Late night hockey can be trying for us poor east coast bastards. We swap out our liquor for coffee with liquor and pray that our poor little souls can keep it together late enough to follow what is happening on the ice. Petition to transport all east coast fans to the west coast for games with our teams?
Are there any bored millionaires out there who would accept the payment of watching us eat a banana in slow motion? No? Ugh. Load the streams and pour the coffee, it's gonna be a late night with the Sharks.
MOST LIKELY TO DROP A SINGLE
Sid warms up for the game by looking notably existential against a black curtain. The camera man next asks him to be a tiger. Sid looks him dead in the eyes and says "I already am." The man is still yelling "now be a sexual rocket! Yeah!" as Sid walks off. This one will definitely make the album cover.
Nothing is really going on here. Raffi Tores is keeping busy being ginger somewhere. Brooks blocks a wrister from Tommy Wingels , whose name makes him sound like a man in witness protection after testifying against the Yakuza and now residing in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin.
Despres gets a shot off an offensive zone faceoff and Niemi deflects it out of play. You think we haven't seen hockey before, Niemi? Oh, we've seen hockey, honey. Tons of hockey. Don't you worry about us.
MOST NOTICEABLE ADDITION
Goc gets a cute pass to Glass, who takes a chance. Niemi says no, but Maatta is there to crash the net and pick up the trash.
Goc is popping up here and there on the ice and making it clear he is Here For Us. That little pass got him the assist, and really made the whole play possible.
Not to tell Stempniak that he is the least noticeable of the new guys, but hey, there's only a first and last place in this situation.
What's that? You wanted a side of Olli Maatta nightmares?
Souls are to be inserted directly into his mouth.
It was so fast that blinking would have obscured it, but Malkin quickly snapped up the puck from Hannan in the Sharks' zone, taps it to Kunitz smooth as can be, and Kunitz in turn snaps it into the net.
Geesh. We'll buy Plan B in bulk next time.
The Sharks were still playing dead for most of the second period, but slowly and surely they somehow gained dominance. Towards the end, they cashed in while we were still feeling pretty good.
The con continues into the third, unfortunately, when Marleau undresses Malkin and gets the puck into the net to tie it up. Sid is weirdly behind on the play, still suffering from the false sense of security the Sharks instilled early on.
MOST SUDDEN REALIZATION
Fortunately the con is off now. The Penguins have totally caught on to the fact that they were being played, if only because of the sudden consistent deafening level of the Sharks crowd. Credit where credit is due, them bitches is loud.
20 seconds after the tie-up, Sutter makes a really pretty pass to Maatta (WHO IS A GODDAMN TREASURE), who gets it into the net.
HOLY GODDAMN SHIT
Seconds later the Sharks capitalize on a turnover by Gibbons. It's also Gibbons who doesn't cover Burns in front of the net. This game has gotten way too intense for how late at night it is.
You guys I have had too much coffee and my cat just sneezed and I screamed with a level of terror typically reserved for witnessing the homicide of a loved one. This game is working on my nerves. I hope you are all okay.
LEAST HAPPY ACCIDENT
The Sharks take the lead with five and a half to go on the clock when Thorton throws a puck at the net that should never go in, but does. Zatkoff looks sad. We want to give him hugs and whisper that we still love him but that was not okay.
The goal ends up being the nail in our coffin, an empty net goal from the Sharks only adding insult to injury.
PERSON WE'RE STILL UNSURE ABOUT MEETING IN A DARK ALLEY
Are you attractive or just so scary that we're too afraid to think otherwise? Either way, wtf are you doing scoring goals against us?
ALT THREE STARS
1. Maatta's mamma, for making him exist.
2. Full-sized coffee pots, because Keurigs can't get us through games this fucking late what are we supposed to do like run to the kitchen 47 times?
3. The unrelenting human spirit. Because goddamnit we can't wait for tomorrow night to do it all over again.
Oh my god it's bed time.
Late night hockey can be trying for us poor east coast bastards. We swap out our liquor for coffee with liquor and pray that our poor little souls can keep it together late enough to follow what is happening on the ice. Petition to transport all east coast fans to the west coast for games with our teams?
The Penguins acquired (wait for it) (as if you don't already know) Lee Stempniak and Marcel Goc.
Stempniak in Calgary the last few seasons:
Obviously Calgary is trash, but what stands out to us is his relatively high amount of ice time over the last few seasons. If he can be counted on to play reliably on regular shifts, we're down. Ignore his +/-. Calgary is the worst.
If Lee Stempniak were a kitten, we think he'd be this one:
Marcel Goc is a bit of a more interesting acquisition. He kills at faceoffs and is basically considered a shutdown center. Unsure how he will be played since the Pens always seem to have 4893432095890324023 guys (approx. estimation) who can "play center or wing" and they tend to play really weird guys at center (obviously the top six notwithstanding). Brandon Sutter is pretty much considered the de facto third line center of the Pens, and he wasn't dealt, despite expectations that he might be. Could be that the Pens are trying to solidify the hell out of the bottom six and maybe turn the third and fourth lines into some kind of iron wall that won't just be "tough to play against" in terms of hitting and intangibles, but actually provide some skill to create turnovers and actually go the other way with them. Keep in mind that the Pens' bottom six, right now, play 10-12 minutes a night and just try not to fuck up most of the time. Dan Bylsma's irregular habits of shuffling lines and creating matchups (WILL HE OR WON'T HE???? TUNE IN TONIGHT!!!!) don't lend well to this. Depth players like Stempniak and Goc will in theory make all four lines of the Penguins harder to play against. If they play Goc at fourth line center, watch the fuck out--that could turn into a legitimate line.
If Marcel Goc were a kitten, he'd be this one:
note how it's friends with a dog. key.
We didn't have the time to obsessively watch Twitter all day yesterday but we're kind of glad we didn't because Kesler didn't move and that's about as exciting as life could have potentially gotten.
Dan Ellis and Roberto Luongo is the new goaltending duo in Florida, perhaps the two most opposite goalie Twitter personalities of all time becoming one delicious, glorious, awkward social mess. We secretly like Florida and we wish Lu all the best.
If you need something to really put you asleep before bedtime, check it out: http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/transactions/
Go Pens. Tonight at 10:30 vs. San Jose. Let's hope we keep the good feelings in our hearts.
Signs that tonight's game will be interesting, if not a little grating:
- Stress about tomorrow is at fever pitch. We'll spare you the speculation. It's plentiful elsewhere and makes us want to rip our chest cavities open.
- Before puck drop, Steiggy and Bobby both have used the term "Smashville" several times. Can we not.
- PEKKARINNE is Bobby's FedorTyutin. He's also 51 games cold from a hip injury way-back-when, but not someone we want to underestimate. We expect him to show up in a big way for his return.
But let's relax for a little bit and prepare ourselves emotionally for tomorrow while enjoying what will hopefully be a solid game and not the clusterfuck of crushed dreams like the past few games have been. ...yaaaay!
ALSO IMPORTANT: This man became a father recently.
So I guess we have to talk about that too.
LEAST DUST GATHERED
It only takes a few minutes of fairly back-and-forth play for us to see that Renne is not suffering from his time off. Jussi tries one early and the shot is blocked and the rebound covered. Not so telling in itself, but then Sid and Kunitz get a two-on-one against Weber. Kunitz tries to get it in but Renne kicks it out with his skate, denying us the early lead and destroying our hopes and dreams much like news that this hoverboard commercial was a fraud. Seriously, why would Doc Brown lie to our fucking faces? Who can we even trust now?
TINIEST NEW TEAMMATE
The first period doesn't boast too many shots from either team, but MAF is keeping out the ones that come his way. We sweat it a little when Bort dives after a shot from Smith but can't block it in time and MAF is looking a little sleepy on the play, but the crossbar steps up to the plate and keeps it out. We are naming the crossbar an honorary member of the roster, mostly so lil Brian Gibbbons won't feel so itty bitty anymore.
Bb get in my pocket you look like a hobbit.
SWEATIEST HANDFUL OF XANAX
The Preds draw first blood...or do they? Maatta blocs a right circle wrister from Spaling, then tries to beat him to the boards for it. Spaling gets there first and throws it towards the net. MAF works to keep it out but Gaustad comes crashing in and the puck skips over the line.
The play immediately goes under review but there isn't a whole lot of conclusive video evidence of what happened, because this isn't an event in a multi-billion dollar industry that relies on accurate reporting in a small area of a venue centering around a net.
You immediately palm a handful of the nearest prescription in your house and wait for the refs to get back to you. With the last few tragic games starting with the opposing team drawing first blood, you're not ready for a spiral into darkness just yet. At least do it on a weekend when it's socially acceptable to get shit faced, you guys.
When the refs declare "distinct kicking motion" you slowly funnel the now-sweat-saturated pills back into their bottle where they wait for next time.
Neal somehow manages getting off easy with 2 minutes after boarding Del Zotto from behind and with a little arm lift. He's lucky.
Next up on the bad attitude agenda are Bort and Wilson. After Bort gifts him a stiff check at the blue line, the two of them exchange pleasantries and some blood - the owner of which is unclear.
(Jesus fucking Christ that picture makes it look like the craziest hockey fight ever. Really it was a few intense fists and nothing more. Man. Look at that. This is why our moms can't understand why we like this game.)
The two head off for their punishments just before the advent of first intermission.
Half a minute into the second, Crosby works hard to keep the puck until he can feed it to Nisky, who gets the one-timer off the pass into the net. It's a really pretty play from Sid, from whom you would expect nothing less, and Nisky did it justice.
Unfortunately it takes 12 seconds for Hornqvist to find a rebound from a Fisher shot and get it into our cage. This is the unfortunate side effect of a lot of open ice during a game.
MOST ON-POINT SUMMARY
Zoe somehow manages to sum up a period of hockey in the most cogent way I have ever seen. "not much to remark on...two quick goals and blah blah blah, brian gibbons and olli maatta are saving the team, bob errey had an aneurysm because paul gaustad played the puck with his butt end, that's about it." She's the better of us for a reason.
MOST ACID INDUCED PLAY OF THE CENTURY
A sequence in the third drags you back to college age memories you'd rather forget, lest you not be able to fool any polygraph tests when preparing to run for office.
Nisky loses the puck in the Preds zone and it slides back to our end. MAF heads out to stop it and manages to poke it out of the grasp of a rapidly approaching Gaustad, but the two collide and everything in the universe is suddenly very confusing as the two tumble around like drunk school children. MAF gets it together and gets the puck away from Nystrom just in time, finally getting the puck back up the ice. Malkin gets the puck to Nisky who goes for a one timer, which shoots right on by Rinne because tbqh he was probably still like WHAT THE FUCK WAS ALL OF THAT.
After the goal Nisky points at MAF from the other end of the ice. The Flower looks fucking crazed. We think he may be.
LEAST LIKE THE PREVIOUS GOAL
The final goal of the game is simple and pretty and doesn't involve anything fucking crazy or weird. Just a nice old school Crosby and Kunitz play. Sid gets the pass to Kunitz, who sends it home.
After the goal Weber spends what is apparently too much time with the officials and is given a unsportsmanlike minor and a 10 minute misconduct. What the hell that was about, we may never know.
What we do know is that this one is going down in the books for the Penguins.
INDIVIDUAL AWARDS & ALT THREE STARS PREEMPTED TO BRING YOU THIS IMPORTANT NEWS:
Several days ago, Max Talbot's girlfriend Cynthia gave birth to Max's first child, a boy named Jaxson.
You'll note that I do not follow Max on twitter, largely because I cannot handle his existential musings.
The birth of Jaxson Talbot obviously caused Zoe a lot of trauma and has made her call into question her entire world view. We can't do a lot for her right now but just be there for her in this time of need.
Ryan Whitney's existential musings are fine by me, but I can't follow him for fear that I'll catch sight of whatever type of jeans he's wearing these days *shudder*.
The worst part of all of this is that they decided to have a home birth. Not that we have anything against home births so long as you're not some wacko claiming vaccinating your children causes autism...there's just something really hilarious about the idea of Max being a part of anything like that.
Also, apparently the nickname he has chosen for this child is Spartacus.
Pray for Spartacus. Pray for us all.
On a typical game night the media struggles to provide us with photos of the actual goals that take place. Not so for the Stadium Series - the media shitriver can't wait to wash these gemstones ashore.
While it would be fun to throw shade at the Stadium Series all day, we can't waste our lives getting worried about every idea Gary Bettman has while getting faded in his garage. The real story here is that we got our asses handed to us on a decorative plate and garnished with our dignity by a starry eyed Toews as Plain White T's sang a song that was as ill conceived and blatantly money grabbing as this whole goddamn thing.
If you swallow the message that the NHL is cramming down your throat about all of this and take the game as some nostalgic reminder of pond hockey that most of us only fondly recall from the same ten second video clip of the Staals' childhood games we have seen about one trillion times...it is actually kind of fun. Hockey in the conditions seen yesterday is messy, earnest, and often times hilarious.
The puck had a mind of its own, skipping over snow patches and occasionally disappearing from this plane of existence entirely. The boys slogged through the mess, reminiscent of Tyke players in mismatched skates. It was really kinda cute if you forget about the fact that a game against Chicago is sort of important.
The snow shovelers were covered by NBC as if they were a counsel of world leaders deciding what to do about Russia.
I feel that I know these people now.
Toews came out as some kind of goddamn snow princess, playing completely unaffected by the conditions. We wanna hate on the situation more, but the guy looked like he was having a blast. He was having some Ratatouille-esque childhood flashback to shinny hockey that elevated him to a level where the Penguins couldn't touch him.
Not that the weather had jack shit to do with the loss. Chicago was on point and the Penguins were scrambling to keep up, obviously hurting from the holes in the roster.
The only goals scored were compliments of the Blackhawks, including our only goal, which came as a gift from Seabrook. Toews had a magical moment where he undressed Brooks Orpik and got the puck past MAF in highlight reel fashion.
There was one moment of hope when we thought sweet relief had finally come and a Higher Power was stepping in to shut down the earth now that the NHL has officially lost its shit, but turns out it was just fireworks.
It's never fire and brimstone when you need it most.
Luckily it's easy to dismiss this game and not get as down about it as we actually should. Focusing on other complaints dulls the pain of a poorly played game against a team that it's important to us to not play poorly against.
So kick back, think about how much you hate everything that just happened to you, and let's all hope that the next few games will banish this one from our memory.
Post coming later about the most pointless outdoor game (descending into tragedy) featuring an esoteric performance by a pop band we all happily forgot about until they were dredged back up like a bloated corpse of a long forgotten serial killing spree.
Somehow, Jeff Jimerson makes "O Canada!" sound less repulsive than it normally would be in these tough times. PK Subban is doing a fucking jig during the Canadian anthem. And a lingering shot of Sidney Crosby seals the deal. This is going to be a difficult and emotional evening. During the US anthem, Dan Bylsma is looking to the digital flags on the scoreboard as if mesmerized by his father's orders to go to war with an unstoppable evil.
Budaj starts. Let's go.
MOST HAIR POWER
Gallagher lost his helmet and the next shift he took, he managed (ha) to get Brooks Orpik and Chuck Kobasew trapped in their own end. Brendan harnessed the power of his hair to make that happen. Didn't give up on the play. No idea what Brooks was doing on that shift.
the hair power balance is shifting sans Kris Letang obviously.
Bob Errey has an aneurysm about Brian Gibbons after a commercial break so we are not panicking.
NEVER MIND SOMEONE ELSE BROUGHT THEIR HAIR GAME TODAY
James Neal decides to pick up the hair metaphor slack in this post-Olympic haze and score a goal. PK Subban looks like he's over it. Total snipejob.
Bob Errey channels our feelings by speaking glowingly of Olli Maatta like a proud parent after the TV timeout.
Neal almost scored again after some nonsense. Neal and Gene are dialed the fuck in and ready to eat the Habs' souls.
We might finally be coming around to the NHL, you know. It's refreshing to watch a decent hockey game while also not fearing that the result might end your life.
MOST BEAUTIFUL SNIPEJOB
So yeah, Carey Price's gold medal resulted in a lower body injury which resulted in Peter Budaj. We could have seen the Beautiful Dustin Tokarski tonight, but we still could. As loathe as we are to talk about any of Carey's skills we're pretty sure he wouldn't have gotten sniped by Deryk Engelland.
Neal fed Engo and Engo buried it coming down the right wing. Sure.
If you are telling people you didn't shriek, you're lying.
During intermission, James reveals how strong his hair game really is. POTASH LITERALLY SAID "THE HAIR STILL LOOKS GOOD." THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
MOST AVERAGE DAY AT THE OFFICE
Pens come back for the second period, don't score on the power play, and everything just seems average. Didn't take long to get us back to being. . .well, typical.
Briere tied it 2-2 after the Pens defense just took a trip t the mall and let the corpse run amok in our house. Come on.
MOST LIKELY TO BE A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEING (HE IS)
The Pens get a power play and run it with gorgeous, gracious movement. Budaj is somehow equal to the task. Second unit looks deadly and Maatta buries one from way up high.
MOST LIKELY TO BE A BEAUTIFUL GOAL BY SOMEONE WE DON'T WANT TO CARE ABOUT RIGHT NOW
hell of a shot
PERSON WHOSE SKULL WE MISS THE MOST
Douglas Murray totally crashing in the boards and losing his helmet on the PK. Everyone was rushing in on that on the boards, for like half a minute. Malkin and Gorges almost killed each other and Sid came in like a wrecking ball on Murray, who lost his helmet and released his own hair game. This game is getting brutal and exciting and angry.
THING OLLI MAATTA MINDS THE LEAST
Potash jokes with Olli about how hard his shot is and Olli says he "doesn't mind it."
Murray's giant skull makes an appearance again just a minute into the third when it tries to take out Gibbons. Presumably Maatta minds that. presumably everyone minds it.
The puck then ended up after a Maatta shot in Markov's knee pad. A dar and dangerous place. We mind. Excuse you.
HEY MOM THE BOYS ARE HOME
Subban and Malkin get into it and Malkin has Feelings at Subban. Have to think that Subban was embellishing but maybe we're assholes. You'd think that Paul Steigerwald would have accused him of it in true fanboy fashion. Whatever. We're over it. Gene, you have to get your feelings under control. We know you're still upset about the Olympics.
Typical behavior from both of these guys. Subban being a dick and Malkin's heart on his sleeve.
MOMENT JUSTICE WAS DELIVERED AT YOUR FEET AND QUICKLY SNATCHED AWAY
Subban tried to get too fancy on the PP and was out for way too long a shift. Sutter completely stole the puck from him, smoked him on speed, and flipped one past Budaj. That's how you do a fucking shorty breakaway.
That's how you. . . . . .
then the Habs tied it????
and then it's 4 on 4 in some kind of cruel irony
Subban has apparently been benched by Therrien. We approve, tbh. Everyone could benefit from some "bad cop" coaching every now and again. The pace of this game is starting to hurt, though. Lots of up and down. Lots of shouting. The Habs take another penalty for being assholes.
PERSON WE ARE MOST HAPPY TO HAVE ON OUR SIDE AGAIN
god damn son, Crosby on the PP.
5-4. That was beautiful. Don't take it for granted, because. . .
LEAST LIKELY TO EVER CATCH A BREAK
Emelin got hit by Tanner Glass for a completely legal check and Emelin hits himself in the face with his own stick. Apparently that's a major penalty. Stupid call. What is this, the Olympics?
Skate out Briere's corpse just to taunt us.
what. why. excuse you. excuse everyone.
is there a reason why we can't just be done with this in regulation?
I want to watch Pretty Little Liars before bed.
OT had been going on for almost 2 minutes before I realized the game was back on. I'm blinded by rage apparently.
Pacioretty almost scores twice in the last 40 seconds of OT but Fleury is equal to this challenge.
And oddly, this might be the only game in years that we think is actually deserving of a shootout. Cut it off at the balls. Skills competition. go to bed.
Budaj stands up on Neal who comes in with angry speed. Nope.
Lars Eller comes in as some Pens fan screams YOU SUCK. Nope.
Budaj stops Sid.
Desharnais scores. welp
Gene shoots it at the pads of Budaj.
we. . .lost?
PRETTIEST HAIR ACCESSORIES
we think James should wear this in his hair. courtesy of Rookie's article by wolfpupy on how to have an awesome teen girl life. Which is basically our life philosophy at this point.
ALTERNATIVE THREE STARS
1. bb Olli
3. Budaj since he was basically the reason his team won, why not the real star, Pittsburgh media???
The Stadium game is on Saturday and our bodies are really not ready. go pens
So, the Penguins are back tonight, and my preparedness is minimal.
I watched my first NHL game in what felt like millennia last night. Bruins vs. Sabres on NBC. For a game that went to OT, I failed to feel the Deep Feelings that I know hockey can bring me. It was a great time, don't get me wrong. But it didn't feel real. Probably because the Sabres were involved though, tbh. So it took some mental gymnastics to come to terms with the fact that the Pens are playing tonight. . .and then I realized, wait. We're playing the Habs.
Okay. Feelings are slowly returning.
Key dates and ideas to have in mind as we move forward with the National Hockey League, that deliciously inferior product that we don't know how to stop eating, like average-ass potato chips or 99 cent coffee:
- The trade deadline is March 5 at 3pm Eastern. Less than a week.
- With Kris Letang's return uncertain, and an Olympic injury to Paul Martin, it's looking like we again have to rely on the younger defense. But we honestly don't mind. Maatta-Niskanen, Orpik-Engelland, Scuderi-Bortuzzo are the pairs from this morning's skate. We wish Letang a speedy recovery and all-around success in life, and we are HASHTAG BLESSED to have defense like this. Anyone can say what they will about the Penguins, but the drafting and acquisition of defensemen post-2005 lockout for the Penguins has been unbelievably good, and we're reaping the benefits right now. We're winning games this season because guys like Maatta, Bortuzzo, and Despres are playing beyond their years. Maatta is a fucking Olympian. Sorry we are just over here swooning and crying.
- Lord knows when we get to see Pascal Dupuis again. But he looks to be in good spirits.
- Tomas Vokoun returning is a good sign, but Zatkoff has turned into a reliable second option, so we're not fussed about goaltending.
- If MAF wins a playoff series this year, all bets are off, we'll be ready to go all the way. The stretch is coming.
- Stadium series on Saturday. oof.
- Since the Penguins are basically running away with the division since the rest of the division is trash, we're mostly concerned to see how they perform against other playoff teams. The Chicago game might actually be huge since the teams have similar records. Circle also the Ducks game on the 7th, the Lightning game on the 22nd, and the Blues game on the 23rd. The entire latter half of March for the Pens is a pretty competitive stretch. April calms down a bit.
- 24 games left total. That feels like a hell of a lot. But still a manageable number. Let's do this.
See you shortly. Go Pens.no comments
oh god we're not ready for the NHL to come back
on Wednesday we'll pregame with a drunk blog of the Bruins vs. Sabres game on NBC, over at Stanley Cupcake, with Bruins fan friends.
Zoë will also be beginning coverage elsewhere of the Boston Blades of the CWHL. We'll update you when that actually happens.
We'll also come up with some feverish-sounding post about wtf we even do with our lives now that the Olympics are over.
Basically: sit tight.
Go Pens. (uhh)no comments
It seems like we're stuck in an eternal paradox. Professionalism versus passion, home versus country, what's accessible versus what is buried.
Last Olympics didn't feel nearly this close in talent, didn't feel so precariously balanced on a pin's head. Close games, surprising performances, and deeper heartbreak than we knew we could experience over sports that we're not even playing. It's not like this hurts more, per se, than the US losses of 2010 in Vancouver, or other US losses down the line. It may have been that we believed more this year. No one worldwide can stomach the fact that we have to wait four more years to believe this much again. We wanna break down the real things that we learned in the #dawnsearlylight. . . . .
- The gold medal game between the US and Canadian women was probably one of the best hockey games ever played by anyone. Our bias and heartbreak aside, this was an amazing hockey game, with one of the best paces we've ever seen, unbelievable goaltending at both ends of the ice, and unbelievable drama and meaning. This one hurt. This one burned. This one was difficult, and made all the better by the incredible talent that both teams were able to put on the ice, and how truly evenly matched they were. Still tearing up when we think about it. That was one for the legends. If you didn't see it, you missed something special, and we pity you. As many have said, these women make negative money in many cases to pursue their dreams. The fact that they don't have lucrative careers to go home to makes their joy and emotion all the more visceral.
- The NHL is a trash product. We don't mean to say that we don't love NHL teams/players (because we do) and we certainly don't expect Olympic pace/passion to be replicated somehow over the pace of a pro league season. But watching the Olympics really wakes you up to how shitty the NHL really is, and how awful it is that their main motivation is that of maximizing their profit over the course of the regular season. There's still a little magic in the playoffs, a little bit of lightning in a bottle, a little bit of childhood dreams and heady visions. But come on--82 games, 30 teams, an endemic problem with violence and fighting, everyone makes millions of dollars per year in a fundamentally sick global economy, some teams set records every year for profits and sellouts while other teams struggle to sell tickets or even find a home. The NHL vocally said that they don't like the Olympics because it takes money out of their pockets. How un-self-aware can you be to say that publicly? It's kind of like a hockey version of Phi Beta Kappa. Their injury concerns are equally bullshit--it's okay for you to play a fast-paced contact sport and more or less risk your health every night and break your bones as long as you do it on the NHL's dime. It's a brutal industry and the on-ice product suffers from hypocrisy. You probably knew this already. But watching the Olympics, which has its own, different, more global brand of hypocrisy, makes it all the more apparent that the game we love has a complicated set of politics. And the game on the ice this winter has been glorious, beautiful, and surprising. So much great talent. We are sorry to see it go into its four-year sundown. We have no idea what Pyeongchang is going to be like. It could be very different. If the NHL somehow doesn't go, it could be comprised mostly of college kids. And it might be better for it. Who knows.
- Regardless of your rooting interest, the USA vs. Canada men's semifinal was one of the most boring games ever. Canada's strategy of smothering defense was extremely effective against a USA team that didn't make adjustments to combat it. Looked lost, outcoached, anemic. Classic Mike Babcock, and to be honest, classic Dan Bylsma. No explanation for the players though. They looked like they were in a death trance. I didn't eat anything all day until after the game was over and they basically looked like they had the same nutritional intake as me. This game was not one for the legends. Canadians are glad that it happened, and Benn's goal came from a hell of a play, but probably everyone else wants to forget those three hours of being alive. Dammit, boys, why you gotta do us like that?
as we gear up for the rest of the third period bronze medal game against Finland, we are checking our tears and putting them in the tiniest bottle.
goodbye, friends. it's been real. see you on the other side.no comments