Hockey has so many cool traditions tied to the playoffs. The beards. The octopus. The 2-2-1-1-1 as opposed to the ridiculous 2-3-2. And then there's the playoff handshake at the end, something I can't take my eyes off. You beat the crap out of your opponent for seven games, then you have a moment with him at the end.
Catch Jeremy Roenick's Game 7? He didn't even play for the Sharks in the prior game, but Ron Wilson made the switch for the rubber match and there was Roenick, inspired and a little fearful, playing as if his life depended on it. Two goals, two assists, a slew of hits, a masterful performance. And at the end of it all you see Roenick in the handshake line, having an extended moment with every player he encounters (this wasn't a college basketball drive-by). Maybe playoff hockey makes me sappy, but I couldn't get enough of it.
Other items of interest, on the ice and otherwise:
Flyers and Caps, wish they could have played a Best-of-13. Pace of play was awesome, so many creative, fast forwards on both sides (Danny Briere, you earned that paycheck). I wonder if Philly can rebound quickly enough for the second round; it's insane that the Flyers are being asked to play three games in four nights, with two rounds of travel thrown in.
Kudos to Dominik Hasek for supporting Chris Osgood through the second half of the Detroit-Nashville series. There's a picture of Osgood being congratulated by teammates right after the final game, and Hasek's as jubilant as anyone, wide smile. It's not easy to be this way – Jeremy Shockey, anyone? – but Hasek's ego didn't get in the way here, and I salute him for that.
I like that the NHL re-seeds the teams after every round, makes sense and adds a bit of extra meaning to the regular season.
You're betting against Barry Zito every time out, right? Right?
Round 2 Predictions, sure to look silly by next week: The Sharks got their wake-up call, they'll roll over Dallas in 5 or 6. Detroit will need 6 or maybe even 7 games to put Colorado away. The Flyers will start slow, rally late, and fall to Montreal in a seven-game beauty. The Rangers will win one early, then fall apart against the Penguins.
I used to like Microsoft Excel until they turned the top of the screen into a pilot's dashboard. How is this progress?
If Nicklas Lidstrom doesn't win the Norris Trophy, we need an audit of the voters. Period. I will not debate this. And Sergei Gonchar or even Brian Campbell deserved the finalist nod over Zdeno Chara.
Sell Carlos Gomez while you can, roto players. Those nine steals are pretty, but two walks against 24 strikeouts scream for a ticket to Triple-A.
No one wants to say it but that was the most boring Masters in at least a decade.
Tip of the cap to Olaf Kolzig, who deserved a better final scene in Washington. I'm not saying he should have been playing over Cristobal Huet, mind you, but it would have been nice if the ending were different.
Upscale headphones are too expensive, but if mine broke tomorrow I'd be in big trouble.
Maybe clutch exists and maybe it doesn't (discuss among yourselves), but I know this much – Stewart Cink isn't clutch.
I haven't really liked a Pearl Jam song since "Corduroy."
I hope we haven't seen the last of Teddy Flash but I'm afraid we have.
Nik Kronwall, this is your coming-out party. Five assists in the first round, and he's still hitting everything that moves.
Give me Barry Melrose on the NHL twice a day, and all day Sunday. But keep him away from college hockey – it's not his bag and some of his errors were embarrassing. (And while we're back in college, hey NCAA, can we get rid of this ridiculous week off just before the Frozen Four? It's not fair to the teams in play.)
Here's hoping Joe Pavelski felt okay Wednesday morning after stepping into a hellacious pick at the end of the Game 7 win.
Interference is making a major comeback in the playoffs and yeah, it's driving me crazy. Show some spine, zebras.
There's some Jackson 5 on my I-Pod and I'm not apologizing.
NFL Draft pre-coverage has officially spiraled out of control. A small handful of people really know what's going on, and everyone else slips into parrot mode.
When you're a kid it's exciting when the mail comes or the phone rings. When you're an adult, it's just a hassle.
They can call Detroit "Hockeytown" all they want, but it's not anywhere close to being a dominant home-ice advantage. Give them something to cheer about and they'll cheer, fine, but it's a pretty good study hall for half of the night if nothing's happening on the ice.
Patrick Marleau's game came around over the last month, without much fanfare.
"Hang Fire" doesn't get anywhere near the airplay it deserves.
Do a search on "sometimes Y t-shirt" and that's my favorite thing.
Posted by David Ferris at 4/23/2008 11:20:00 AM