To paraphrase Lewis Black ("If you like to drink and you've never been to Ireland... you're stupid."), if you like sports but don't have an NHL team that you follow in the playoffs, you're stupid. Simmons backlash bandwagon members will be happy to note that this principle places him solidly in the stupid camp.
In any case, sometime during the fourth intermission of last night's Sharks-Oilers game I remembered that I had whiskey and if I was ever going to use some of it I was going to use it now. Three minutes into the third overtime, Shawn Horcoff -- yes, that Shawn Horcoff -- finally slipped a puck past Vesa Toskala's five-hole and I collapsed, still twitchy from the tension built up over the last five... six? ... hours. I dimly recalled a time during which I was not watching the Oilers game, and then I went to bed.
So, yeah, if anything stupid appears here, blame Canada.
A few bullets on the 'new' NHL:
- Prohibiting a change after you ice the puck is just as effective and brilliant as I'd hoped it would be. It's turned icing from a good play when you're trapped in your zone into a terrible one. Time and again Edmonton has iced the puck against San Jose, usually with the iffy Bergeron-Greene defense pairing on the ice, and each time out come Joe Thorton and Rocket Richard winner Jonathan Cheechoo to strike some fear into the hearts of Oilers fans everywhere. Fortunately for Edmonton, Peca, Horcoff, and Stoll are dominating the draws.
- Anyone who watched San Jose's brutal teutonic forecheck batter the Oilers into goo in games one and two knows the oft-heard complaint that the emphasis on calling obstruction penalties has removed the physical element of the game is bunk. All three games in this series have been filled with crunching hits from start to finish. Sharks speed demon Milan Michalek got his head in the way of a Raffi Torres shoulder from hell and finished game two looking like a prize fighter in the twelfth round. No penalty was called, as the play was clean.
- The trapezoid seems pretty useless.
- It's hard to believe that anyone was against the legalization of the two-line pass, right? Next stop: evil, blighted offsides.
- Sharks fans are quality; The Tank has been amped up to a nigh-Edmontonian level.
- I can't find words better than these from Battle of Alberta to describe Roloson's second overtime save on Cheechoo:
It evoked an involuntary groan as my soul reentered my body.
The RCMB is good for something. Yost Built found this bit of excellence there, after all:
Etc.: Jonathan Tu gives us the Onion-style lowdown on Tressel & Carr.