Everything Else

It’s startling on how the feelings can change about a Game 7 in just one round. Just a couple weeks ago, we were all eagerly anticipating the Game 7 between the Capitals and Penguins, the culmination of a Mega Powers matchup that we’d been looking forward to since about November. Now tonight we have a Game 7 of a series that we pretty much just want to die and go away forever.

The constant argument over the Senators is an excellent example of how basically all sports coverage refuses to seen any nuance in any subject. The past couple weeks, or even months, have been one side screaming how boring the Senators are to watch at times, and the other screaming back that it’s not their job to be entertaining but to win.

Both of these things can be true.

Everything Else

We only know one half of the participants in the Stanley Cup Final, which will start Monday (and starting it on a holiday seems a bit weird to me but at this point I’m beyond studying it too hard). The NHL only needs to know half though, because they can once again, finally, put the most deserving player in the position of face of the league.

It is time for the hockey world to come to terms with PK Subban.

Everything Else

Man, am I fucking sick of writing posts like this. But the NHL, it’s rock-stupid/ignorant players, the league’s insistence on pretty much letting them be that, and the supposed-watchdog organization riding shotgun seem pretty fucking insistent that I and many others have to keep doing so.

To recap the news, though you probably know it already, Ryan Getzlaf got caught calling someone a “cocksucker,” a homophobic slur whether you like it or not, the NHL fined him the change he found between his couch cushions, he came out after Game 5 and delivered the most insincere, backhanded apology one could muster, one so lacking in any emotion or regret even Jay Cutler thought it was patronizing, and You Can Play released a statement that was so soft and passionless it’s a wonder the paper it was printing on didn’t actually piss down its leg. So a good weekend for all around.

Everything Else

It probably isn’t the best way to watch the NHL playoffs in the context of a larger meaning. Life has no meaning, eat Arby’s. We all know this. But when the Hawks are done for this long you can’t help but let your mind wander.

Before this Penguins-Senators series, while I was wary of my prediction skills in saying that then Pens should win relatively easily, the comparison of the two teams’ rosters wouldn’t lead to any other conclusion. But the thing is this isn’t really the Penguins’ complete roster.

Everything Else

I get that trying to support the Nashville Predators this spring has been a tricky proposition. There’s always a bit of angst about the team that knocked you out. Thankfully that’s been somewhat mitigated by their next two opponents being two teams I can’t stand, and I know I’m not alone.

There’s obviously the bigger, much bigger, that this was the organization that stood behind and re-signed Mike Ribeiro, and also employed Mike Fisher and his non-stop bible-waving arm. So I get that, too. God knows if you’re a Hawks fan you’ve dealt with enough conflict in your hearts to add any more to it.

And yet I find myself drawn to the Predators’ run here, not just because of PK Subban or Ryan Johansen simply caving in Kesler’s skull while calling him out on it, though those certainly help.

It’s the noise coming through my TV.

Everything Else

The Senators took a 1-0 lead over what looked to be a very tired Penguins team, and one that was already beat up, and all anyone could talk about was how boring the Senators are. Apparently most everyone hadn’t watched the Sens all year or in the first two rounds, and I can’t really blame you if you didn’t because the Bruins and Rangers hardly  move the interest needle either. This is what Guy Boucher does. Maybe you didn’t pay attention to what he did in Tampa, and again I don’t blame you if you didn’t because it really wasn’t worth your time.

But Guy Boucher, and the Senators as a whole, don’t owe you anything.

Everything Else

We’re in the business end now. The part where all four teams can have legitimate fantasies about parades in a month’s time. They’re halfway there, much like Mark Lanegan, and now all they need to do is repeat what they’ve already done. Let’s run it through.

 

Nashville v. Anaheim (Game One Tonight)

I really have no idea what to make of the Ducks at all. They swept a team that had the next best blue line to Nashville’s in Calgary, though a lot of that was due to Calgary’s own idiocy. In the underlying numbers, the Flames pretty much kicked the Ducks from pillar to post but watched their goaltending and discipline fail them.

On the surface then, it really shouldn’t have been all that hard against the Oilers, who has no blue line to speak of and even that was decimated in the last two games with Sekera not playing either and Klefbom missing one. And yet that took to a Game 7, and really would have been over sooner had the Ducks not thrown the biggest hail mary we’ve seen in a long time and Talbot finally succumbing to the workload he’d been given all season. Oh, and a little goalie interference didn’t hurt either.

Everything Else

I guess it says a lot about me that I’ve always enjoyed writing about the failures of teams more than the successes. Well, “enjoyed” isn’t the right word. But the writing is better. It’s a more interesting study. There’s more layers to it, and looking forward from rubble is more interesting than just gushing about triumph. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the triumph from time to time, because otherwise I’m going to set myself on fire on the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Whether it’s the Hawks or elsewhere though, there’s just more to talk about when things go wrong for a team.

All series, I had sat here and really wondered what the Capitals would conclude if they continued to dominate this series but lost anyway. Would the panic of yet another loss, the aging of Ovechkin, the impending cap situation, and whatever other factors cause them to act rashly this summer? Or would they hold the line? Now we’ll find out.
However, it didn’t quite go that way, did it?

Everything Else

I’ve seen people in some circles complain that we had to wait nearly a full month into the Stanley Cup Playoffs to get a Game 7. None in the first round and all that. Me? I love it.

Game 7s should be the thing you never want to get to. The “Please Don’t Make Us Do This” level. The absolute last resort. The “We’ve tried everything else and now this is the only way we can reach a conclusion. This is our only path to catharsis.” They should only happen a couple times per spring, to keep them special.

Because if you get a spring full of them… most of them turn out to be pretty disappointing. Rarely do you get November 2nd in Cleveland (and I still would have happily taken an easy, 6-3 Cubs win and been just as happy thank you very much) or Seabrook’s shot tipping off Kronwall’s stick and over Jimmy Howard or… well, we won’t mention that other Game 7 at home.

Everything Else

A mere five days ago, I wandered in from whatever haze I was in and wrote a post on just what would the Capitals, their fans, and the hockey world in general conclude if things didn’t break their way the next three games. Because for the most part, they had done everything right and simply were not getting rewarded for it. And the last time they went down this road, they needlessly blew it all up. This time, after last year’s loss, they stuck to the plan. Are they finally getting what they have earned?

Or this being the Caps, are they reserving the biggest stomach-punch for their fandom for Wednesday night? You never can tell with this bunch.