Tag Archives: playoffs

657 channels and no Caps

ok, that’s not entirely true — the Caps are on Versus again, and it’s not part of our cable package.  we pay enough for cable, and we wouldn’t get a whole lot out of the mid-tier/”premium” pack — but ARGGH.

Versus is your source for Bull Riding, NHL Hockey, and Tour de France Cycling.  I’m pretty sure killer will agree with me that only one of those is a sport.  Why would I pay an extra $5/month to get this waste of broadcast bandwidth?

it’s not that there isn’t hockey on TV tonight — Russia vs. Belarus is on “US”, “Universal Sports”, which seems to be NBC-backed (hello!  they carry NHL, don’t they?) and mostly runs snowboarding, curling, and super-giant slalom (skiing).  now, the bright-shining Canadian core deep within me is really quite taken by the fact that there is a channel that covers curling (and I actually watched the Canadian women put Spot Rock to the Chinese a few weeks ago), but it’s outweighed by the fact that this apparent throw-away channel DOESN’T COVER HOCKEY.

my other alternative tonight (as I’ve already missed the opening face-off, and my personal pizza is still in the oven) is to buy the NHL GameCenter Playoffs Day Pass for $19.95.  ($19.95!!?!) apparently that does not come with $19.95 worth of beer, so after my pizza I might head over to a local sports bar…

or maybe I’ll just sit and listen to the game, the way kids used to a hundred years ago.  I remember stories my grandfather used to tell — his family sitting by the warmth of the fire, gathering around their laptop, listening as the game streamed to them over the Intertubes (as it was called then).  ah, the good old days.

[update: cripe!  missed the first 6 minutes and the first goal.  the play-by-play feed didn’t start at 7:00 (or 7:05) — Go Caps!]

[update:  so I go to a local ‘sports’ bar, watch the game, and the satellite feed repeatedly dropped due to rain.  unfortunately the feed was fine when the Pens scored the winning goal.]

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who won the Cup?

yeah, that’s how bad of a hockey fan I am. I was looking at the blog stats and the recent hits are all on my “Best Hockey Songs of All Time” thread… so I figured I should check where the Stanley Cup Finals stand, and it turns out they were decided yesterday.

now, I could hide behind the defense that we lost power for 29 hours (yesterday afternoon until this evening), therefore missing the news yesterday and today and, obviously, the game last night. but the truth is that yesterday morning I didn’t even know they were heading into game 6 and the Red Wings were a game away from eliminating the Penguins.

I’m having a hard time feeling shame about this. there are precious few sports that compel me to watch the playoffs if I don’t have some kind of connection with the team. baseball? I haven’t sat through an ALCS or World Series in years, though I might watch if it was the Orioles (ms.st4rbux would be watching) or the Blue Jays (strictly for nostalgic reasons — “The Drive of ’85”, 1992/1993). basketball? I haven’t cared less since… ever. I take that back, since Michael Jordan and the Bulls won #1 and #2. I’ve watched more NASCAR in the past two years than any of baseball and basketball combined (…not that there’s anything wrong with that).

the NFL is the exception — having grown up with the CFL, there’s really no nostalgia factor. I’m sure the regular season games and the SuperBowl are broadcast throughout Canada, but I can’t recall a single memory of SuperBowls VII thru XXV. (now XXVI was a blast, drinking Brador and belting out “Hail to the Redskins” through the quaint cobblestone streets of Quebec City, all the way back to the hostel — that was after living in the US for a year, visiting Quebec with Americans on a ski trip…).

but, get this — I watched NFL playoff games (plural) every weekend the last couple of years. planned my weekends around them, practically, even after the Redskins got knocked out. the NFL just has a superior product; specifically, big games on the weekend. baseball, basketball, and hockey have to spread their games throughout the weekdays. I have to give up some of my favorite sitcoms and dramas to follow a playoff series (ok, maybe with Tivo this isn’t exactly true). football generally has top-billing on the local sports-news, so it’s easy to get a handle on what’s happening this week — and they have 5 days to hype the next game. that’s a recipe for success.

this year, my nostalgia team didn’t make the NHL playoffs, but the local team did. the Caps kept me in the playoff chase for almost 14 days — not quite long enough to grow out a playoff beard* — but that was it. when their run ended, so did mine. I didn’t watch another game of hockey this year.

OK, I’ll go to the box. I’ll feel shame. but every year, it gets easier to care less.

* Wikipedia has an entry for “Playoff Beard“, and even a section for Fan Beards; sadly, no hockey fans are mentioned.

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there has to be a morning after…

so I get home from the Caps losing Game 7, only to be greeted by “The Day After” (aka “TDA”) on SciFi.com (also a channel on basic cable). it is well known that if I find TDA on TV, I can’t possibly turn away — it’s burned into me as a result of seeing the TV-movie on it’s original airing back in the 80’s. I think they edited this version, as I don’t remember seeing the bride-and-groom being incinerated as they kiss (one of the early memories that sent me crying to the bathroom when I was 10…)

it’s literally mind-numbing to think that we were ever that close to nuclear armageddon… or the horrific after-effects of nuclear radiation. but I’ve written about this before, haven’t I? but beyond the obvious shock-effect — in my dreams, I’ve smelled the ionized air and the fallout. how do you explain that? I’ve sat underground listening to the victims above (again, in my dreams). how many else have lived though the same, even though it wasn’t the real thing? I know this is no where near as bad as if it ever had have happened — but how many of us have been victims of this war that never happened? and maybe, how much better is the world for having scared us so much.

and damn if the Caps couldn’t have pulled off a win against the Flyers. I mean, the F’ing FLYERS.

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rock the red

I’m heading downtown to see if I can find last minute Caps tix; if not, I’ll watch the game at the Turtle or Clyde’s or something… wish me luck.

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Best Hockey Songs of All Time #1: Fifty Mission Cap

Lyrics:

Bill Barilko disappeared that summer,
he was on a fishing trip.
The last goal he ever scored
won the Leafs the cup
They didn’t win another until 1962,
the year he was discovered.
I stole this from a hockey card,
I keeped tucked up under
my fifty mission cap, I worked it in
to look like that

From Wikipedia:

The song’s lyrics describe the mysterious disappearance of deceased Toronto Maple Leafs hockey player Bill Barilko. Barilko, who donned the blue and white Maple Leaf sweater for five seasons, scored the Stanley Cup clinching goal for the Leafs over rivaled Montreal Canadiens in the 1951 cup finals. Four months and five days later, Barilko climbed into a small, single-engine airplane with friend and dentist, Henry Hudson. The plane disappeared between Rupert House and Timmins, Ontario, leaving no trace of Barilko or Hudson.

Eleven years later, on June 7, 1962, helicopter pilot Gary Fields discovered the plane wreckage roughly 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Cochrane, Ontario. Barilko was finally laid to rest in his home town of Timmins, the same year that the Maple Leafs won their next Stanley Cup.

The song’s lyrics also reference the honorary “fifty mission cap”, mentioned in the song’s title. The fifty mission cap was the leather hat given to the aces of the Allied airforces in World War II to signify their participation in 50 aerial missions.

I’ve always imagined that Gary Fields was wearing his Fifty Mission Cap as he looked for, and eventually spotted, the wreckage — but then he wouldn’t have a hockey card that explained the Stanley Cup drought and the Leafs winning again in ’62/’63…  and I get a little worried that the “Fifty” part of the song might mean Toronto needs to wait another 9 years to win the Cup.

Does anyone know who scored the winning goal for the Leafs in 1967?

Anyhow, this song gets the #1 spot because at least three times, the lyrics is repeated: “Won the Leafs the Cup…”  Good times.

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‘distinct kicking motion’

Frozen Four.  Notre Dame is down 3-1, about 5 minutes into the third period.

A shot towards Boston College’s goal bounces off both skates of the Fighting Irish forward, staked out at the right of the crease, and into the net.  The goal is reviewed — the rulebook would call back the goal if there was a ‘distinct kicking motion’.

Well, there clearly was a kicking motion, but it came a split second after the puck bounced off the skate.  If the ruling was on intent, the forward fully intended to get that puck in the goal by any means necessary.  And he clearly kicked at the puck.  But he kicked after the puck, he didn’t actually kick the puck.  This all reminds me of an NHL game not so long ago, but thankfully I can’t remember who or what (probably Toronto, probably being eliminated… no, they tend to lose fair and square.)

The video review judge said that the puck was clearly redirected intentionally with the skate, and the goal didn’t count.  As the  TV commentator said, “I don’t see it”.

About a minute later, Boston College opens the score to 4-1, from what could have been 3-2.  And now with 1:07 left, BC pretty much has this wrapped up.

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Best Hockey Songs of All Time #3: Lonely End of the Rink

Some say this song is about Gordon (lead singer, The Tragically Hip) and his brother the goalie (“I had the dream of having no room” to shoot and score…); I read somewhere else that it was about two people stuck in a relationship, feeling abandoned (“like, if you need me you’re on your own”). That makes me think the song is best not over-analyzed; just appreciated for capturing the spirit of the game.

Here’s the lead singer, talking about how shots from 95 feet can fool you, as an intro to the song:

I hear your voice ‘cross a frozen lake
a voice from the end of a leaf
saying, ‘you won’t die of a thousand fakes
or be beaten by the sweetest of dekes’

Seriously, “beaten by the sweetest of dekes”?! You will never hear a hockey reference like that in a rock/pop song, not in a thousand years.

Oh to join the rush
as the season builds
Jump into the rush
as the seasons build

Of course, a goalie can’t join the rush — they’re stuck at the lonely end of the rink. Unless he’s talking about the rush of the playoffs. GO Caps GO!

Full lyrics.

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