April 22, 2003

He shoots! He scores! (And

He shoots! He scores! (And the other team goes home for a long summer)

There's nothing really like playoff hockey. Take, for instance, the game playing itself out right now on my family room television. The Maple Leafs of Toronto are thrashing the infidel Flyers of Philadelphia. Oh, wait, I'm in the United States, not Oceania or Iraq. It's 4-1 Flyers over the Maple Leafs right now, and Eddie "the Eagle" Belfour is probably not going to be hugging his Stanley cup on the Tilt-a-Whirl again in this year's celebratory commercial.

At any rate, I was about to explain the thrill, which, of course, I really can't; that's part of the thrill. Hockey is a great sport to live vicariously, mostly because it's so full of speed, strength, coordination, and skill - it's soccer on steroids. Goals are hard to come by, and momentum shifts can spell doom or ecstasy. And then you add the playoff element. Playoff hockey series are best of seven. So, four wins advances your team to the next round. And playoff hockey games continue until someone wins the game. Games may go into double, triple, even quadruple overtime, leaving many fans and players alike in a zombie-like daze the next day. Oh, and that seven-game thing? Teams muster up a lot of animosity for each other by about the third game, so you're in for some serious entertainment.

Tonight's games are all game 7s, meaning it ends here, folks. Thankfully (or sadly), I'm a bit under the weather, and so the lure of a tight game will lose to the plain, simple, practical fact that I must deposit myself in my warm bed at the exact moment that I am tired enough to strap on a Breathe-Right menthol strip, chug some Nyquil, and hope for sweet dreams.

Still, let me emphasize that again. It all ends here. It'll end for Philadelphia or Toronto. It'll end for Minnesota or Colorado. And it'll end for Vancouver or St. Louis. If I have to bet on one of these teams to win, it'll be Colorado. If Colorado doesn't win, this creative chap will proffer forth more clever invective like he did this morning. Newspapers in St. Louis have presented the disapproving parent tone, but no one's calling for the coach's head on a platter...yet. Perhaps that'll be tomorrow or around the stroke of midnight tonight if the Note can't pull through its major funk.

But, come tomorrow, eight teams will remain in the hunt for Lord Stanley's cup. If the Blues do bow out early, I will have more time on my hands to do things like write and exercise. But I really don't need that time until June - mid June, really...really...really.


Posted by hln at April 22, 2003 08:09 PM | Anecdote