April/ May Madness is the peak of hockey coverage on ESPN. If you’re like me and watch Sports Center in the morning before school, you can’t avoid Barry Melrose and his salt and pepper, greasy mullet.
On the show, they act like he is a hockey god, but where did he earn this prestige?
He’s most famous for coaching the LA Kings in the early 90’s even though he failed to ever lift Lord Stanley’s Cup.
This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but I’m sick of hearing “(insert team here) is playing great hockey, they’ve got a chance to make a run.”
He’s good for at least one of these every time he’s on the air. The last one I remember was when he said that the Blues were his favorite to win the cup because, “They’re playing great hockey at the moment”.
Of course, the Blues went on to lose in 6 games to the underdog Minnesota Wild.
Barry Melrose gives very minimal quality incite on hockey and gets away with it because he’s the only one on ESPN and everyone watching Sports Center is just waiting to see LeBron dunk on someone.
No one listens to the hockey bits of Sports Center, including myself because Barry Melrose gives nothing worth listening to.
But on the bright side, I think the Hawks have got a great chance to win the Cup, they’re playing great hockey right now.
The first round of the NHL Playoff’s are well underway, and for many people, this is the best time of the year.
This is how I believe the playoffs will play out.
The Blues and Blackhawks will meet in the next round and the Hawks will win in seven. They’ll meet the Ducks in the semi-finals after the Ducks beat the Flames in six. Of course, the Hawks will win that easily in five games and they will represent the West in the Cup Finals.
In the East, the Canadians will meet the Red Wings in the next round and the Red Wings behind Pavel Datsyuk will prevail from that series. Then there’s going to be a great New York vs New York series where the Rangers will come out on top. All Rangers fans will be excited thinking they’ll make it to the Finals for the second time in a row, and they will. They’ll beat the Red Wings in six games.
The Finals are where it will really get interesting. The Hawks will manhandle the Rangers in four games. The Rangers will be embarrassed for the second year in a row and Parker’s heart will be broken. The Rangers lack speed, discipline, and most importantly depth, but it will be enough for them to make it through the weaker East Division.
That title is code for “people will start actually caring about hockey and the players will actually start playing”.
So if you are one of those people that will start watching hockey for the postseason, here are some insider tips about the playoffs:
Don’t watch the playoffs expecting fights.
Fights are one of the main reasons hockey is popular. Fights were originally allowed because there would be larger players (aka goons) who would bully the smaller players. The fights were designed to keep the goons from ruining the skill aspect of the game and replacing it with pure size. But in the playoffs is where goons thrive. There are no fights because it is much more important for the player to stay on the ice instead of in the box for five minutes.
Watch the playoffs for huge hits and cheap shots.
Since people don’t fight in the playoffs, they take their anger out with cheap shots after the whistle. Just watch some of last years series between the Blues and Blackhawks. They beat the flippin’ heck out of each other and the refs didn’t blow the whistle because they didn’t want to change the outcome of the game.
Don’t watch the playoffs if you are expecting the Rangers to win.
They’ll lose in five games to the Penguins.
Watch the playoffs.
The playoffs are the best time of the hockey season. They show off the best players in the league at the highest level of competition.
P.S. This weeks blog was too much about hockey. I promise next weeks will be much less productive and on topic.
To be curt, this week sucked. It was the last week of the quarter which means it’s inevitably very stressful. The weather has been more erratic than usual. I was just greeted by a friendly stink bug who was trying to rest between my neck and shirt collar and in my spastic maneuver to kindly inform it that he or she had no business being there, I crushed it, smearing it’s ever potent juices all over myself. On top of it all, the Blackhawks were embarrassed by the Flyers in a 4-1 loss.
With nothing better to write about, this blog will just be an interview with one of the few Mariemont hockey players; Ertsi Fere.
How’d the team do?
“We made it to state, we played three games and we didn’t advance.”
How many game’s did you win at state?
Who’s going to win the Cup?
“The Penguins, duh.”
We then went into some argument where he called me racist and it was impossible to get back on the topic of hockey. That’s all.
March Madness is just around the corner, not for college basketball, but for the NHL. March starts the race for the playoffs and when hockey starts to really get serious.
Lettuce take a look at the current playoff picture:
In the East; Montreal, Tampa Bay, Detroit, both New York’s, and Washington are all safely in the playoffs. In the Wildcard, Pittsburgh and Boston are the two teams in. Pittsburgh is pretty secure but Boston is just one point above Florida.
In the West; Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago (obviously), Anaheim, Vancouver, and Calgary are in. Winnipeg is in the wrong division, they would be in if they were in the Pacific Division, but they have the first Wildcard spot. San Jose has the second spot and LA (the defending Stanley Cup Champions) and Minnesota are on the outside looking in, both fighting hard for a playoff birth.
Last weekend Team Toews showed Team Foligno who’s boss in the All Star game.
No surprise there. With a team led by the greatest captain in all of hockey, they were bound to win. The only shock was that professional winner Patrick Kane lost.
Kane still pocketed three points but couldn’t help Team Foligno as they lost 17-12.
17-12 is an insane amount of goals. That’s like a decent scoring football games or a rec basketball game. 17 goals was actually an NHL All Star game record (as well as regular season record). Every player on Team Toews had at least one point, which is also very impressive.
My favorite part of the weekend was when some of the most talented players in the league teamed up with GoPro to show a side of game that people have never seen before.
Players like Crosby, Toews, Suter, and of course, Kane were all strapped into GoPro cameras and told to showcase their skills. Silky smooth hands, through the leg shots, and spin-o-ramas were all on display. The most interesting piece of the video was when they put Henrik Lundqvist under the camera and we were blessed to see the way he works when he’s in goal.