After the long, hard journey that was the Columbus Blue Jackets 2015-16 season, I was intent on not watching much of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I wanted a break from the sport, a break from thinking about it, and to be able to use my time to do anything else.
I’ve failed. Miserably.
There’s simply nothing like watching playoff hockey. I’ve had some various thoughts on the playoffs as they’ve happened, and wanted to share those here.
Thank you, Pavel Datsyuk
I’ll miss you, Pavs. I never cheered against you, even when our teams shared a division in the Western Conference. You’ve always been a thrilling playmaker to watch, someone who could create a chance out of literally nothing, and I will always respect that.
It’s gonna be weird not seeing a #13 in red next season. Best of luck in the KHL and beyond.
Pierre-Édouard Bellemare should have missed more than one game
Pierre-Édouard Bellemare, of the Flyers, destroyed Dmitry Orlov on a terrible hit in Game 4 in Philadelphia. Pierre-Édouard Bellemare lined up Orlov, took multiple steps, and drove Orlov into the boards. Pierre-Édouard Bellemare is lucky that Orlov wasn’t paralyzed as a result. Orlov hit at a weird angle, remained on the ice for long enough to wonder if something was seriously wrong, and played the next game.
I hate that the punishment for Pierre-Édouard Bellemare was tied to Orlov’s injury. Obviously it’s great that Orlov is okay, but Pierre-Édouard Bellemare could have done so much more worse. Hopefully a dramatic action is taken to prevent this type of thing. There should have been a formal apology issued.
Slay your demons when you have a chance
San Jose did just that Friday night, taking down the LA Kings and finally putting to bed the memories of their epic collapse a few seasons ago, where the Sharks blew a 3-0 series lead en route to the Kings winning their second Stanley Cup. Exercising your demons while you have a chance prevents any doubt and ghosts of series past creeping in.
Two teams who have failed to take advantage of their chances to close out series? The Washington Capitals and the St. Louis Blues. The Capitals, the best team in the league in the regular season, appear to be pressing hard after losing 2 straight to the Philadelphia Flyers and hot goaltender Michal Neuvirth (a former product of the Capitals organization, no less). Capitals fans can only be thinking of previous playoff failures right now, and it would behoove the team to defeat Philadelphia in Game 6. A Game 7, despite being in Washington, would present a significant mental hurdle to the Capitals.
Similarly, the St. Louis Blues must beat the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. To allow the Hawks, the best team in the NHL over the last half-decade, to hang around would be disastrous.
Here’s hoping the Caps and the Blues can get their wins this weekend.
Overtime hockey remains the best thing in sports
I defy anyone to find a better spectacle, night in and night out, than overtime hockey in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s impossible. To watch guys sacrifice every inch of their bodies, mentally and physically in the name of preventing a small rubber disc from creeping across a line on the ice- there’s nothing like it. I was intent on going to bed early on Friday night, and ended up staying up late because each game was so captivating.
7 days until the NHL Draft Lottery
Please hockey gods. Please.
Do you guys have any thoughts or observations? Let us know!