Well, I finally got my great game seven.
In what has been the best playoff series of 2006, (with apologies to Edmonton/San Jose)Carolina and Buffalo smashed into each other last night in a game that was less "New NHL" and more "26 car pileup." There were hard hits, ugly goals, great saves, and a pace so feverish that it made me dizzy just watching it.
Actually, that might have been the vodka.
Still, it's telling that in a game as ugly as that one, the game winner would come from Rod Brind'Amour, easily the toughest, hardest working, and best player in the NHL who also happens to resemble Sloth from the Goonies. I realize that "Best player in the NHL who also happens to resemble Sloth from the Goonies" might SEEM like a limited category, but consider this. Regardless, I'd still take that ugly bastard on my team in a heartbeat. Brind'Amour (translated from the French: "only a mother could love") barreled into the slot, found a loose puck and buried the hopes of an extraordinary Buffalo team with a vengeance he usually reserves for well, mirrors.
Seriously, that dude looks like his head is made of wax and he got left too near the fireplace.
But with that goal, the Hurricanes move back into the Stanley Cup finals for the first time since 2002, and it's not the Red Wings this time; it's the team that beat the Wings in the first round. And not to dwell on it, but it's going to be great to see either team skating around with the Stanley Cup, as it's been a long, long time coming.
Let's watch some hockey.