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Worst NHL clichés

Claude Giroux speaks to the media after a recent game against Montreal. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Claude Giroux speaks to the media after a recent game against Montreal. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Hockey players normally don’t have the most exuberant personalities in the sports world, a fact reflected in their boring nicknames and tired expressions. What are the worst clichés used by NHLers? That’s the focus of this week’s THN.com Top 10.

10. A two-goal lead is the hardest to protect

Somehow, and I know this might sound hard to believe to the untrained ear, a one-goal lead – which can be erased with, you guessed it, one goal – is easier to protect than a two-goal advantage. All this time the NHL had goals that count as double-and-triple-scores and nobody told me.

9. We didn’t play a full 60 minutes

Are there teams out there leaving the game en masse midway through the third period, or taking a brief sabbatical 15 minutes into the first? Of course not. Fellas, you all play at least a full 60 minutes every night. You just don’t play those minutes well sometimes. Be more specific.

8. That’s a goal-scorer’s goal

Fact: any goal scored is, by definition, a goal-scorer’s goal. Before I die, I would love to see an assist-notcher’s goal, a defensive defenseman’s goal or a coach’s goal, but I suspect that isn’t going to happen.

7. 110 percent

Approximately 140 percent of all mathematicians hate this jibba-jabba with white-hot passion. And more than 8,000 percent of all people think people who say this should have to apologize each time they do.

6. Dirty areas

Meant to describe the most competitive, physical zones on the ice, this phrase has a different, adult-only meaning to me. First time I heard the phrase used, I thought somebody was talking about the neighborhoods where Lindsay Lohan and Gene Simmons reside.

5. We have to take it one game at a time

Believe you me, when it’s the middle of February and teams are so defense-minded they allow 5-10 shots a game, nobody wishes games could be played two at a time more than I do. Alas, that’s not the case, so quit pretending someone is asking you to do so, guys.

4. Obviously/Like I said

If I had a quarter for each time a player used “obviously” and/or “like I said” in an interview, I’d be the frontrunner to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. Players will drop one of those lines constantly – a fact that becomes especially frustrating when they’re saying something they haven’t previously said, or when their point isn’t obvious. Obviously, I wish they were less willing to use this crutch.

3. Moving/going forward

The trans-fat of the sports cliché world, moving/going forward can be removed from any sentence and the sentence will be better for it. Next time anyone you know says this, you have my permission to berate them into a bloody mess. Going forward, that is. If you’re going/moving backward in time, feel free to use going forward whenever you want.

2. At the end of the day

If I’m sure of one thing, it’s this: at the end of the day, it’s the beginning of another day. Don’t get me wrong – I liked the movie The Remains Of The Day and usually inquire about the soup of the day, but at the end of the day, this nonsense is superfluous in the extreme.

1. It is what it is

The Queen Mother of banal, empty, curiosity-killing, conversation-ending clichés. If the Flat Earth Society told that to Galileo and he accepted them at their word, where would civilization be today? When someone discovers something that isn’t what it is, I’m happy to hear about it.


The THN.com Top 10 appears Wednesdays only on TheHockeyNews.com.

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