Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Why Aren't You Watching The NHL Playoffs?

With great goalie play, big hits, a lot of fights and plenty of close
games, the NHL playoffs are filled with excitement
By: Greg Krummenacker

As previously mentioned in past articles, the first two to six months of the baseball season are pretty much worthless. Let’s assume you agree with this opinion. So why aren’t you watching hockey, dipshit?

It is the Stanley Cup Playoffs right now. Easily one of the most hard fought for and sought after trophies in all of sports. Let’s list some of the stats: It dates back to 1893, it weighs about 36 pounds, and oh, by the way, when you win it you get to drink Champagne out of the top of it! It’s a gorgeous silver trophy with more history behind it than any other Championship trophy in all of sports.

Now, most people will tell you they aren’t watching hockey right now for a number of reasons. Let’s go through the top 5 and I will give you 5 reasons you should be watching:

#5: “I don’t understand the rules!”
I hear this one a lot, mostly from girls that I watch hockey with. Listen, it’s not that hard, if you can understand the rules of any of the other major sports, baseball, football, basketball, and badminton then you can understand hockey. There are three lines on the ice that generally dictate the rules of hockey. Two blue lines denote the beginning of one teams attacking zone. If that team has a player enter the zone before the puck, that’s offside. Simple enough, right? The third line is the red line. It’s in the center of the ice and no player can shoot the puck from their defending side of the ice all the way down the ice to their offensive zone. That’s called icing, and it prevents people from cherry-picking. “But what about all those dots and circles on the ice”? Relax, relax, all you need to know is when an offside is called it goes to the closest dot outside of the blue line where it occurred. And when you ice the puck, it goes all the way back to that little dot inside the circle from where you originally shot the puck. There are many different variations on these rules, but these basics can get you through any game!

#4: “The playoffs are too long…”
Don’t get me started. The Stanley Cup Playoffs do stretch from April to June but the MLB playoffs basically run from Labor Day to Thanksgiving (almost). And baseball isn’t the only culprit. This year, the NFL playoffs started January 1st and the Superbowl wasn’t until February 7th. The National Basketball Association? They begin the playoffs on April 28th and don’t start the Finals until June 12th! During the Stanley Cup playoffs there is pretty much a game every night, so if you don’t have a favorite team, pick two teams (not playing each other) in each conference and root them on! Unless you think…

#3: “There’s not enough scoring!”

How many times have I heard this argument? There have been 137 goals scored in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year. 137. That’s a lot of goals. The Flyers/Penguins series alone has produced 32 goals in 3 games. For you slow at math that’s almost 11 points per game. When was the last time you went to a baseball game where 11 runs were scored?

#2: “No one cares about hockey!”
True. Hockey is a bit of a niche sport compared to baseball and football. However, I would argue that there as many true NBA fans as there are NHL fans. But don’t tell me no one “cares” about hockey! The whole country of Canada cares about hockey. Okay, bad example. But seriously, these fans are crazy. If they win, they riot. If they lose, they riot. They have stadium wide chants berating the goaltender just to get in his head. They wear all orange, do even realize how ugly 20,000 people in Flyers orange look? What about the players? They grow beards for god sake! They are so superstitious and this means so much to them that they won’t even shave their faces in fear it might ruin their run. Even the most maligned players in the league do this (see: Sidney Crosby). If nobody cares about hockey then why can’t I get a playoff ticket to a Ranger’s game at MSG for under $1,000? If no one cares about hockey then why did the city of Vancouver burn last year (and in 1994)? If no one cares about hockey then why do grown men cry when they hoist 35 pounds of metal into the air? Many people care about hockey, you just haven’t met them yet.

#1: “I can’t find it on TV”

I can’t help you with this one. ESPN is in bed with NBA after a contract dispute with the NHL about 20 years ago. Believe it or not Mike Wilbon, I DON’T care about the T-Wolves/Wizards game on a Wednesday in April!

So there you have it. Give hockey a try. I promise you’ll be mesmerized by the speed and agility. Or you could always go back to waiting 40 seconds for someone to throw a ball 90 feet, dipshit!

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