I just got word that the Cougars and Giants will board the iron lung in the Western Conference Championships series which heats up Friday night.
For those that didn't understand that first sentence, both teams will be using the bus as a means of transportation.
Talk was the two teams would fly back and forth considering the distance between the two centers but chatting with Giants radio man Joe Kenward he was saying the two teams will only travel by air if a game seven is necessary in the series. How about the Calgary-Medicine Hat Eastern Conference final? Despite being only 3 hours apart, the two teams have decided to travel by air throughout the 7 games!
Let's just say bus leg's won't be a factor in that one.
Predictions for both?
I am going to take the Giants in 6 games because home ice advantage will be huge, and the Giants have it and the Cougars have to find a way of winning in Pacific Coliseum, a place they failed to win in this season.
Do the Cougars care about home ice?
Oh sure they would like to play all those games at C-N Centre especially after the crowd they got in game 6 Monday night, but the Cougars have won back-to-back series without home ice advantage and clearly have no pressure other than the pressure they put on themselves to win this series.
The pressure is clearly on the Giants yet hasn't it been on them all season long?
When it comes to goaltending if I matchup Cyr against Sexsmith, I like Cyr just a touch more because he has stolen some games in the playoffs for the Coug's. Yet the depth of the Giants on defense and at forward gives them the slight edge in every area other than goaltender.
Cyr will have to be sensational - bottom line - for this to go the distance.
I sure like the way the Cougars big gunners are playing right now, and if Setoguchi and Drazenovic play at an elite level the Cougars have enough fire power to make this a very interesting best of seven.
I picked Calgary to advance against Brandon, and the Hitmen didn't let me down.
Yet after two grueling series I just can't see them having success against a Tigers team which is just getting better.
The Hitmen should be emotionally spent heading into the East final which is why I think the Tigers will win it in 5 games.
Both teams will have to stay disciplined as the Tigers had the best power play in the league during the regular season while the Hitmen were an impressive 5th.
For the record in the last round I picked three of the four winners, the exception being the Cougars beating out Everett.
But was I close in predicting the length of the series?
One word - No!
I want to apologize on this blog for what I thought was a lighthearted comment towards a colleague of mine.
I've already apologized in a private e-mail but I wanted to come on this blog and admit my wrong doing considering the infraction happen in this medium.
I won't name-names, but I want to apologize for what this individual though was an inappropriate remark from me towards him.
I will admit I have a strange sense of humor at times (ok all of the time) and I thought the comment was a harmless jab, yet the printed word can sometimes be interpreted differently rather than verbally saying it with a sarcastic tone. I meant it as a light hearted joke, yet the person it was directed at didn't see it that way.
I was told by a very wise pastor who married my wife and I that it doesn't matter how I feel about what I've done - and I can justify it in my own mind all I want - it's how the other person feels that counts.
If I feel for that person and value them, I will consider their feelings whether I think they are right or wrong.
I use that philosophy in my marriage and do the same in my friendships.
In my mind I meant no harm to someone I respect and enjoy talking hockey with, yet feelings were hurt which I am sorry to see happen.
I have indeed learned a lesson from this experience.
Unrelated to hockey, the Dallas Mavericks came to Kelowna yesterday.
OK, let me clarify in saying the Mavericks team jet came to Kelowna International Airport and I was on hand doing a news story for the radio station.
A local company here in K-Town has a contract to do work on the inside of the Mavericks aircraft which includes gutting the cabin and adding leather seats, TVs everywhere, two bars, beds and two lounges.
Even the ceiling will be raised 14 inches to accommodate the Mavericks players if they use the aircraft in the near future.
This plane is a 767 which obviously isn't as big as a 747 but getting up close to it on the runway was amazing.
I was told brand new, the aircraft is worth over a 100 million bucks.
What the Mavericks are doing with this jet is using it for team flights but are also chartering flights for various v.i.p's.
A similar jet that the Mav's are currently using was also refurbished by this Kelowna company and has chartered for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and even the wedding party of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes who were flow to Italy for the big ceremony.
If I were to cheer for the Canucks it would be for only two reasons.
Brent Sopel and Josh Green.
I probably got to know Sopel the best when he was a young d-man with the Broncos in 1995.
He was acquired from Saskatoon for goaltender Ian Gordon, and put up some impressive offensive numbers as a 18 and 19 year-old.
What I remember about 'Soaps' was his squeaky voice and the time spent at his Mom and Dad's place for a post game meal.
On two separate occasions after a game in Saskatoon - Sopel's home town - the entire team would board the bus and head to Sopel's place.
They'd have tables and chairs set up everywhere in the house, and had neighbors cooking several dishes all afternoon which were ready and waiting piping hot for the boys to enjoy after the game.
What an experience that was as the Sopel family loved to entertain in their home and liked nothing better than having all 28 of us - players, coaches, bus driver and radio guy eating a home cooked meal.
I got to know Josh Green after one of the most lopsided deals I've ever seen.
Broncos GM Todd McLellan somehow persuaded Tigers GM Doug Mosher to trade Green and Rocky Thompson to Swift Current for four players including current Blazers Assistant Andrew Milne.
Even Milne will admit the Broncos won that deal.
Green was golden for the Broncos and was a big part of the team in the last half of the 1996-97 season where he put up 25 points in 23 games before scoring 9 times in 10 games in the playoffs.
Green would eventually be traded to Portland but he had the ability to skate, pass and shoot which made you think he had a long NHL career ahead of him.
Yet his best year in the 'bigs' was in 1999-2000 when he scored just 12 goals with the Islanders.
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