April 22, 2008

Lucky Game 7s

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

It’s starting to look like the only thing that the NHL has going for it is playoff game sevens. No league can build up to head more the NHL, not the NBA and not Major League Baseball; that’s right, hockey actually wins at something.

The thing that makes an NHL game seven that much better than the rest of series-style playoff sports is the physicality of the game. In Basketball, you have intense matchups — some one-on-one throughout the series — but if you were to hit a guy, inflict some physicality, you’d be called for a foul. In baseball, there’s no physicality except occasional dustups that are nothing special and series are more based on managing strategy than the other sports.

This is especially the case when it comes to one of the longest-running rivalries in sports like the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins. And, in a surprisingly predictable turn of events, the Canadiens put the beat down on Boston 5-0.
The rivalry will continue with the same result for decades.

Tonight, the lucky fans of hockey get two more game sevens. First Alex Ovechkin — the most electric player in the game — and his Capitals face off with the rough and tumble Flyers who are well on their way to getting back their image of low-life goons. Then, after east coast fans will probably be asleep, the Flames try to take down everyone’s chic choice to win it all, San Jose.

And for the record, I’ll only be watching because I’ve got work.

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