BLOOMINGBURG, NY – There are certain movies that just suck you in to the point where there are better things to watch or more importantly do, but eschewing better judgment I opted for the figure skating farce Blades Of Glory. I needed humor after seeing the Boston Bruins in their first two exhibition game losses because that’s just what these round-robin games are – for the top four seeds in these Covid Cup Playoffs.
My name is Cheesy Bruin and I am a puckaholic.
Much has been made of the 2019-20 playoffs lacking the feel of post-seasons past. Two empty Canadian arenas, choppy ice surfaces from overuse, seeding meaning absolutely zero in this tournament, et. al. Bullsh*t! Did you see any of the nastiness in the Vancouver-Minnesota series? Or one of the most improbable comebacks ever in playoff history performed by the Maple Leafs? That kind of made up for what happened to them in the 2013 Quarterfinals vs. Boston. How about the Montreal ouster of the Penguins in four? Doobie-doobie-doo… not this year Sid!
Watching teams that have adopted the styles of their old scrappy players-turned-coaches has been fun as well. Last year it was Craig Berube’s Blues that went all the way. This year there’s Rick Tocchet’s Coyotes fresh off their series win over the Predators and Rod Brind’Amour’s pesky Hurricanes – both were teammates for a short time in Philly. These teams punch the time cards with lunch box in hand and may make for another rags-to-riches ending… As seeding means nothing, momentum is hard to build but as Replacement Matt “mushed” Toronto yesterday, count them out because they are still the Leafs – even with that astounding victory. My money is on CBJ and Elvis in net to win deciding Game 5 tonight at 8 on NBCSN.
Want some teams with momentum and a series of playoff hockey under their belts – besides the two already mentioned? While the top four seeds will need to flip the switch, that may not come when the puck is dropped in a best-of-seven series. Try the Islanders, Montreal and Chicago. The first two have the coaching and goaltending and Chicago has experienced forwards and Corey Crawford, who have all been there and done that.
Speaking of money…
Here’s a sure thing. Today’s noon tune-up game between the Capitals and Bruins will go over the 5.5 goals. The Bruins sleepwalked through the first five periods of exhibition play until the Lightning woke them up by taking liberties, raking their mugs and cross-checks. Lacking the chutzpah of Will Ferrell’s Chazz Michael Michaels in Blades Of Glory, the bear has been awoken. The intensity will be there and the Caps haven’t been exactly paying much attention to defense, from what I’ve noticed.
That’s it for me today. In order to pick the spirits up even further, I may check out the retro double feature at my local drive in theater in Fair Oaks, The Blues Brothers and Animal House.