Sunday, April 30, 2006

Gratuitous Hockey Post

I wonder how many sport columnists opened the NHL season with the tagline, "What a difference a year makes"? Where would columnists be without tired cliches, torn from the 50s jukebox? Still: what a difference a year makes!

I didn't expect to get hooked into the playoffs the way I did. I didn't expect to gloat over the possibility of this turning into an entirely Canadian series -- but apparently even advertisers are thrilled at the prospect. What's that about? North or south of the 49th, we're all hockey fans -- aren't we? Don't Philadelphia fans shop at Canadian Tire?! If you prick us, do we not bleed?

All this, and no Leafs to slow things down -- though the Habs, God love 'em, are doing what they can. Frankly, it will be a better series if Tampa Bay (oops! Carolina!) wins. Either way, I'm having fun watching hockey.


DarkoV said...

I was wondering about that Tampa Bay comment. Thought that Hockey Night in Canada had exclusive rights to a series not currently visible down here. Although, since the Lightning was eliminated over the weekend, maybe they get a second chance to paly another team. What with the new rules and all, who the hell can tell.

The Devils, as usual, are cranked for the playofss, so I'm the happy guy. Seems that Brodeur, regardless of which sister he's married to, is a god come the Stanley Cup.
...the usual are coming up short...and slow. I can't believe they won 2 against the Buffalo Smurfs. These guys (the Flyers), especially the defensemen, are so painfully slow that the empathy meter is perpetually on high. I especially feel sorry for Ken Hitchcock, their coach. If there's a more intelligent, more hilarious, more passioante hockey coach, please point him out to me. It's just a shame that he's stuck with the Old and the Slow. Hope the Sabres put him out of his misery this Tuesday and he could start his next season early.

So, now that the Leaf(s) are gone, who'd the team you're backing, CP? Edmonton? Ottawa?

Whisky Prajer said...

First of all, let me make one thing abundantly clear: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Leafs fan. You want to talk Old and Slow? The Flyers look downright frisky by comparison. I think in both the Flyers' and the Leafs' case, it's the GM who's strangling the team. But for just about as long as I can remember, the Leafs have always been the League's chief practitioners of dump-and-chase hockey - not the sort of legacy a team should be known for.

Having said that, I'll admit there have been times when I've enjoyed watching Domi put in a good game's work. And I do remember watching Sitler's Leafs invest some heart into the game.

I've been an Ottawa fan since they came into the league. I like their style of play, which seems to improve with every year. They're my number one choice. After that I'm taken equally by Edmonton and Calgary (a la-de-da attitude that makes my Edmonton friends absolutely crazy). I'm also enjoying what I see of the Devils and (who'd have thought?) the Sharks.

Trent Reimer said...

As much as I like the two line pass I am finding that over all the new rules are making me a better football fan. The other turn off this year was the kinder, gentler Todd Bertuzzi. I know he's in a heap of trouble but man, either crap or get off the pot. So the series I am most enjoying is Anahiem vs. Calgary. Randy Carlisle's boys (Anahiem) have risen to the challenge and it's a beaut.

DarkoV said...

CP, while I agree that Ottawa is a great team, although one that may have problems with either Buffalo or the Devils, I wish they had chosen a less gentle moniker.
When you say "Senators", down here one envisions either those lusy baseball teams of yore or the 100 shellac-headed blowhards in Congress. When I remember hearing "Senators" north of the border, visions of some old farts , brandy in one hand, a Cuban in another, ensconced in deep leather and pontificating on how things were better in the days when the Frenchies knew their place, namely under the heel of the Anglais coem up.

No picture of swarthy broad-shouldered, stick-wielding, toothless-grinned marauders came to mind. Personally (and this is going back eons when it was a town of knife-flicking drunkards and smokers), I'd prefer a name like the Hull Hellions, uniformed in Labatt's green and white.

Now that's a team image to cheer for! None of those gladiator helmeted images emblazoned on one's chest. Geez, that reeks of Caeser's Pizza!!Pizza!!

Whisky Prajer said...

TR - Randy Carlisle: now there's a blast from the past! Yes, Anaheim is another of this season's pleasant surprises. When I manage to stay awake that long, I enjoy what I see.

DV - yeah, "Senators" is lamentable, no matter how you try to spin it. They must have been hopeful for even more government funding than they receive. Putting a Spartan on their uniform only confuses the issue. Still, better a "Senator" than a "Penguin", I think.

DarkoV said...

Penguins. True, that.

The only worse name was...(do you remember)..the Oakland Seals. If I may continue on my "Senators" harangue. What with names like "Canucks" and "Oilers" or even those pre-Avalanche Quebec Nordiques (a "cute" sounding name if there ever was one), I state here unequivocally that if I ever win $50mil., I'll be buying those sorry-assed Blackhawksand immediately re-name them as the Thunder Bay Hosers, regardless of whether they move out of Chi-town.

Whisky Prajer said...

"Hosers" - yes!! A long overdue namechange, indeed (though the Blackhawks' uniform remains my personal League favourite, politically-incorrect as it may be).

DarkoV said...

How did "The Tournament" go over up North? Down here, it's on OLN, which is in the channel number range usually associated with weight-loss and alternate QVC Shopping.

I'm addicted; I think it's brilliant.
Hockey is Everything!

Whisky Prajer said...

OLN - ouch! I honestly don't know how well The Tournament fared. No word yet on funding for a third season of it. If you visit the CBC "Tournament" site, be sure to take the "Is Your Man Hitting The Bottle Behind Your Back?" quiz!