NHL Playoffs: Insert Cliché Here

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Tiassa, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Chasing Lord Stanley

    Some, most notably my Canadian neighbors to the north, as well as some obnoxious folks in Chicago and New York, have noticed the obvious. More than the question of sun and rain, the days now answer to the ghost of Lord Frederick Stanley of Preston, Earl of Derby, Sixth Governor General of Canada.

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    La Coupe Stanley: The chase is on.

    The NHL Playoffs are in their full heat. In the West:

    #1 Vancouver vs #8 Chicago — VAN leads series 3-0

    #2 San Jose vs #7 Los Angeles — Series tied 1-1

    #3 Detroit vs #6 Phoenix — DET leads series 2-0

    #4 Anaheim vs #5 Nashville — NSH leads series 2-1​

    And the East:

    #1 Washington vs #8 New York — WSH leads series 2-1

    #2 Philadelphia vs #7 Buffalo — PHI leads series 2-1

    #3 Boston vs #6 Montreal — MTL leads series 2-1

    #4 Pittsburgh vs #5 Tampa Bay — PIT leads 2-1​

    Quite obviously, I'm following the Canucks; first up is much-needed vengeance, though a series sweep against the Blackhawks seems too much to ask. Still, we can only hope, drink, and cheer: Go 'Nucks!

    Detroit and Phoenix are underway in Arizona.

    I'm back and forth on Detroit. To the one, I rather like them as a team; what, being named after a shoe, and all. But, to the other, like the Yankees in baseball, or the Cowboys of American football, it's really easy to like the 'Wings. I mean, sure, I'll take Detroit over Phoenix because it's Phoenix, but there are few times I'll root against the Wings, and I'm aware that's really easy to do.

    But that's how sports and Americans get along in many cases. To run down the list of favorites in the brackets:

    Vancouver Cancuks — Local team, inasmuch as the Seattle area has one. Our neighbors come down for M's and Seahawks games. We sometimes go up for 'Nucks games. Besides, the Chicago Blackhawks are a very easy team to loathe. They're from Chicago. They're called the Blackhawks. They have an awesome theme song penned and recorded by Ministry for when they score a goal. It's really easy to hate the 'Hawks. And when they have a habit of wrecking your local team's playoff runs? Say ... no ... more.

    San Jose Sharks — Local team by proxy; my brother added hockey to his sports appreciation repertoire while at school, with the nearest team being the San Jose Sharks. Additionally, it's really easy to root against any sports team from the Los Angeles area.

    Detroit Red Wings — see above. Although I should note that any city that waits to ban the hurling of whole octopi onto the ice after a goal until the practice becomes hazardous for the personnel who have to lug the damn things back out deserves some measure of respect for hanging onto the tradition as long as they possibly could.

    Anaheim Ducks — Okay, so I know what I said about teams from Los Angeles, and it's not so much that I have anything against a musical Mecca like Nashville. I just haven't gotten used to the idea of the Nashville Predators.

    Washington Capitals — I could probably care less, but that might require some effort. However, they are playing against the New York Rangers, which wins them some default support.

    Buffalo Sabres — When I started watching hockey for my own personal enjoyment back in the '90s, I somehow found myself cheering for the Sabres. For some reason, I think I also remember a Sabres-Habs game of some consequence that coincided with the Scotts Mills Quake in Oregon, 1993. Long story. Sentimental attachment. Oh, right, and I despise the Flyers. Period. No room for compromise.

    Boston Bruins/Montreal Canadiens — No, really, pick one. Best Bruins moment? An old ESPN advert for the NHL playoffs. I think it was Cam Neely in the spot. The bit went something like, "Is it true that in the playoffs you'd check your own mother against the boards?" And Neely shrugged and looked sheepish: "I wouldn't throw my elbow," he replied. Seriously, though, for me it's a personal grudge against the Habs and a deference to a tradition either local or familial that despises any professional sports team from Boston. That is, I could probably cheer the Bruins against the Habs, except that the Bruins are from Boston. I did mention, didn't I, something about Americans and sports?

    Pittsburgh Penguins/Tampa Bay Lightning — Again, pick one. I suppose I could go with the Pens, since I haven't anything specific against them. It's just easy to disdain a team with such a glorious history. But that's not really worth the investment, right? I mean, the flip-side is that the Lightning are a Florida team, and the last headline I ever want to see would say something like, "America's Wang Shocks Sports Fans". (The best would have been "All Hail Šatan!" but that never happened.)​

    I have been alternately fuming and cringing for the last eleven months. Of course, I have this nasty habit of not paying attention to details, so I did, in fact, have a pleasant moment when I got the bracket. Canucks win the President's Trophy, and they get #8 Chicago in the first round. For the fans, it's fair to say losing the playoff series hurts more, nearly a year later, than Sami Salo's busted nut. And, yes, something about phantom pains goes here.

    Busted nuts and broken hearts aside, though, it's playoff time. And not just any playoff time: It's hockey playoff time!

    ('Wings up 1-0, 18:03 1st; Salei, assist for Helm, Kronwall)

    ('Wings up 2-0, 17:19 1st; Miller, assist for Kronwall)​

    Damn, that was fast. And fine.

    Okay, forget this. I can't think right now. It's freakin' NHL Playoffs, baby!
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
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  3. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    don't worry the canuks will sweep the blackhawks. they are to shredded for dumping people above the cap. I say this as a chicago fan
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  5. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

    Canucks fan here, born and raised. From Vancouver Island, currently living in Vancouver city. The atmosphere on game day is electric.
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    NuckNuckNuckNuckNuck ... hey, where's the beer?

    You know, what really pisses me off is that my brother and his girlfriend were just up for Oilers game, and while I'm certainly happy that they brought back some Growers Granny Smith Cider (although I'm just learning the stuff comes in a two-litre bottle, and I'm not sure how I feel about that) we have exactly one can of CCB Red Racer Pale in the fridge, and a half-rack of Kokanee in the pantry.

    Seriously, later today the 'Nucks are going to try to sweep the 'Hawks, and if I'm drinking Canadian, it's either Kokanee or cider?

    Oh, well. We'll drink Oregon beer (Laurelwood or Hopworks), and make it a regional vibe. Or maybe Last Drop will have a good tap to pull.

    But still, they went to Canada for a 'Nucks game and didn't bring back any beer? What the fuck is up with that, eh?

    I suppose the upside, though, is that being in the Seattle area, we get the CBC broadcast.

    But, yeah. The schedule tomorrow looks like:

    √ Pick up daughter from school
    √ Beer run to Last Drop
    √ 'NuckNuckNuckNuckNuck

    • • •​

    Yeah, it's a rough year for 'Hawks fans.
  8. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    least I'm not a cubs fan
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Small Mercies

    Small mercies.

    I mean, out here, we have the Mariners and the Seahawks. That's it. We used to have the Supersonics, but nobody really cared until it was too late.

    The Mariners are in a permanent "rebuilding" phase—I call the club a "talent hole" where good players and coaches go to ease the transition into being useless.

    The Seahawks? Well, we kept Hasselbeck last season, and don't have much of a plan for life without him. Maybe they're just banking on a lockout. "We'll be looking for a quarterback every single year," said GM John Schneider recently. They should have been looking in prior years, too. As it is, we Hasselbeck is unsigned as of this morning. So is Charlie Whitehurst. As it is, we have Michael Robinson, a former Penn State QB currently on our roster as a fullback.

    In other words, we're getting Matt or Charlie, and that's that.

    Unless, of course, we get the erratic, injury-prone, unrefined Jake Locker, a natural local favorite.

    Such is the state of professional sports in Seattle.

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    Pro sports in Seattle: Is it any wonder we're cheering the Canucks?

    So we look to the Canucks. A team with real superstars. A team with a real vision. A team that knows how to be competitive, and keep its organization in good working order. A team with championships in its heritage.

    It's nice to be able to cheer for a team that actually has a chance. Sure, we have to leave the country to find them, but Canadians are good people; they don't mind.

    (I won't try to figure out what happened to the Bears in the playoffs. That was just an ugly, ugly day for them.)


    Prisco, Pete. "Seahawks needs: A QB, and speed to make him better". CBS Sports. March 25, 2011. CBSSports.com. April 19, 2011. http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/story/14857585/seahawks-needs-a-qb-and-speed-to-make-him-better
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Game 4

    One hour and counting.

    Pick up daughter from school
    > Beer run to Last Drop
    √ 'NuckNuckNuckNuckNuck

    And time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future.

  11. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

    Man, that was ugly. The only one to show up was Luongo, and while he held fast in the first, he couldn't keep it up and ended up getting torched.

    They're going to have to play hockey next game...
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Ouch, ouch, and ouch

    So ugly ... so ugly.

    It was like they didn't recognize the ice beneath their skates.

    This was a textbook example of "Game 4" psychology in effect, on both sides. The 'Hawks played for their season and pride. The 'Nucks phoned in the funk.

    But, yeah—

    —it's like: We get it, guys. But does it have to be so ugly?
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Oh man, I feel like I was in a traffic accident last night. I've got whiplash from being jerked around so hard.

    I'm a Sharks fan.

    They narrowly won Game 1 against the Kings in OT in SJ, then stunk up the Tank in a 4-0 loss in Game 2.

    So the series moves to the Staples Center and the Sharks took up right where they left off, giving up 4 goals to LA in the first few minutes of the first. The game was toast, a joke, already a lost cause. I almost switched off my TV.

    Hell, was so depressed that I almost committed suicide. That was eight successive goals against without any San Jose scoring at all. The Sharks were rolling over in the playoffs... again.

    Then... something... happened. Maybe coach Todd McClellan forced spinach down their throats, Popeye-style. Or maybe a trainer finally discovered the piece of Kryptonite that LA had hidden in the SJ locker room.

    San Jose stormed out of the locker room and scored FIVE goals in the second. That's a team record for goals in one period. LA scored one more and the second ended tied 5-5.

    The third was played without any scoring (imagine that) and the game went into OT. And then the Sharks won!!!

    And I stumbed away from my TV feeling like I'd just been slammed into the boards. Over and over.

    Hockey players are supposed to put hits on each other. Not on their fans.
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Farging insane

    Yeah, I hear that was farging insane last night. Apparently only the fourth time in NHL history a team has crossed a four-goal chasm in a playoff game.

    And that they did it to the Kings? Yeah, I wish I had been watching that one.

    Oh, well. The 'Hawks couldn't allow themselves to be swept, at home. I mean, that's part of the psychology, right? They ain't sweepin' us. If they're gonna put us down, they gotta take us back to Vancouver to do it.
  15. Tyler Registered Senior Member

    Hey Tiassa, long time no see.

    After watching the Kings fall in a blaze of sorrow, I watched the Rangers pull up 3-0 against my Caps* and thought 'nah, it won't happen again'. Then it did. What a goddamn awesome hockey game last night! And what fun the playoffs is! Sorry to be such a cliche, but there just ain't no thang like the NHL playoffs. It sounds corny, but it's true.

    *I was born in Toronto and live in Montreal, so calling them "my" Caps might be a stretch. But until it's Habs/Caps, I don't need to make any difficult decisions.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Game on ... party on!

    Most excellent, sir, to see you.

    Ah, my day is improving. I got a mystery message at 9:30 last night asking if I could get some friends to the airport at 6:00.

    I didn't pick up the message until a bit after 1:00 AM.

    So I asked the obvious question: "6:00 ... AM?"

    Turns out it's PM. And there's a Game 5 mentality going on. Take my car, use my house, drink my beer, smoke my ... er, right. Host the party in my absence.

    Okay, I can do that. The only question is making it to and from the airport in an hour. And that's provided that we leave on time.

    It's in Vancouver, tonight, and while I don't go for national anthems in general, there is little to compare to "O! Canada" in Rogers Arena.

    For instance, Chicago. You know what their national anthem tradition is? Make as much noise as possible during "The Star Spangled Banner".

    I mean, sure, I like it, but it's got nothing on the overwhelming reverence and adoration and genuine love that echoes through Vancouver on hockey night.

    Normally I'd revel in those extra few minutes before face-off, and the fact that I didn't have to be blazing back through Seattle traffic. But ... yeah. I actually consider "O! Canada" at Rogers Arena part of the hockey experience.

    Some towns, you don't miss face-off, or the first pitch, or the kickoff. In Vancouver, you don't miss the anthem.

    (A note to those who don't know what I'm referring to, except, of course, you're not reading this, anyway, since it's a hockey thread and all ... but, yeah, if you've never witnessed the anthem in Vancouver, it's something else. We Americans have nothing like it.)
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011
  17. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    I guess I'm hoping for the Canucks, but I don't really give a shit since my team is out (hint: they are getting really good at pulling the first draft pick).

    BTW T, Edmonton was the city that started EVERYONE singing the Anthem. when the made the playoffs (finals - GASP), the singer would do the first couple bars then just hold the mike up to the crowd.
  18. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

    I'm not having a good time right now. WTF is this shit?
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    After the Pens losing at home 8:2 I thought that was maybe by purpose. Since they were leading the matches by 3 to 1 showing that they are much netter, they can easily throw 2 games in a row and take the extra money and revenues coming with the extra games, and win the 7th game at home to a sold out crowd...

    Sounds crazy??? It is just good business....
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Game 6

    Question: Will the Vancouver Canucks bother showing up for the game?

    Or has Chicago already won the series?
  21. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

  22. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    OK, hockey/baseball rant:

    I hate sports where there are like 80-130 games in a season before they reach the play offs (so any given game has no importance) and anyway, half of the teams making it there, so really a team has to suck giant ass not to reach the play offs.

    Now once in the play offs, it actually gets interesting, so maybe there should be no season, just play off right from the start. Even in the play off there are too many games, for hockey, 5 should do it...

    But anyway....
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    Canucks! 2-1 overtime! Alexandre Burrows in one of the greatest goals I've ever, ever seen.

    Chicago's Corey Crawford (G) deserves a nod. All anyone is going to remember of this game is that he lost, but that was a legendary performance, save the final score.

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