Like I mentioned, I'm struggling to see Chicago actually giving this away. If they do, the city of Chicago, Marian Hossa and I will all have to go on professional hockey hiatus for a while. This is not something one recovers from by crawling around golf courses. It takes more than just fresh air and wide open fairways.
Philadelphia is doing what many believe is the NHL's worst enemy: They are re-writing Cinderella, yet again. For me, calling any team in the Stanley Cup playoffs a "Cinderella Story" is just not enough anymore. It is no longer uncommon to see a bottom-seeded team get hot and make a run. After studying the league in-depth for quite some time (I'm only 23, but I have devoted a good portion of my years to the NHL) I have concluded there is no such thing as a Cinderella team in the NHL. There are teams which perform well in the playoffs, and teams which perform poorly. Forget about the names on the sweaters. Dismiss the seeds. Sixteen teams make the playoffs. Sixteen teams have a shot at the Cup.
I have exhausted myself all season arguing for why this type of NHL is good for the game of hockey. Basically, I am tired. I am tired of sticking up for the facts. I spent the past couple weeks just watching it unfold. Here it is: Philadelphia vs. Chicago. The series is tied 2-2.
Game five is the series. Win it and win the Cup. However, the Detroit Red Wings proved this not to be such a definite win-win. The Wings won game five of the 2009 finals, only to drop game six and seven to Pittsburgh - maybe one of the most heartbreaking finals performances in NHL history.
Heartbreak sums up the past 49 years for the Chicago Blackhawks. Their previous visit to the finals was ruined, of course, by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 - there is something about the state Pennsylvania.
No one needs to remind Chicago how long ago 1961 is.
NBC ruined the NHL playoffs for me. I find myself cringing while listening to the amateur editorial and commentary on this sport. It is unfortunate. For me, if the United States is not going to try to do the sport justice, the country (NBC) should just forget about it. I don't want hockey to be dragged through the mud in front of a national audience. I would rather see it cherished among its niche fan base. Forget about trying to sell this sport. It's trivial and excruciating for the real fans to watch. I feel like I'm just repeating myself a lot.
If I have to watch Jeremy Roenick and Pierre McGuire reproduce goals and never shut their idiotic mouths next year, I'm turning it off. The radio please.
I am dead serious. It is disgusting.