EDITORIAL: Kings in five
The Stanley Cup final is underway after what's been the most thrilling and entertaining playoffs in many years.
We'll go out on a limb here and suggest the majority of those in Parksville Qualicum Beach who pay attention to the National Hockey League are fans of the Vancouver Canucks, who have been working on their golf game for two months now.
So, in a series between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings, where do local fans park their allegiances for the next two weeks?
We're hoping for a good series, but we understand some people find it more fun to have a rooting interest. We're here to help.
The Kings are a Western Conference rival for the Canucks, and the teams have some less-than-friendly history. The Rangers have former coach Alain Vigneault and is the team that beat Vancouver in an epic final series in 1994. Tough choice, for sure.
Well, let's look at the rosters. The Rangers have 13 Canadians on their roster, none from B.C. The Kings have 14 Canadians, two from B.C. — little known backup goalie Martin Jones from North Vancouver and solid veteran defenceman Willie Mitchell from Port McNeill, a former Canuck.
Well that seals it, doesn't it? Not only do the Kings have a B.C. presence, they have a Vancouver Island presence in Mitchell, who hails from a tiny, attractive little fishing community about three hours north of here.
The Kings are an example of how the new NHL is played. Big and fast, they have young players in the bottom two forward lines who can really skate, which compliments the big, fast, skilled veterans who can really skate that they have at the top of their salary chart, guys like Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter.
There we go then — Parksville Qualicum Beach is Kings country for a couple of weeks. The beauty of this choice is we are jumping on the bandwagon of the heavily-favoured team.
Predictions are folly at the best of times, but regular readers of this space know we're not afraid of a little folly from time to time.
We don't know the result of Game 1 last night, but we'll take the Kings in five.
— Editorial by John Harding