Canucks follow season-long pattern into playoffs

It didn’t turn out to be the walkover the first period hinted at, but the Canucks continued to do the things they have done well all season – protect a lead while involving more skaters than the other guys and keep traffic away from Roberto Luongo.

If they can play that way it allows them to lean on their twin aces, the Sedins, as the difference makers. Tonight’s game will be very telling, as the Blackhawks know just how tough they are in and will by trying new, more physical, stratagems in an effort to change the dynamic.

The 2-0 score doesn’t seem much to hang your hat on, but the Canucks played the first 2011 playoff game the way they played most of the regular season and that’s a carryover that bodes well for a long run.

There is a lot of quality depth among the playoff qualifiers in the west, however, so this is going to be a tiring run for Canucks fans.

It will be less tiring, I think, for fans of the other Team Canada in the post season. That’s because nobody, and I mean nobody, expects Montreal to go very far. Injuries and inconsistencies make the east much more of an equal opportunity scramble than the west appears to be – what with Detroit seeming to be getting healthy at just the right time – so no result will totally surprise me.

Even if Carey Price can carry the Habs past the superior Big, Bad, Bruins, however, I imagine Montreal, already damaged by injuries to top players, will be too banged up for another successful round.

Picking the rest of the conference is like coin tossing – we will get what we will get.

Just so you know – if this weather keeps up and you are not a big hockey fan, there is big money curling on the CBC main network (three games) this weekend.

*****

I am among those who believes minor baseball in this area starts too early and stops too early in the year. The current weather, in which kids are warming up and trying out wearing winter jackets, bears that out, I think.

The season at Butler Park will be extended this year, however. The Trail Orioles senior men’s team will host – and therefore play in – the Western Canadian Senior Baseball championships. Nobody in power has contacted me about it, but I am sure Wayne Florko and Jim Maniago will gladly entertain offers from those who want to help at, or sponsor, the event.

There will be lots more details forthcoming, but this I can tell you, there isn’t much better for even a casual baseball fan than the kind of high quality ball this event will bring to the summertime at Butler.

*****

I honestly fear a majority government of Canada lead by Stephen Harper, even though I am not enamoured of the alternatives other than another minority Conservative one.

I don’t suppose I well ever forget that not long ago Mr. Harper called Canada a, “second-tier socialist nation,” and a, “second rank country,” that he couldn’t wait to get his, “hands on,” so he could make it much more like America.

The mess the U.S. is in, because of the way their political and economic system is operated, isn’t something to which a Canadian leader should aspire, whatever his core philosophy.