Thursday, April 26, 2012


First round almost over and what has happened over the past two weeks is a pretty good reflection of my own life these days. Work is inducing sleeplessness, which is rare for me as I tend to leave that shit at the office. Jenn is finishing a two week stint in Qatar and while her folks are here and have been a massive help its still a world upside down and that's even with the kids being alright with the whole situation. They've been great and my workload at home is actually cut down, other than being the only go to guy for the little ones, as the inlaws cook and clean and take care of the chores. But you get into a routine over fifteen years (!) and thrashing about in an empty cold bed doesn't appeal much at all. She's coming in tomorrow night after just over two weeks away and its going to be wonderful to hold her in my arms. She had her doubts about the whole thing originally (the trip not being with me smartasses, I know you're thinking about it) but I convinced her it was the thing to do, its not like we'll ever go to Qatar, its about 150th on our list of places to go I would think, and she's glad she went. A fantastic experience. Of course while I said it might be once in a lifetime they have already asked her to return in the fall ;) so maybe not 'once in a lifetime'. Having said all of that her absence coincides with the first round this year and without having to share time with her (or the TV) I have been watching hockey every night for two weeks, with the exception of one night when only Jersey and Florida were playing. My life can get dull enough without looking for boredom. The first round ia always the most exciting I think and this year has been no different although its really spun into 2003 or 2006 territory as half of the top seeds are already gone and two more might fall tonight. If the Rangers lose then its either Florida or Philadelphia as the top seed left in the east. Crazy shit and like those years (or 93) while it seems like the Blues or Flyers would be good to go the reality is that when things start to go off the rails then anything can happen. As Bob Cole might say EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING!. Of course a Rangers' win would set up a probable New York/Philadelphia meeting and if the Blues and Nashville were to meet then really it would be a bit more of a return to normal because lets face it part of the intrigue and 'WOW IS THIS HAPPENING FACTOR?' is the fact that if the Rangers and Devils lose then we are looking at a group of eight teams with only one of them having won the Cup before. Throw in that on top of that so many of these clubs have gone years and years without even a sniff at any success and that Phoenix (likely to be moved this summer) is in the mix and we're really looking at an Isle of Misfit Toys feel to the whole exercise. I wouldn't say that to the fans of the Preds or Kings or any of these clubs though, God knows they've suffered enough. Its really a 2003 vibe though, when New Jersey and Anaheim met in what was the most boring, anonymous, who cares capper to a dull postseason that just about wrapped up the deadpuck era. Two teams nobody cared about playing awful hockey. If you saw any of the Coyotes' series we may be seeing some more of this shit soon, my God its awful, collapse around the net and hook and hold and tackle and hope Stephen Walkom is reffing and of course all four teams in the west play a defensive style, I saw some ridiculous stat the other day where a .940 save % was the lowest of the western teams remaining or something like that. Amazing. When it comes to hockey I'm a traditional man in at least one thing and that's the makeup of the league. If they could turn the clock back to 1970, throw in the Canadian franchises added since and call it a day I'd be happy. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can be an awful snob and hockey doesn't belong in half of the places where NHL franchises are now in my opinion. What can I say, I grew up in a two channel universe lol. So that stretch of years where teams from new Jersey and Tampa and Carolina and Anaheim won the Cup, well yrcch, especially since three of those years it was a Canadian team that got beat out. I like my franchises old and musty, just like me, and so when three of the four past Cup winners were Detroit, Chicago and Boston, the last two ending considerable droughts, well I was happy, and the Penguins victory felt right too, a '67 club with a lot of history. Hell even the opponents the last four years have fit the bill. So this year I'm casting about for someone to cheer for and options are limited. The Blues and Kings have been around a long time with no success and so if one of them were to go all the way that would make me happy. And of course the Kings are loaded with former Oilers and some famous names so they are an attractive choice. Would be nice if they were in purple and gold though. ;) And out east there's the Flyers, a likeable group of players for the most part and while they have a loathsome portion of their fanbase the internet has proven without a shadow of a doubt that every club has their supporters who are bigoted and foolish and stupid, so what the hell. Go Flyers! I have a feeling though that we're looking at Coyotes and Panthers, which will make my wife happy because I won't be watching that shit. More to come - thoughts on the first round and also absolutely pointless playoff predictions (2 and 4 and dead in my pools already. Fack!).


shepso said...

These series are too tough to call, especially in the west. The matchups are almost like mirrors.

I am pleased I can honestly say I called the Flyers, and I knew I should've trusted my gut and actually predicted the kings would win rather than just saying I hope they do it. The Flyers are just fun to watch and their scoring depth and intensity should carry them through the east. This round won't even be close. The west is much closer. I think NSH eventually wins, but they're going to have to get inside Smith's head to do it. I'll take the kings in 7 but this series will be a war of attrition and that's as far as they'll be able to go.

shepso said...

As to that other eastern series. Meh. I'll take the Rangers if only to vindicate Boudreau a little. I have no feelings in any direction for the caps, and while I don't love the Rangers, I think they'll make a more interesting match-up for the flyers in the conference final.

Black Dog said...

Hey Stephen, yeah I thought Pens and blew it, just didn't think they would get beat like they did, good on Philly though. Nashville is down and out by the looks of it - I'm thinking (hoping) LA/Philly