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The Breakaway: Kissing them goodbye

by Shawn P. Roarke

* It's always sad to say goodbye. Never is that more true this season when it comes to most of those teams ousted in the first round.

*Boston's Milan Lucic is CTN's new favorite player. Anybody that can dish out 35 hits in a seven-game series – which doesn't count a couple of board-rattling near misses – is all right in CTN's book.

*In fact, this Boston team might be the most likable in recent memory. Tim Thomas is one of CTN's favorite battlers. CTN hopes the goalie gets a chance to start for Team USA at next month's World Championships.

*CTN can't believe it will have to wait to next Fall to see Alexander Ovechkin's goal celebrations again. This is a player that becomes more fun to watch every time you see him.

*Ditto for Mike Green.

*By the way, CTN has no problem with Martin Brodeur not shaking Sean Avery's hand. The handshake is a sign of respect given freely by the player to those that have earned his respect. Usually, every player earns that respect. But not in this case. The handshake is a privilege earned, not a right expected.

*New Jersey lost all three playoff games at “The Rock.” Think about that for a minute – 0-for-3 against the Rangers – at home! It's almost unfathomable.

*Need something to do when these playoffs are done? Check to see if the Regeneration Tour is coming to a town near you. The Human League, Belinda Carlisle (of the GoGos), ABC, Dead or Alive, A Flock of Seagulls and Naked Eyes are touring together. How can you miss that?

*The Ducks never could get untracked this time around. CTN still is trying to figure out if it was a lack of desire or something Dallas did. No disrespect to the Stars, but to say Anaheim needed a pick-me-up would be a gross understatement.

*The decision to switch goalies midstream in the first round was not as easy as it seemed for Detroit. Congrats to Mike Babcock to have the conviction to do so without looking back. 

*Nashville's Dan Ellis certainly showed his mettle in the Detroit series, didn't he?

*So Joe Thornton isn't a playoff performer? CTN has that right, doesn't he? That is the perception, no? Well, CTN wonders if Calgary will agree with that statement.

*Calgary has nothing to be ashamed of, by the way. They gave the Sharks all they could handle.

*In case you missed it, the new season of The Deadliest Catch started this week. It's one of the best shows on TV, by far.

*It'll be interesting to see how Montreal handles the intense physical pressure the Flyers will bring to the table this round. The Flyers are a dangerous opponent because they bring speed to go with their physicality.

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will play the New York Rangers in round 2 of the playoffs. Pens-Rangers highlights
*Sidney Crosby on Broadway for two weeks? Can you think of anything better? It will be interesting, though, to see how he and the Pens handle the off-ice attention that goes with playing in the media capital of the world.

*Clutch, one of the hardest and hardest-working bands in the world, is back on the road. They are in the middle of an East Coast swing before heading across the pond for the European summer festivals. Do yourself a favor and check these boys out. You won't regret it.

*Jeremy Roenick certainly isn't acting like he is over the hill, is he?

*There's not a bad city to travel to among the final eight. It's always nice when that happens.

*Jaromir Jagr's return to Pittsburgh – with something on the line – should be a lot of fun. Penguins fans might want to whistle instead of boo, though. In Europe, whistling is the preferred form of cat-calling.

*CTN wonders how many calls from the media have been placed to the Staal sod farm in Thunder Bay, Ontario. And who, exactly, Eric and his parents are pulling for in this sibling rivalry between the Pens and Rangers?

*How about the championship in the Ontario Hockey League? Kitchener against Belleville. Between them, those two teams have 24 wins and just three losses in the playoffs. The fun begins Wednesday. 
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