Bob from Michigan e-mails:
The comments about California made me think of the time machine trip I wanted to take when I was in my 20's. I always thought that being in pre-war southern California or immediately afterwards would have been a kick. What a place to be!! In addition, don't know if you've ever read Jack Cashill's “What's the Matter with California,” but he cites 1969 as the year in which the ultimate decline of the Golden State became inevitable. Some interesting political figures were around, too: Sam Yorty, Jesse Unruh, William Parker, Ronald Reagan. What a cesspool it has become.
Post-war California would have been quite an experience. The fusion of modern design, the cocktail culture, and West Coast jazz that emerged during that time in that place created a wonderful and uniquely American setting.
Now for the important stuff. Yes, the hated Wings are gone, but more importantly, those whining turds from Pittsburgh are also defunct. We must point out that an Ottawa defeat will remove a final Canadian presence and its inherent hockey jingoism from the mix. Screw Don Cherry. Anyway, from my old fart perspective of having vivid memories of eight Cup winners, I'm leaning toward Nashville. Defense, goaltending, and a very underrated coach in Barry Trotz being the difference.
May your region become so successful that there will be some reason to develop an antipathy for your teams.
I have to concur with Robert here. While the Western Conference playoffs have lacked the drama that we’ve seen in the East, for the most part the right teams have emerged. I’m bored with Detroit and San Jose and am thrilled to have emerging teams like the Blues and Preds moving on to round two. And even better, the hated Canucks have been dispatched in rapid fashion by the Kings. The only disappointment in the West is that the BlackHawks have been ousted by the Coyotes. In the absence of a local team to cheer for (at least in the playoffs), I’ve become something of a Hawks fan in the last few years. No offense Phoenix, but your team is not long for your parts anyway so even if they make a run this year any joy will be short-lived.
I think I’ll now adopt the Kings as my new favorite squad. They earned my gratitude for their elimination of Vancouver and they’ve got a defenseman with a name I can relate to.