We’re Nearly There!
“In the Spring a Young Man’s Fancy Lightly Turns to Thoughts of the Stanley Cup”
Back in the days of Nintendo and Super Nintendo, save points were virtually non-existent. Dying in level six meant you had no choice but to start over from level one.
It was frustrating, but there was little you could do.
It meant starting all over again from scratch. Their domination of the earlier levels that season meant nothing. All that could be done was to hit the restart button and do it all over again, no matter how boring it was to play through those lower levels once again.
Well, we’re finally tantalizingly close to the NHL playoffs once again.
Only a fortnight stands between the Canucks and the start of the first round and squashing the evil memories of last June.
Hyping the playoffs should never be a problem, but here’s the five things I’m really looking forward to when the most wonderful time of the year kicks off.
A lot of “true” Canuck fans have a problem with bandwagoners, and certainly the ones who hop off after a loss need to re-assess their lives, but the playoffs are built off the back of everyday folk who normally have other things to do from October to March buying car flags and jerseys and generally getting caught up in the spirit that envelopes the city on game day.
After every win, its the bandwagoners and diehards mingling together who create the special atmospheres of car honking and merriment on those crisp nights.
To them I say hop on, the more the merrier.
Let that Canuck flag fly.
Just be careful, the first taste is free but soon enough you’ll be strung out, paranoid, over-emotional and chasing that Stanley dragon.
There’s nothing in sports that quite compares to hockey playoff overtime. Quite simply, it’s the best thing ever.
Playoff overtime creates the kind of tension that probably takes five years off your life by the time the tournament has wrapped up, but aside from the Baconater, it’s probably the best way to willfully destroy your blood pressure.
Of course, overtime is not without its drawbacks when it completely ruins your beer management math you’ve been dealing with all night….
3. The First Round
aka the smörgåsbord of hockey. Two weeks of four playoff games every night, and in the West especially, eight series of frantic pace and even match-up that the other rounds usually don’t top.
It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet if the buffet was stocked with steaks and lobsters and the surf and turf were also trying to beat each other up.
The standings today aren’t the final copy but if we played the infamous ‘if the season ended today…’ game we would get a first round featuring Pittsburgh/Philadelphia, Nashville/Detroit, Washington/New York, and St Louis/Los Angeles.
The second round in the West meanwhile will most likely feature St Louis, Vancouver, Chicago, and one of Detroit or Nashville. I believe we call that a fatal four-way match.
Let’s face it, you have a built-in excuse to get nice and drunk every two days from mid-April to (hopefully) somewhere around June and that, if not for the cup, should be reason enough to hope the Canucks go all the way.
Add in that prime spring weather and I think there’s a patio with a big screen TV calling my name.
That being said, how are the Canucks not brewing and marketing their own beer yet? I want my Lapierre Lager, my Schneider Stout, my Sedin Pale Ales, and a nice big 40 for when Luongo melts down.
5. Jim Hughson
Finally, if it’s the playoffs it must be Jim Hughson time. It’ll be a sad day when the Leafs finally make the playoffs and steal Hughson away for round one but until then thank your stars every day that Mark Lee isn’t calling all Canucks playoff games.
Can you imagine Lee calling Burrow’s dragon-slaying OT goal?
The Canucks homer (duh) and the best in the biz is a fantastic cherry on top of everything else that makes the playoffs great.
There’s just something very very right about Hughson calling a Canucks game.
And it all starts in two weeks.