It’s the morning after the opening night of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. I’m in Tim Horton’s, sitting across from a fellow poolie. He’s won our competition in the past.
Like me, a guy who knows his hockey. Backwards.
I tell him he and I are tied for 4th place after three games in which the prohibitive favorites all lost. He says nothing. We both know that’s a good start. It’s just game one. There’s a long way to go. You gotta pace yourself.
“Guy in first got 12 points" I offer.
He flicks me a look, swirls his coffee. “Fluke,” he says.
“Yeah,” I reply, “Beginner’s luck.”
We sip our double-doubles in silence. Worried.
But as we conclude week one of the tournament, with one entire series yet to commence, another pool “Beginner” sits atop the standings.
Another stroke of luck? Maybe. Or maybe Karen Walton is just as precise, insightful and knowledgeable about hockey as she is about the writing game.
Traits you don’t normally associate with a Habs fan, I know. But there you have it.
With somebody oft seen in public wearing a skirt now leading our first pool report, I’m assuming it’s time for the trash-talking to begin in earnest.
Making fun of your opponents has always been a part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with historic turnarounds taking place after the sports page report of one team’s jibe was tacked on the other’s dressing room bulletin board.
Times have changed a little. But it’ll be interesting to see how the Vancouver Canucks respond to this tweet from the Los Angeles Kings after their opening night victory.
Ouch! Remember that “Are they really Canada’s team?” debate launched last year by CBC’s Toronto-centric sportscasters? Seems it rippled beyond the country’s borders.
This morning, Canuck goalie Roberto Luongo countered that his team has never lacked motivation. People in Boston are still rolling around on the floor laughing.
Enough little digs to get you motivated? Good! The comment thread is always open.
And the Infamous Writers Pool Standings at the end of Week One are as follows…
Enjoy the feast of fabulous hockey being served up tonight and through the weekend. Next pool report is right here on Monday.