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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hot Nights Cold Ice

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I write about ice hockey, so you would think that hot summer nights wouldn’t be my cup of tea but you would be wrong. This week is the second round of the playoffs and this is when I get all my best ideas and I know that I will have time to write those ideas soon.

I was watching a Boston Bruins game last week and it was hot. The players were hot and the crowd was over heated and uncomfortable. It brought to mind hot nights in the old Boston Garden of my childhood.

The old Garden opened in 1928 and as the hockey season got longer a particular weakness of the building was revealed. Fog. When the old Garden got hot, the rink would generate fog. The image of those ghostly players moving through the fog created by poor air conditioning has always left me with the idea of unworldly hockey players. Now I have a whole magical universe filled with, shape-shifters, wizards and fairies all from one image caused by a hot summer night over cold, cold ice.

  One lucky commenter will win a $10 gift certificate from Amazon and a hockey charm bracelet.
An excerpt from the short story Accrocher Ses Pantins by Elizabeth Inglee-Richards from my new anthology Wicked Slapshots

  Packing was something I did fairly regularly. Every year the season ended, and Jennot and I went home to Moncton. It had been the same since the team had moved from Halifax in the sixties. Before that we still packed to go home, but home was much closer then. That day I thought I may be packing for the final time, at least a final time for a long time.

Jennot was tired. He wanted a break from hockey, a break from the team, and a few quiet years before we came back to Massachusetts. A few years that he didn’t have to be called Trey. I could see him taking the place of Walter, the current goalie coach. I wondered if Jennot would want a break from me as well. It wouldn’t be the first time we had parted in our lives together. Hyenas don’t mate for life, like people think wolves do, and neither do Bouda.

Above our bed was our wedding photograph. Our original one. Taken in the summer of 1927. I took it off the wall and held it in my hands. The only piece of our original life left to us after all these years. My most precious belonging. I didn’t think many of our clan kept many reminders of the past.

82 comments:

  1. I'm a HUGE hockey buff, though I haven't gone to a playoff game this year. Your Bruins seem to be the only guys having a smooth series--my Sharks have their hands full! I love the Tank, but I've always been curious about the Eastern venues (I know the Garden was very cool). Have you ever read Dave Bidini's TROPIC OF HOCKEY? That's a great travelogue about hockey in unusual venues (Mongolia, Dubai). For that matter, you might like Jeff Lemire's graphic novel GHOST STORIES (about a hockey player in the '50s and his complicated, bittersweet family history)--it's perfect for the theme!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Right now I live ‘out of market’ for my Bruins. I live near Philly, so I couldn’t go to a live play-off game this year with the Flyers woes. I have to say I totally expect the Bruins to choke tonight, but I think that is the default expectation of all sports fans in Boston.

      The last game I saw live was the last time the Sharks played at the Garden. It was a good game, the Sharks won and the Bruins did a thing for Joe Thornton’s 1000 game. He looked so embarrassed when he got a standing ovation; he looked like he was 18 again.

      I’ve read parts of THE TROPIC OF HOCKEY. The story I am working on now involves a player from Transylvania and I had that chapter in another book. I still have some research and planning to do before I pull the trigger on that story, but it involves hockey a dragon and a woman descended from one of the woman who died in the Salem Witch Hunts.

      The new Garden is nice, but it doesn’t have the character of the old Garden. I’ve also been to the Old Spectrum in Philly and the new Wells Fargo center, Madison Square and the arena for the Devils and the old Leafs Gardens. The Tank looks like it is a lot of fun and if I had to guess I would say it is closer to the Boston Garden than any other arena; a loud happy place.

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    2. Oh, it is! I love HP Pavilion--not a bad seat in the house, and it feels a lot smaller than it is. It'll be nice to have the Bruins come to San Jose more often with the realignment and all (sure miss Marco Sturm, though...he was the one Shark I thought would always be one until the blockbuster trade).

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    3. That is the way the New Garden is, the balconies are hung so that you are very close to the ice and it feels very small. The acoustics are very good as well.

      I miss Marco Sturm as well; I figured Boston would be his home until retirement. And to trade him for cap space for Savard who came back for a few games seems wasteful.

      I like the way the realignment will work out game wise but I think the division the Bruins are in is going to be very weird. It forms a giant ‘C’: Bruins, Leafs, Habs, Sabers, Wings, hurricanes, Lightning, Panthers. All the Mid-Atlantic teams are together.

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    4. Everyone misses Marco, sigh! So many of my favorites are gone from the Sharks, it breaks my heart. Good luck in the conference finals...tonight I will hope my team breaks the trend of its last few Game Sixes, and try to stay calm...ha!

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    5. It’s funny, some of my favorite players have kids playing in the NHL now, it makes me feel so old. I think Marco got a raw deal and so did Matt Hunwick who was sent to Colorado.

      We need all the luck we can get with playing the Penns - my head says we get knocked out this round but my heart says The Bruins can do it.

      Good luck with your game six, I think it is the hardest of games.

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    6. I know what you mean...there are times when I hear myself sighing "I miss Torrey Mitchell" out of nowhere, and I think most Sharks fans are still traumatized that Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek got shipped out for Dany Heatley. I'm so happy to see Scott Hannan back, at least (maybe if the stars align, he'll get to stay).
      If it helps, most of us out West think the Bruins have the advantage, what with the Pens' goalie uncertainty right now and all. We've managed to force a Game Seven on Tuesday, though I wish it weren't at the Staples Center...eek. (Like Dave Bidini says, what exemplifies hockey better than the fast-paced, exciting world of office supplies?) Yikes.

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    7. Yeah there are some trades that just leave you shaking your head. I live near Philly and the past few years the fans haven’t been happy with the trades they have made – Richards to the Kings, Carter to the Jackets (and then to the Kings), The goalie Bobrouski (I know I spelled that wrong) to the Jackets and then JVR to the Leafs. It hasn’t worked out well for Philly and fans are kind of disgusted. Mind you the talk here was that Richards wanted to go to Boston, since he is best friends with the Bruins 4th line center.

      There is nothing more exciting than a hard won game seven – but only if you aren’t a fan of either team. And I am totally giggling about the Staples thing. Of course the Bruins play in the TD Bank Garden – Toronto Dominion Bank, so maybe I’m not one to talk.

      I’ve had two trips to Pittsburgh since April and so I have been getting the ‘you can’t beat us’ since then. Mind you I got a lot of that when the Bruins played the Canucks and that went our way. Flury has better numbers against the Bruins, so if I was them I would start with him in game 1, if it doesn’t work out then they can go back to V. Part of me also thinks that maybe F just needs to be on another team, that there is something going on in the locker room and that he needs a new place, sort of like what we saw with Thomas last year.

      BTW my husband’s favorite goalie is Niemi

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    8. Yeah, the Flyers have definitely had some upheaval...I couldn't believe it when they sent Brian Boucher (another favorite ex-Shark) to the AHL...now, there's a guy who's gotten a raw deal wherever he's been, including San Jose. (This in spite of the fact that he still holds two NHL shutout records, and that he was voted one of the most likeable guys in the league in an SI player poll a while back.) I don't know what's up with Fleury...Vokoun definitely scared us a few times when he was with Nashville, but he seemed to slip in Washington. Anyway, I'm going to steel myself for tonight...I'm sure LA golf courses are much nicer in late May than in late June, so I hope we can do the Kings that favor!

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    9. I was bummed to see that the Sharks lost last night. I was way to tired to stay up and watch it.

      Boucher did so much for the Flyers. I mean he brought them from last in the East to the Cup Finals in 2010. He is super well loved here and Philly is a town that doesn’t love goalies (I heard an interview with Garth Snow once and he said that when he stepped on the ice the crowd gave him defining silence) Boucher is a guy who has earned his time with the big team until his contract is over.

      Fleury is way to good a goalie to be playing the way he has been, it is a bit like Millar I guess. As a left handed person I like Vokoun just for having the guts to not be ‘corrected’ on the ice. Rask is a left handed guy, but he catches left and that has always bugged me.

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    10. I'm pretty heartbroken, but super-proud, too. (I felt so sorry that Logan Couture apologized to the fans on Twitter last night for the series loss--he has nothing to be ashamed of, not at all.) With all the adversity and injuries the Sharks faced, and considering that they were pretty much icing an AHL fourth line this round (they were good out there, though--I hope we get to see Bracken Kearns again, he really acquitted himself well), it still came down to a few bad bounces and a hot goalie (wish we got the Quick of 2011, sigh). And sure, count me in as one who'd love to see the Sharks pictures from that game sometime...it'll be a long summer without those guys.

      I miss Boucher--he was a really great Shark, universally loved in the locker room...Nabokov (who I liked a lot, don't get me wrong) was pretty much dictating his playing time, and Boosh was always so gracious about it, so much so that I think no one thought he minded. (In some radio interview during the Cup final with Chicago, he revealed that he was having a hard time with it when he was in San Jose, and that made me feel so bad for him.) I hope he gets to start somewhere again--they always make him a backup to some phenom, which seems like a backhanded compliment.

      It's weird, I always think about right- and left-handed defensemen, but I forget about goalies and how they catch. I wish your Bruins luck, though I may take a break from the games for a couple of weeks (of course, I always tell myself that and end up watching the Finals anyway). Sorry to clog up everybody's bandwidth with hockey talk, but it's been fun!

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    11. You know I haven’t done any hockey posts on this blog. I should since my books involve hockey. I work all weekend so I should have some long dull hours that will let me blog a bit.

      That is heartbreaking about Couture. This season has been crazy with injuries.

      I think that a lot of the really nice guys get raw deals. I think maybe they just don’t have that ‘no I need it to be this way’ in them and they sort of get overlooked. There are a few Bruins right now that I would put in that category.

      Well I have enjoyed talking about hockey as well. It has been fun.

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    12. The NHL does seem to be hard on the good guys, so it's good when they can hang on. (Patrick Marleau has taken so much garbage from the media over the years, accusing him of being a subpar leader just because he's a quiet, non-temperamental person. I'm hoping we can nab him a Cup someday soon, and that he can retire here.) I always tend to empathize with the ones who have a hard time, probably because I know I would be one!

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    13. Marleau's temperament reminds me a bit of Patrice Bergeron (who caught flack last year for not intervening and telling Horton how to handle his concussion issues) quiet, respectful and not one to grab the spotlight for himself.

      My brother in law gives me guff for my constant defense of three Bruins over and over again: Adam McQuaid (a stay at home defenceman, who fought a lot his first two years but not so much this year) Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell (although I still hate his dad Collin) three guys who go out every night and give their all. And while Bergeron was out Campbell was double shifted one night and then centered the second line the next night, got two goals and Boston fans were still criticizing him.

      Well I guess good guys do finish last.

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    14. I'm glad Bergeron was able to come back...he does seem like a long-suffering type, but I can't think of anyone who dislikes him out here. As for me, I get way too sensitive on too many former Sharks' behalf, but Torrey Mitchell (so eager to get back into the lineup after his horrible shin injury in '07 that he rehabbed too hard and gave himself tendinitis, plus I hated that he was scapegoated last year for the Sharks' penalty kill woes when he was obediently executing a flawed SYSTEM...I'm not sure he's getting treated right by the Wild, either), Jonathan Cheechoo (blamed for never getting another Richard trophy, in spite of the fact that he was playing through a double hernia and brutal knee injuries), and Boucher would top my list. I'm worried that Jason Demers may be on his way out of San Jose, too--that poor kid's confidence is clearly flagging under McLellan, and it's unfair that Galiardi got to avenge his Game Five mistake while Jason got scratched due to his. Wow, that was a run-on paragraph...yikes.

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  2. Thanks for being a part of the Hot Summer Nights Blog Hop. Your books are great and we wish you the best of luck!

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    1. Thank you for having the hop, it is my first one ever and it is good to start with a host you are comfortable with.

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  3. Awesome giveaway

    susanmplatt AT Hotmail DOT com

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    1. Thnk you for reading and good luck with the drawing!

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  4. Thanks for participating in the hop.
    Wendy Pogrant wpogrant@yahoo.com

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  5. thank you for taking part in this hop.
    Irene Rosa
    lahincha@hotmail.com

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, this is my first hop and have no idea what to expect.

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  6. An awesome excerpt. I'm going now to look up your book.
    Kimberly K. Comeau
    casey 446 (at) hot mail dot c o m

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    1. Thank you so much! I hadn’t realized that I had made my link the same color as the rest of the sentence *head desk*

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  7. Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    ncprincess96 at yahoo dot com

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  8. Thanks for the excerpt and giveaway, will be adding your book to my never ending wishlist :).

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you so much - I hope you enjoy the books when you get to them.

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  9. Hope you are enjoying the Blog Hop, this is my first one! Join me on Literally Write.

    margarita.felices01@gmail.com

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    1. This is my first one as well and I think I have had more comments than I have had with all my other blog posts combined!

      I’ll be hopping over during the weekend.

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  10. Thanks for the awesome hop.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

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  11. Thank you for the giveaway!
    alinutza4u2004[at]yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk

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    1. This is my first hop and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.

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  12. Hockey players are the epitome of the macho male, even more so than football players. They go out to prove there toughness every time they put on their skates. How can this not be sexy?

    blueshedevil32(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It’s wicked sexy, although I have to admit my players have a soft side. My husband is macho on the ice and sweet and kind at home.

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  13. I like playing hockey (on the ground not on ice, of course) more than watching the game. Ice hockey scares me -- someone always ends up bloodied.
    susan_francesny[at]hotmail[dot]com

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    1. I’ve played floor hockey mostly. I don’t skate well so ice and roller are kind of out for me, but I like being in net. I don’t think that there is always blood with ice hockey, well there doesn’t have to be blood with it.

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  14. I'm a huge hockey fan. Love the San Jose Sharks. I've been watching the playoffs and praying they beat the Kings.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. You are the second Sharks fan to comment. I still love Thornton from when he was a kid, I went to the game last year when the Bruins honored Thornton’s 1000th game. I was thinking about doing a follow up post with some Sharks pictures.

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  15. Thanks for the hop. I enjoy reading books with hockey theme.
    bones_mcp(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I hope you look my books up. Good luck with the giveaway.

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  16. I don't watch it regularly, but I do enjoy a good hockey game...especially watching it live.

    pjmillion(at)comcast(dot)net

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    1. Nothing beats hockey live at any level. It is just a fun game to watch.

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  17. I have gone to one game I liked it but it was very loud. I have not read a book written with hockey in mind. It would be interesting.

    strawberryrose@earthlink.net

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    1. I think some venues are louder than others, but it is a loud game even without crowd noise. It is a fun game though and fast moving.

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  18. LOVE HOCKEY!
    Thank you and GL to everyone! jmelter(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thank you for commenting! It is a wonderful sport to write about.

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  19. love the blog hops and appreciate all the giveaways neonangelwings(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. Gotta Love Hockey!!! Go RED WINGS!! :) Great time for hearing about your book lol

    Thanks for sharing the giveaway! such a generous prize!!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. I’m praying for an original six Stanly Cup final this year I like those match ups the best. I guess with realignment I’ll be seeing more of them since 4 of the six will be in the same devision now. :-)

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  21. Ooh the excerpt looks interesting :)

    amzpar[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thank you so much. I had so much fun writing this story.

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  22. Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com
    GFC: BookAttict

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    1. This is my first blog hop and it has been a huge amount of fun.

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  23. The great thing about hops is knowing different authors and books. I like hockey, but have never read about it. I'll check Wicked Slapshots :-)
    Tata
    alifeamongbooks (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thank you for commenting and good luck on the drawing.

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  24. Mixing Hockey and paranormal definitely sounds original. I could just imagine all the steamy potential in that. Thanks for being part of the Hop!
    kaladata2(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. It is all my husband’s fault, he is both a hockey and a fan of fantasy and horror and there just really wasn’t anything out there for him.

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  25. I am so glad I stopped by for this hop. Your books intrigue me very much. I think hockey is the only sport that counts. Those guys are awesome..LOL

    koonie2888 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you so much!

      Good luck with the drawing!

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  26. I love discovering new hockey reads! Thanks for the great giveaway and chance to win!
    kacidesigns AT yahoo DOT com

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    1. I’m glad you stopped by I should be announcing the winners by the 30th, I love talking to other hockey fans so I am glad to see so many stop by for the hop.

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  28. Interesting to blend a sports story with the paranormal.
    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

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    1. I have to say that I have fun with it! Thank you and good luck

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  30. I enjoy hockey but I haven't been to a game in forever. Thanks for the giveaway!
    asdidonato77(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. It has been just over a year since I got to see a live game. It feels like forever though. Good luck!

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  31. Thanks for the opportunity!
    farmaki(at)live(dot)com

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  32. This sounds like my kind of read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    marlenebreakfield(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hope you look me up! Good luck with the giveaway.

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  33. I'm not really into hockey or any sports, but I love romances of any kind. Thank you for the chance!

    spamscape [at] gmail [dot] com

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  34. Hi! Your book sounds great! I love sport books. In life, i dont care for them, but in books, i cant get enough! Thank you for taking part in this awesome hop! Its so much fun! Its wonderful meeting and seeing so many great people! :)
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. This is my first hop and it has been a lot of fun, good luck with the drawings!

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    1. I support the Original Six first, but after that come the Canadian teams. If Toronto hadn’t been playing the Bruins I would have been pulling for the Leafs.

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