Having watched the playoffs closely this year (except for the San Jose Sharks, whose jerseys look like they were designed by Peggy Fleming), I have been enthralled by the back-and-forth, determined play of these teams. The close scores, the overtimes, the big hits that are apparently illegal but not too much, the danger zone behind the net where crimes of passion are allowed...I just have one question. When did the refs confuse our rules with basketball?
I've learned not less than 55 new illegal infractions, including:
- You cannot use your stick to touch someone in the face, head, hands, middle of the stick, chest, back, hips knees, toes, soul but you can hook them in the berries to the point that their entire bench sounds like a boys' choir.
- If you hit someone and it looks bad, it's a penalty...if you hit someone and it looks good, it's a penalty. Either way, they'll delay the call long enough for the vigilantes to hook you in the berries, which if you'll recall is legal.
- A perfectly executed hip-check on a guy who's 5'8", though almost physically impossible to be a trip, is a trip, because he went flying. And unlike the 1990s, nobody believes we can fly anymore. Suffice to say, someone pissed on that idea a long time ago.
- Add these to the old list, which includes making disparaging comments about opponents' girlfriends (no word if this applies to mothers, fathers, sisters, grandmothers, second cousins), mimicking fellatio, flipping the bird, screening the goaltender in a manner that looks like it's on purpose, hiding cocaine in your tighty whities, slapping people with their own shoes, having too much curve on your stick (NO! YOU MIGHT HIT THE MOON!), arranging for the murder of your agent...okay, some of these are merited. But through this entire circus, don't criticize the referees. That's hurtful, that undermines the league's sensible authority.
sweltering swill articles:
Monday: Antti Niemi
Grandpa's Analysis: Though I'm occasionally suspicious of the Finns (C'mon, mandatory military service? 600-goal kindergarten teachers? Something's fishy, and it ain't the kalakukko), Niemi has won the Cup, which means his career is already 1/4 as good as Patrick Roy's.
Tuesday: Getting Defensive: Atlanta Thrashers
GA: Wait, they played defense?
Wednesday: Canucks-Hawks wrapup
GA: The Vancouver Canucks were a 1st place team, the Chicago Blackhawks were an 8th place team, the right team won. Like always. It only gets dicey in my playoff predictions when I have to pick between the Eastern and Western Conference 1st place teams in the Cup Finals.
Thursday: Playoff Fenwick Score Tied Update
GA: I'm not sure what any of this means, and to make matters worse it a.) mentions the unmentionable, a warm weather team upsetting a good, hard-working East Coast team (karma for past transgressions?), and b.) disgraces the entire post by allowing a member of said warm-weather team to have the lead picture. Damn these renegade bloggers.
Thursday: Red Wings-Sharks Playoff Preview
GA: And then they predict a warm-weather team to beat a good, hard-working Midwestern team. Hasn't Detroit suffered enough? Don't you want to see them rebound, like in the commercial with Eminem and the expensive luxury (and ultra fuel-efficient at 29 MPG) car that nobody in Detroit proper can afford?
Friday: Flyers-Bruins Playoff Preview
GA: At least you can't possibly pick a wrong team like the Sharks in this series. Flyers win this one, 27 North Americans to the Bruins' 26, though I might change my mind if they put that lousy Russian in net.
Weak sauce this week, fellas. Making my heroic task easy.