Pittsburgh Is Now Hockey Heaven

AP Photo

ST. PAUL, Minn. — What a hockey whirlwind these past 48 hours have been.

Monday in Winnipeg, my taxi driver was asking his radio dispatcher when Sidney Crosby might be back, I overheard two children in a store debating with their father which of Crosby or Evgeni Malkin was better, and the airport customs guy looked at my passport and asked me about Tyler Kennedy. Small wonder Manitoba native Arron Asham calls it "hockey heaven right now."

Tuesday, it was off to the self-declared "State of Hockey," land of 10,000 lakes that all make for potential rinks, host of a high school hockey tournament that's as big a deal as anything the Wild do all winter, birthplace of Herb Brooks and about half the roster of the 1980 Miracle on Ice.

It all reminds me a...

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