Sunday morning homily XXVI

As we enter what is likely the last full week of the 2007-08 season, it seems like only yesterday that the Lightning were in training camp. Dozens of ticket stubs later, a one-and-done foray into the playoffs and the disappointment of watching the Sabres' season end, we're on the cusp of hockey history.

Both the Ducks and the Senators, in their current incarnation, have the opportunity to win their first Stanley Cup. Both are strong teams and boast high-octane offenses. But as I wrote before, I like the Ducks' chances -- defense wins championships.

The Stanley Cup finals show, though, just how quickly time flies by when you're having fun. Like most of you, hockey is much more to me than a passing interest. It goes beyond being a collector and, over the past two seasons, a chronicler of a collection.

Even before the puck drops for Game 1 tomorrow night, I'm looking forward to the upcoming season. I've even posted the first three known trips. And all I'm willing to say now, even though I've told a handful of people, is that there will be more than a Hound Central 3.0.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by.

Bye-bye, Brian

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the retirement of Brian Leetch, arguably the best American-born defenseman. It's funny, but I thought he had already retired. Seeing that he didn't play this season, maybe it took him all of this time to understand that his career was indeed over.

In his only season in Boston, following the lockout, Leetch quickly grew tired of all the hounding. Then again, as a likely Hall of Famer, he should have expected that. Either way, I'm glad I had him sign as much as he did.

Opening trip

Today's brevity, so to speak, was brought to you by the 2007 Sunburn Tour along Florida's central western coast. Our first vist, made earlier today, was to Redington Shores beach. Signs warning of fast currents and stingrays greeted us in the parking lot. The water, which took some getting used to, had lots of seaweed. We didn't stay long.

Other stops this summer will include Maderia Beach (parking lot was full, hence the change to Redington Shores), Caladesi Island, Sand Key and, of course, Fort DeSoto's North Beach. Yes, we have plenty of sunscreen.



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