Nothing reveals the complicated relationship of Canadians to hockey like the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
For months, CBC News has bemoaned the League’s inability to stop an epidemic of concussions and brutal on-ice hits. This morning, they hyped tonight’s Rangers-Devils tilt by replaying footage of the massive brawl that erupted the last time these two teams met.
“Whoo-hah!!! Firewagon hockey is back! Let’s see some heads busted!”
Now some might suggest this is the network trying to recover from many of its audience discovering that yesterday’s Kings-Coyotes Conference final wasn’t on the national broadcaster, and that the next two games in the West will be on the “Pay-extra-for-it” services of TSN… as in, “Hey, look over here! We got the series with fights!”
But for me, it simply says that once we’re into Round Three our better nature is usurped by our true one. If there ain’t blood on the ice, somebody’s not playing to win.
The Infamous Writers Hockey Pool hasn’t come to fisticuffs yet. But the bleeding is certainly visible. And this will be the round where a lot of those still standing could fall hard. Most of our current leaders made a hefty bet on one of the four remaining team and by next week, two of those will be gone.
But if the losers have a couple of hot nights, they might still see their true believers through to Victory. We’ll know more by the time both series are a couple of games in come the Friday report.