Seventh Dream

by

So what’s the over/under on how many diving penalties Habs center/actress Maxim Lapierre is going to get tonight? He earned two of them in Game 6 of the Montreal-Washington series the other night and you’d think, with everything on the line in tonight’s Game 7, he’ll be flopping to the ice like a narcoleptic flounder.

Of course, diving has always been an artform in Montreal. It’s not just Rodney Dangerfield who’s perfected the Triple Lindy but, like Rodney, folks who go down that road tend to get no respect. In the case of Lapierre, already fairly well unmanned by his mortal fear of dropping the gloves or getting into anyones face when there’s not a black and white striped jeresy in between, there wasn’t a whole lot of respect to lose. Let’s face it, it’s probably not good for your macho street cred when your name becomes permanently associated with the act of diving.

Still, two diving penalties in one game (Brian Gionta added one more to give the Habs what must be a record three in the game) is a particularly dubious sort of prancing, girlish infamy to try and live down. Might as well trot out there in a pink tutu tonight and complete the mental image everyone has of you now.

However, all the diving calls on Montreal didn’t seem to affect Jaroslav Halak or Mike Cammaleri. The Habs won the game handily to force the decisive Game 7 in Washington tonight and all eyes will be on the home of the Number One Seed in the East to see if they are going to put this series to rest or fall out in one of the more embarrassing upsets of the first round in recent memory (outside of San Jose, that is).

It’s a bit of a fascinating game for all of those reasons and more. Three teams in the East are eagerly awaiting the results to see who and where they will be playing when the second round begins this Friday. Fans of said teams might be rooting for one team or the other depending on who they’d like their boys to face. Here in Boston we’re forced into a difficult decision. Root for Washinton and get Pittsburgh and Matt Cooke or , gag-choke-vomit, root for Montreal to get the Flyers and home ice. I know. A nauseating prospect, to say the least.
That said, Joe Haggerty makes a great case for wanting the latter and I have to say, I think I’m getting on board. The Pens can wait.

Meanwhile, out West, the Detroit Red Wings ended their series with the Phoenix Coyotes with authority in a 6-1 victory in their own Game 7. Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and the veteran Wings line-up ended up being a little too much for the upstart ‘Yotes, as predicted, and Detroit will move on to face San Jose in the next round. Good for the kids from Phoenix for putting up a fight, though. For a team with so many off-ice issues surrounding it, it’s good to see that the guys on the ice have seemingly made the franchise one to watch down the road. The other Western Semi-Final features a mammoth match-up in my opinion with the Blackhawks facing the Canucks. I’ll do my predictions later this week but that one, my friends, is not going to be an easy call. Two excellent teams.

After tonight, round one will close and we’ll know all the match-ups for the next. Will there be one less Canadian team to watch or one less Russian Superstar?

Tune in and see.

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