

Now the crazy factors. Captain Johnathan Toews did not touch the Clarance Campbell Cup. Usually that is a good sign...but, they have the Hossa Curse. This will be the third straight year Hossa makes it to the final, he lost the last two seasons. Will the curse continue to haunt the team that signed Hossa?

Philadelphia - Last final was in 1997. They were also ousted in four straight games in the finals. Eric Lindros' best chance to become a 'legend', the Red Wings brought out the broom that spring. The last time they won the Cup was in 1975, 35 years. The Flyers were the last team to make it to the playoff this year as they clinched in the final game of the season...in a shootout. Just solidifies the theory of 'make in into the playoffs and anything can happen'. Would be quite the story if they win it all.

The crazy factors for the Flyers. Captain Mike Richards lifted and carried the Prince of Wales Trophy. Wait, I just thought of something...the last three years (Pittsburgh in 2008 and 2009, and Philadelphia in 2010) the Wales trophy stayed in Pennsylvania.

My lame prediction. First, the Conn Smythe. Philadelphia's goaltender Michael Leighton has a good chance, if the Flyers win...or in Flyer tradition, he could win it Hextall Style. Also, Chris Pronger is playing like Chris Pronger. For Chicago, Captain Johnathan Toews is the leading scorer of the playoffs, so far. Dustin Byfuglien has shown his Mr. Clutch in the playoffs. Any of these four can win the Conn Smythe.

As for the Cup, Hossa Curse is lifted and trophy curse is reinstated as Chicago wins it in six.

Although, it would be damn funny if Hossa three-peats in the final as a loser, again.

16 May 2010

Jim Henson - 20 Years Later

Edit: I wrote this on the anniversary, but was not sure if I wanted to post it. Then I remembered something...no one (other than like two people) reads this, so here you go.

I will always remember this day. Twenty years ago, the world lost two great entertainers, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jim Henson. The latter had a huge impact on my life.

Growing up and being a child of immigrants, I was brought up by television. PBS was the channel of choice as it was free and educational. One of my favourite two hour blocks was back to back episodes of Mister Rogers Neighbourhood and Sesame Street. Like many from my generation, I learned my alphabet from Sesame Street, I learned how to count from The Count (Ha-ha-ha). This was quite useful since we did not speak English in the house, the only English I heard was at school and what ever was on TV. You could say I learned how to speak English from Big Bird and his friends.

In 1990, I was a sophomore in high school. During third period, in Mr Johnson's Economics class, I would always read the paper, usually to check hockey scores. On the morning of the 16th, I found out that Jim Henson had died early that morning in New York. I remember feeling something I had never felt before, and I did not know what it was. For the rest of the day I just did not feel right.

During lunch, I just sat there on the bench. Then, it hit me. As much as I tried to hold back, I could not stop the tears from flowing out my eyes. Yeah, I cried. I tried to hide it, but it was pretty obvious that something was bugging me...and that I was totally crying like a baby.

Jim Henson had a huge impact on my life, from The Muppet Show to Sesame Street, from Fraggle Rock to The Dark Crystal. I look back on my life and I realise now much he influenced me. It was probably him and his work that lead me on an artistic/creative career path. Heck, I not only still play with toys, I make them.

Thanks, Jim, for all you have done for me. I miss you.

15 May 2010

2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Finals

The West went pretty much as 'planned', as the top two seeds advanced to the Conference Finals. The East, however, had some interesting series. After defeating the Washington Capitals in Game 7 in the first round, the underdog Montreal Canadiens did the same to the Pittsburgh Penguins. But that was not the only Game 7 of the Conference, nor is it the more interesting one. In an epic fail/win (depending on how you look at it), history making series, The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins after dropping the first three games. Oh, it gets better. In Game 7, the Flyers were down 3-0 early in the first period...only to comeback with 4 goals and win it, earning a match up with the Canadiens in the Easter Conference Finals.


(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (2) Chicago Blackhawks

This should be a good series. Again, would be nice to see Hossa make it to the final...only to lose it...for the third year in a row. Obviously, I am going with the Blackhawks on this one. Chicago in six.


(7) Philadelphia Flyers vs. (8) Montreal Canadiens

The Flyers barely made it into the playoffs, and I mean barely. Last game of the season, in a shootout. Now, they have home ice advantage. This should be the one to watch. I love watching Mike Cammalleri play. Man, I wish he was still with the Flames. It would be great to see a final with two Original Six teams. So, I am going with Montreal in, of course, seven games.