Excited about the playoffs yet?
Go ahead. Be honest. Admitting you’ve been flipping over to watch The Iron Chef or something to do with gaudy home makeovers doesn’t make you any less of a hockey fan (actually it does – I can’t believe you’re so gullible).
In the long journey that is The Stanley Cup playoffs there’s always the standard, requisite letdown immediately following the opening round.
The playoffs begin on such a high with everyone – even Ottawa – believing they can win the thing. It’s akin to the start of a marriage: all fireworks, lots of sweating and naturally the crowd’s really into it.
Eventually though, reality starts to set in. The honeymoon can truly only last so long and there is no humane way possible to keep that sort of pace up (the honeymoon aspect I mean – and I suppose it sort of works as an analogy for hockey too, if you must).
Rounds two and three usually run the competitive gamut. The occasional series will prove attractive, especially when two self-proclaimed Cinderellas run up against each other (mental image: Wonder Woman vs. Cat Girl).
Now, where was I?
Right. The lull thing.
In all honesty, no one fit the glass slipper this year. Washington did hold the mantle for a short while, but we can all only imagine what Ovechkin’s feet look like if that’s what he passes off as a head of hair.
With no underdog for the little people to cheer for it came down simply to wishing for competitive hockey (and that Wonder Woman thing) from the teams that were left standing.
And it did look promising, for a short while.
Dallas bared its teeth, knocking out the defending champs in the opening round, then disposing of a team that was pegged (annually till 2021) to be the next ones to wear the crown.
The Flyers won a spirited series over the Capitals, then usurped the Habs with their wicked combination of great goaltending and…um… ok, they had a goaltender.
Then, newly invigorated Dallas and Philadelphia ran headfirst into meat grinders known as the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins respectively (but not respectfully) with final scores resembling mini-tennis routs (4-2, 4-2, 4-1…).
At the end of all this, we’re witness to a gruesome bullfight in which the matador drives a tank and the bull is played by a gerbil.
If there is such a thing as the proverbial towel in the modern day NHL, may I respectfully suggest throwing it in?
Dallas: you got two rounds, Turco lasted longer than anyone figured he would and, if anyone should be wearing shorts during this warm Texas spring, I’d rather it be a co-ed from Baylor than Steve Ott.
And Philadelphia? Think back two years. You were begging for spare change and you only wished you could have an organization as “stable” as the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now you’re right back in it again, amongst the beautiful dreamers who think they’re but one key piece from competing for the Stanley Cup (seriously, Filip Kuba and you’re there).
So Flyers and Stars, good job. Thanks for playing. We have some nice parting gifts. If you could just scurry off-stage that’d be peachy.
I think our Feature Presentation is about to begin.
We can only hope.
The preceding was purely fictional and meant for entertainment purposes only. By entertainment, we mean we hope you laughed while reading it, framing it, or burning it. Any similarities between this and actual events is strictly coincidental and frankly, dumb luck. Remember to remind your lawyer about the made-up part, OK?
Charlie Teljeur, creator of THN's hockeysockpuppettheatre, brings you Loose Change every Thursday only on thehockeynews.com. Subscribe to The Hockey News today to have Charlie's cartoon delivered to you in each issue.
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