Thursday, April 12, 2007


The NHL playoffs kicked off in fine style last night with TWO OT games: the Sharks beating the Preds in 2 OT and Vancouver upping the ante by beating Dallas in 4 OT. Wow! I watched a little of the beginning of VAN/DAL, and I think they should make identical twin brothers on the same team illegal--the Sedins CAN READ EACH OTHER'S MINDS! It's been proven! That game probably ended at 3:30 AM Eastern time, and I sure hope we don't have a similar scenario tonight because I need sleep. Tonight, we've got Devils, Rangers, Sabres and Isles--it's almost too much. (Oh, don't forget the HNA Landsharks. ) But I'm not going to complain, this is what I wanted. I don't even care that the rest of the East outside of Canada and the New York area is probably not watching, because I'm selfish. (And don't try to convince me that Tampa and Atlanta give a crap.) Oh, and I know I whine about this alot, but out of the 4 games on tonight only one is in HD (Devils/Lightning). Normally, all three local teams will be in HD but since they all play on the same night,

(Let me just mention that Sportsline's scoreboard, and the site in general, are clueless. When I got into work, both OT games were listed as "SH", or wins in the shootout, an obvious holdover from the regular season. COME ON! AM I THE ONLY ONE PAYING ATTENTION??? Of course, they also have "Watch the Masters Live" ads on their site, so they're not really on top of things. Sure, they eventually fixed it, but I'll stick with sites like TSN that get it right the first time.)

The typical overtime game in the playoffs goes like this: 2 minutes of furious action and scoring chances, followed by 18 minutes of uninspiring play; repeat until done. Multiple OTs are the result of the teams playing extremely close to the vest to avoid making that game-ending mistake: defensemen usually stay at home, teams take short shifts, goalies cover up everything nearby, and overall everyone tenses up. More often than not, one of these games are decided on a cheesy goal or a weird bounce. But if you have something invested in the game, or are rooting for one of the teams, you have to watch because it can end in the blink of an eye.

I just hope this doesn't lead to the NHL bringing the shootout into the playoffs (I'm looking at you, Buccigross). I don't mind the shootout as it is, even though the novelty of it has worn off turning it into a mere skills competition. It's fine relegated to the regular season, but the 'golden goal' will ruin the drama that is postseason hockey. If they really need to, they can make teams skate 4 on 4 for a couple of OTs, and then 3 on 3 until someone scores. Heck, pull both goalies for all I care! We've already seen a shootout decide a playoff berth (hello, Islanders!), I really don't want to see it decide a Cup champion.

However, the best idea was by Kris, in a chat we had earlier: COACH FIGHT!

Kris: if it goes to 4 OTs, the coaches have to strip to their skivvies and fight it out in a mano a mano deathmatch . . . it'll make the following games of the series that much more fun

me: I'd take Lindy over Nolan in that case

Kris: I'd take Lindy over most...Too bad Pat Quinn isn't still around. i'd pay to see Lindy f--k him up

me: Lou Lamoriello would hit you with his money clip, he probably fights like a girl. I think Laviolette carries pepper spray at all times, like Dwight Schrute

Kris: yeah...Laviolette doesn't seem like much of a fighter...Him vs Paul Maurice...that might be a fair match up

"...and then Schrute pulled out a can of hair spray and a lighter..."

We'll see. Just don't, sweet Jebus, don't put the shootout in the Stanley Cup playoffs!

In closing, this is officially my favorite hockey scratch explanation:

Vancouver D Brent Sopel didn't play after hurting his back trying to pick up a cracker from the floor Tuesday, coach Alain Vigneault said. Rory Fitzpatrick took his place.

As Vertullo said, "I can only assume the coach will be fired for his racist remark." Damn straight! I blame the crackers for everything that's wrong in the world.

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