.Discomfort and pain are in the past. http://bakaneko.fr/page.php?pyahooID=14c6
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Friday, August 21, 2009
Ol Pal Dave Dameshek has listed his top 5 reasons for loving hockey. It's a good list and surely includes one or two items that should be on everyone's list, such as 66 and the old Division names and rivalries.
But I feel that I must provide you, my dear readers, with my 5 reasons, if only to get you to think of your own. So, without further ado:
- Power Plays: no other sport (soccer's not a sport) makes one team play a man, or possibly 2 men, down. The anticipation builds when the refs arm goes up (gotta get control of the puck...is he bleeding?...get the goalie off the ice!) and the momentum swings - each way scoring or killing it off - decide games and playoff series. Score on it and you've done what you should, unless it's a major when you can score all you can. But kill it, and watch your team suddenly turn the tide to its favor. Or, best of all, score a shorty and take the life right out of the other team.
- A fresh sheet of ice at the start of each period: its a new beginning and a team can come out and completely turn around what happened prior. it's shiny and smooth making pucks glide faster and truer and skaters fly. Again, no other sport has anything that compares: basketball towel and mop guys only clean up small areas, baseball grounds crew guys sweep the infield dirt once but the impact is minimal. No other sport has the Zamboni and the beauty it creates.
- The Great White North: it's front and center in the NHL, no need feel like a rented mule like Toronto must in baseball after seeing its partner in Montreal ushered out of the country, or in football where the CFL is a minor league. In Canada, hockey is #1, and it grows the humble boys that keep the NHL firmly out of the me me me culture that engulfs the other sports.
So sing along to O Canada in Edmonton (I'll take that over ol Slewidge in Ottawa) and if it's Saturday night, tune into Hockey Night in Canada - the best sports broadcast show there is - listen to the intro music and watch the montage and you're ready for the best night of the week.
- Playoffs done right: 4 rounds, all best of 7, 2-2-1-1-1. None of the best of 5 junk that tarnishes baseball or basketball. And about as fair as you can get 2-2-1-1-1, who cares about the travel distribution of the 7 games. Forget the 2-3-2 that has some teams crying foul if they get home field advantage. Give me 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 if possible, but it's not though the NHL comes closest.
- The Igloo: How cool is the Igloo? In it's last year, it's now the grand dame of NHL arenas and every true hockey fan should make a pilgrimage (if you can get tix). So cool it was built for the symphony. It's got: a retractable roof, a big steel dome instead of the cookie cutter roofs around today, crooked stairs and aisle ways, Jeff Jimerson, the outdoor TV (when NBC isn't airing the game), an address of 66 Mario Lemieux Place, not one but two balconies, Jeff Jimerson belting out anthems, great nachos, and still the best sightlines in hockey. It will be a sad day when it closes, hopefully not until next June.