Photo Credit: Darryl Dyck / The Canadian Press
There’s always one sport that doesn’t get any love. As one of the four major sports, hockey comes in last. Some people don’t want to see hockey on their television when they could be watching football or basketball.
People! Come on! Do you know how exciting the Stanley Cup Playoffs are? Unlike the other professional leagues, only eight teams of the possible 30 make it to the postseason!
You don’t even have to be a hockey fan to have a good time watching grown men throw each other into the glass, then gracefully skate away just in time to score a vicious goal.
Hockey has its celebrities, its drama queens and its bullies, just like any other sport. Look at Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby. If you want a good rivalry, one that always makes the Winter Classic that much more interesting, there you go.
Like always, the NHL playoffs and the NBA playoffs overlap. In 2011, Kobe Bryant’s twisted ankle took up more time on SportsCenter than the exciting matchups that made it to Game 7. This is what is wrong with today. If everyone knows Kobe is going to be okay and that it was only a sprain, then why are viewers subjected to mindless hours of ankle watch? Wouldn’t you rather be watching recaps from overtimes in Games 6 and 7?
If a series going to the last game does not interest you, maybe you’re a sucker for the underdogs and the Cinderellas. Turn on your television; the Los Angeles Kings just ousted the Western Conference one seed, the Vancouver Canucks, 4-1. Who would have ever thought hockey could get popular in LA?
Hockey is non-stop action. It’s not like football where after a hard hit the whistle is blown and you wait another two minutes for the game to resume. In hockey you get thrown into the glass and you have just seconds to get back up.
Just like you need to get back up once you’ve been knocked down, you need to be ready for the next game. There are multiple games going on in one night and teams play several times a week; the first round is chaos.
Not only are the eighth seeded Kings making some noise, but several series are knotted as well. The two seeded Boston Bruins of the Eastern Conference are having trouble with the seventh seeded Washington Capitals. Three of the six previously played games, as of Sunday, have gone into overtime.
There is no way you can predict what is going to happen when it comes to hockey playoffs.
So why do you shun the sport, casting it aside? You probably have at least one friend who is watching the playoffs tonight. Give them a call and see if you can watch with him or her. It is not a hard sport to follow, and you’ll easily develop your favorite players and team.
And of course, who doesn’t love a good playoff beard? By the time the Boston Bruins won the cup in 2011, their goalie Tim Thomas had one extreme beard going on. Guess you’ll have to wait to see who’ll be the last one to shave.
Until then, go watch some hockey. Time to get off the ice, see you all in August.
Feel free to find me on Twitter (@sydwardddd) during the summer. I’ll be taking my own off-season from writing, but I’ll be back in the fall. I’m never away from the game, and am always ready to talk sports. Thanks!