Hi there, fans of the internets!
Yeah, I realize that I haven't been contributing to this blog much lately, and it's for a variety of reasons. First, I find that I have nothing to say. Second, while I waste a lot of time I rarely waste it on trying to find something to blog (that award would go to NHL 09 on the PS3). Thirdly, since hockey is in the title of this blog, I feel I have to address the Devils' disastrous demise in Game 7 a few weeks ago.
I'm still shocked. And stunned. I'm shocked AND stunned, as Brent Sutter said.
Basically, I'm not ready to talk about it.
Eh, maybe I'm as ready to talk about it as I'm ever going to be. The way it happened, a swift punch to the nuts out of nowhere, ranks right up there with the most miserable losses I've had to endure, like the New York Giants losing in OT to the L.A. Rams (and Willie "Fucking Flipper" Anderson) in 1990, Carlos Beltran watching strike three in 2006 to lose Game 7 to the Cards in Shea's last postseason game, and especially Matteau's lucky-ass winning goal off of Fetisov's skate in 1994. Only the players from Winona State probably felt worse after blowing their 7 point lead in the final 45 seconds to Barton. (Yeah, that's a deep cut, but a fantastic failure.)
I even said with about 4 minutes left that I felt really uncomfortable about the tenuous 3-2 lead the Devils were holding on to for nearly the length of an entire period. Sure, I say that at the end of most Devils games (as Rob can attest) and they more often than not prevail, but this current iteration of the Devils' defense was possibly the weakest Marty's had in front of him in quite some time. As it turned out, OT DID flash in front of my eyes . . . but I never would have predicted the unfathomable last minute collapse that ended their season. In the end, Marty had no one to blame but Marty. Epic fucking fail, indeed.
Of course, the shitdick Rangers fans cheering at the other end of the bar certainly didn't help. After hearing cheering upon the game tying Jokinen goal, I basically shouted across the room, "Hey, I was actually rooting for your Rangers to win!" This way, the two teams might play each other in the Eastern finals! Because more local teams in the playoffs = more gooder. You couldn't really blame them for their glee, after they witnessed Henrik and the Blueshirts' lackluster season snuffed out a mere half hour earlier in their own shitty Game 7, after having a 3 games to 1 lead on the Komrades. But really, suck it and suck it hard, jackass haters.
(And no, it doesn't make me feel better that Zach Parise is on the Sporting News All-NHL All-Star Team, and Crosby isn't.)
As for the actual living, breathing NHL playoff teams, we're down to the FINAL FOUR. Yeah, it looks like we might get Wings vs. Pens again, but I'm secretly rooting for the Chicago Blackhawks (I guess it's no longer a secret). If they somehow figure out how to beat the Wings, I hope they take the Cup for the first time since 1961, leaving only the Cubs as the only remaining fantastic failure in all of Chicago sports.
* MAKLIN's first playoff hat trick was something to see. Like OVIE! he seems to have the ability to WILL the puck into the goal at times. But the sick impossible angle backhand (@ 1:25) that launched a thousand hats in the Pens' 7-4 Game 2 win was a thing of beauty:
Of course, shortly thereafter they cut to Malkin's parents celebrating in the stands--good god no, we don't need to see them up on KISS CAM in the Igloo! But OMG MALKIN looks JUST like his mom! So is he showing off for his mommy and daddy? Possibly. If so, I think the Penguins have to give them a Golden Ticket that allows them to attend any Penguins game at home or on the road.
* Why doesn't NBC Sports want to cover the Sidsburgh/Caniac series? It's easy to say it's because they suck a bag of dicks (so much so that perennial NFL windbag John Madden decided to retire). But I think there's another reason: they're so cheap that they don't want to move all of their equipment to Carolina just for one (or two, if necessary) weeken games. Instead, they can focus all of their sucking along the 285 miles of highway between Chicago and Detroit.
(Also, I think Doc Emrick hates going to Carolina. I don't know if this is true, but he made a comment during the pitiful Marty-enraging Game 4 loss about the fans notorious loudness being possibly alcohol-fueled. During the postgame show he was uncharacteristically somber, looking like he wanted to smack any random redneck Canes fan that crossed his path. Just sayin'.)
* I'll just say one thing about the whole SID vs. OVIE! debate: I'd kill to have either one on my team, but Sid has really stepped up and quieted the naysayers. Of course, I'm not among them; I've always liked The Kid, but he's proven this postseason to be The Man. The only negative thing I'll say about OVIE! (that you don't find with Sid) is that when he's not scoring, he gets frustrated and runs guys from behind and/or long after the puck is gone, but he gets away with a lot because he's so talented. But really, if you're starting a team and take one of them, I'll take whichever one is left. They're both incredible hockey players.
* Regarding Kronwall's ugly looking hit against Havlat in the Hawks Game 3 win last night: it was completely clean. Unfortunately, Havlat got caught with his head down trying to corral the puck. Let's put it this way: it's nothing worse than Scott Stevens has done in the playoffs Still, somehow Kronwall got a game misconduct and 5 minute major for . . . interference? How is it interference if a guy with the puck is cleanly checked? That's the weakest chickenshit call I've seen yet in the playoffs. If it's 4 minutes for roughing I'm okay with that, but that was pathetic because it doesn't even look like a penalty to me.
* Though I don't actively root against any teams (okay, except maybe the ones located in Philly), I have to admit I was giddy when the Bruins were handed their golf bags by the Hurricanes in OT in Game 7 (and his precious Celtics followed suit shortly thereafter). I'll say it again: Boston sports fans root for two things: the Red Sawks, and any other local team who happens to be winning at the time. No one else sums up this town's fairweather fandom like ESPN überdouche Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons. He twatted that he was pissed that he had to pay $75 for NHL Center Ice just to watch the Bruins play in Game 7 from his SoCal mansion. You might recall that he's the guy who wrote that the NHL was DEAD TO HIM during the rough patch while the Bruins were missing the playoffs. He even devoted a whole snarky column making fun of the NHL during their 2007 draft, and signed off with the following declaration:
As for the rest of the NHL, I'll see you in 12 months for the 2008 draft. And not a second before.
Well, guess what? He was back last April (less than 10 months later!) because the Bruins were back in the playoffs, and now he's got the stones to complain about paying to see the Bruins lose Game 7. What a lying, douchetastic Masshole bandwagon fan. And the foul fandom that calls itself "Red Sox Nation" (ugh) deserves nothing less than this twunt as their self-nominated president. I hope this latest turn of events turns him off the NHL, because we don't need him watching or commenting on hockey.
So I don't know if anyone is watching but it's been a fantastic Cup playoffs so far. And while I'm jinxing teams, allow me to say . . . LET'S GO HAWKS!