Every year, the playoff season is another opportunity for us to learn valuable lessons we would not have learned otherwise. For instance, 26 of the last 43 playoff seasons have taught us that the Detroit Red Wings will make a marginal goaltender look like Dominik Hasek (not including years in which it actually was Dominik Hasek; then, it was more like Ken Dryden). We've also learned that referees conspire to provide one fan base a year the opportunity to blame their end to the season on a call rather than the performance that made the game hinge upon a single call in the first place. Not even one round into this year's playoffs, we've been fortunate to be granted more nuggets of wisdom than normal. A few of the better ones...
- There's a place where you can legally hit people in the head. Coincidentally, I'd also like to create a place on Earth where you can hit people in the head legally, specifically an area that I'd call the "Danger Zone" but other people would call "the league offices."
- Calling a bunch of phantom and soft penalties results in final scores we haven't seen since Gary Nylund and Garth Butcher were patrolling the blue line.
- The "33-hole" on the goaltender, only recently discovered because we didn't think it was possible, resides on the back of the goalie's skate or hockey stick.
- Targeting the head is apparently less dangerous in the playoffs, and way-the-hell less dangerous than saying uncouth things about someone's girlfriend.
- The Phoenix Coyotes and New York Rangers lost because they just didn't want it enough, or don't have good playoff performers, or didn't have the confidence, or didn't have the leadership, or didn't have the heart, not because they weren't as good as their opponents. The latter is just harmful, irresponsible speculation, reserved for stat nerds.
- Mike Green's attempt to block a shot (that resulted in him getting hit in the head) was "heroic" and "a great sacrifice for his team", not "bad technique" or "a bad idea, because he was literally right in front of Michal Neuvirth". It's guys like him that have brought about this horrific development of full cages being worn.
- The more I listen to Jeremy Roenick and Kevin Jones, the more I realize they're just telling me exactly what happened, over and over again, as if I wasn't watching the game.
grueling garbage articles:
Grandpa's Analysis: I totally thought he meant "states" as in the political entity. And let me tell you, that only makes the post even more confusing.
GA: Looks like the Leafs need to get their squiggles in order. That being said, anybody named Carl Gunnarsson should probably have the best squiggles in the league.
Wednesday: Anybody know where the Faceoff Dot is?
GA: You see what happens when you let kids think outside the box? They start messing up the easy shit.
Wednesday: Offensive zone entries: a new stat to track
GA: More fuel for the fire for these guys. It's like a new Playboy came out.
Thursday: Crowdsourcing Passing - Initial Results
GA: I can't even understand this one enough to make effective derogatory comments about it. Suffice to say, I think it's nut-dirt terrible.
Thursday: Looking at Defensive Forwards
GA: I don't see heart and determination there in your list of measures, Rob. If you really want to go against the intellectual grain of a guy that's watched hockey for 70 years, you're as doomed as the Titanic. Because Time + Watching the Game = Expert. Kind of like the equation Playing Marginally Well At the Pro Level + Job on Television = Sports Analyst, or (Degree in Journalism + Clear, Crisp Voice + Knowing the Right People) X Cradling the Balls = Color Commentary.
Friday: Playoff Fenwick Score Tied
GA: I like these lists where you can just say that one team is playing better than the other. Now figure out how to just put the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. next to them rather than those fancy decimals and it should be soft enough for me to swallow. I'd take you through the rest of the digestive tract analogy, but I force all my great-grandchildren to read this.
GA: Considering Michael Grabner is the only one of the three that is on a team I don't want disbanded and their jerseys burned into charcoal for my grill, I'd pick him too.
So keep watching those playoffs. History will be made.