It’s Tuesday! And that means it’s time for our latest volume of… “Cheers and Jeers!”
This week, Ralph ain’t goin’ nowhere, Dart Guy has his day, and we get overtime treats.
JEERS to four series in the opening round of the NHL playoffs that are already on the brink of sweeps! The Predators, Blues, Ducks, and Penguins all lead their respective series 3-0 in a predicament that I can safely say nobody saw coming. As an independent observer of this year’s playoffs (and likely for the next many years) all I want is two things: 1. Overtime in every game. 2. Every series to go to seven games. Series sweeps lead to too much time off, and teams have bizarre and unpredictable responses to waiting around for a week. With television commitments added into the mix, you also have huge gaps in coverage and games, and then casual interest starts to fade. The best part about the opening round of the playoffs is that there are multiple games every day. You can immerse yourself in lots of awesome games. With all these sweeps on the horizon, you can kiss that goodbye.
CHEERS to Dart Guy and the fun and pandamonium (the fundomonium, if you will) that ensued for 48 hours in Leafs and Hockey nation. It was weird and kind of dumb and ultimately meaningless and loads of fun. That is exactly what life as a sports fan should be all about. Seeing every single Leafs fan in my Twitter feed with a new Dart Guy avatar was great and fun and stupid all at once. Let the man have his very brief moment in the spotlight. Let the man have his radio and TV interviews. Let the man have his free tickets to a Leafs playoff game after driving to Washington DC and back to watch his favourite team. Good for him, because fandom is dumb and random anyway and he got to reap the rewards of being a fan, painting his face and having a smoke dangle from his mouth.
JEERS to the very notion that Ralph Krueger, chairman of English Premier League club Southampton, would willingly leave that post to come to the clusterf*ck Canucks. Southampton is a decently successful, mid-table club in the richest, most popular soccer league in the world. Krueger is making probably five times the money in England that he would by returning to the Colonies to take the helm of any NHL team. As chairman, he has control and authority and total responsibility. Why on earth would he leave more money, more responsibility, more global reach to take over a team has been in the bottom three of the NHL for the last two years and probably hasn’t hit rock bottom yet? The only thing that may change for Krueger is that a change in ownership at Southampton may force him out. If THAT is the case, then I could certainly see him returning to the NHL. But unless something that drastic happens, he’s staying put.
CHEERS to Monday night’s NHL action as all four games went into overtime. As a neutral party watching all of these games, it was sheer delight to revel in chaotic hockey with no emotional investment. The only downside was that all of these games ended in the first extra period. My absolute favourite hockey is weird hockey. Weird hockey happens in the NHL playoffs when overtime games get into multiple overtimes. As a rule of thumb for me, once you pass the halfway mark of the second overtime, that’s approximately when weird hockey kicks in. That’s when odd mistakes happen. That’s when decision making goes screwy. That’s when fatigue starts to set in. That’s when focus starts to wain. And that’s when hockey gets really fun. That aside, I will take playoff overtime hockey over pretty much any sport, and we got a real treat on Monday.