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...because we're dedicating SNFU's "Black Cloud" to Wade Redden.

Alright, so I promised you Hockey Night in La Jolla, right? A little background: The last time The Driver and I went to San Diego, we found a skating rink plopped in the food court of an outdoor mall. There was some feebly arranged peewee hockey being played, and the goalies didn't even wear pads or masks. That being said, the parents and rest of the food court was totally into it, and I thought, "How cool is this?" I made sure to seek out the rink the next time we came down, in the hopes that I'd be able to catch some more hockey, however pathetic.

This time around it was beer league -- proper equipment, although just as brutal. I wasn't planning on staying long...that was, until I saw the guy on the left skate past (click to enlarge):

The name on the back of his jersey was "Spunt". Best. Freaking. Name. Ever. Unfortunately, the dude skated like Brian McGrattan on muscle relaxants, but somehow that made me love him even more. Maybe it was all the beach time or my slightly sunburnt forehead, but I went into puckbunny mode -- chasing back and forth with the camera attempting to get photos while Sephora and Victoria's Secret bags dangled from my wrists.

(Aside: Despite the blog, column and my false bravado, I am still a chick who cares far too much about uncomfortable underwear and overpriced makeup. This is also worth mentioning: The Driver came into VS with me, and spotted some hot pink and black lingerie on display. He pointed at it and stage whispered to me, "Hart Foundation!" I didn't know what to be more embarrassed about -- the statement itself, or the fact I knew exactly what he was talking about. )

Anyway, back to the game. We were facetiously speculating on the past of the guy in the Phantoms jersey, when all of a sudden he fell about six times in a two minute span (including backwards through the gate in a move that was reminiscent of Midori Ito). The whole thing was so atrociously bad, I couldn't have possibly enjoyed it more. If you're ever in San Diego, track down the University Town Center mall and see it for yourself. It's totally worth it.


As for tonight...I don't know what to tell you, kids. Some of the things being said in the media have left me completely perplexed. Sarcastic or not, you can't encourage vicious injuries to the opposition. Furthermore, do you really want to see this team spend time in the box with three of its best PK men out with injuries? Shake yourself.

It's the defence that truly has me intrigued. The pairings are all over the map: 6-24, 4-44 and 14-55. It's the last one that really freaks me out -- if anything, Lee's got the calmer head of the two, but this is the playoffs and he's a neophyte.

Speaking of neophytes, can someone explain how Sidney Crosby gained a wealth of experience in five playoff games last year? "He's not green anymore! Look out!" I know his hockey intelligence is unsurpassed, but how's about we save these threats until he's played in the post-season for a few years?

Back to the D for a final thought: The blueline has got to step up their grit for this series -- it was an integral part of the team's success against Pittsburgh last year. I was talking to a friend about Phillips the other day and we both came to the same conclusion: Why doesn't this guy realize how effective he is when he plays with some toughness? Has he not been praised enough when he's done so? It's like dog training -- give the guy a ton of positive reinforcement when he hits someone. "Good boy, 4! Play that man!" Slap him on the ass, and send him out again. By the way, if Phillips were a dog, he'd be a St. Bernard. Yeah, don't tell me you can't see it.

Looks like Spunt needs a break, and frankly so do I. More later.