BOSTON, MA – Since the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs began almost two weeks ago there have been some observations worthy of conversation here at MTM. Even if you’re a casual fan of what has been called a niche sport by some of this site’s commentators, maybe these items are on your mind as well. Hey, at least there are some folks joining the banter and you should, too and join our slow-growing sports family.
Sometimes you have to give credit where it’s due, even if the compliment is deserving of Gary Bettman. It’s only a guess that he orchestrated the current television deal – because he choreographs everything from work to intestinal stoppages regarding hockey – but the idea of airing every game of every series in every round of the NHL Playoffs is a stroke of frogging genius. The start times are staggered by a half hour to an hour on the NBC family of networks and allows a hockey nut like me to skip the in-between-periods bull-sh*tting of Keith Jones, Mike “The Shoe” Milbury, or Jeremy Roenick and other “hosers” from north of the border and enjoy wall-to-wall hockey for six hours straight on a weekday night. Bravo Monsieur Bettman and merci beaucoup.
Two-goal leads in these playoffs have been like a sexually transmitted disease–fun to get but once you have one there’s a propensity to give it away. As of Friday night’s action, roughly one-third of the playoff games have seen a two or three goal lead pissed away and the same fraction of overtime games which is or isn’t a result of choking on a lead. While it may appear that multiple-goal leads are monkey business, I do have a favorite new commercial played often on NBCSN.
I don’t know how many of you’ve ever played hockey but you spent ten bucks on a wooden stick and if you broke the blade which was common during the course of play, you cut the shaft (insert joke here) and then a plastic blade was attached and the wooden stick became a street hockey stick. Fast forward to 2014 and the wonderful world of the man-made composite stick which sets back parents $200 for a piece of crap littering the ice faster than headgear after a hat trick. Watch a period of one game if it kills you and you’ll see an inordinate number of the hallowed out “composhit” breaking at various portions of the stick with little reason as to the blowout. As natural as the competition is the sticks should be the same–go back to wood! I’ll blame Bettman.
Thankfully, the second round of the playoffs means no more CBC feeds featuring bed-wetting Canadian hockey apologist and play-by-play man Jim Hughson. It’s disgusting listening to this homer for the Canucks or Maple Leafs or, as in this year’s only playoff team from up north, the Canadiens. Adieu, Jim as good ol’ American broadcasts are all we get from the next round through the Cup Finals.
If I missed something that you’ve noticed, drop a comment. And check back in tomorrow for West Coast Craig.