So here we are. The final two teams raging against the dying of the light – which sadly, comes this week.
It’s said of death – “For each of us, there comes a day that is like any other – only shorter.”
And so it is with Playoff Hockey. The end might arrive tonight. It might be Wednesday. All we know for sure is that come Saturday Night CBC will be showing movies everybody bought on Blu-ray years ago or can see anytime they like on Netflix.
Ten weeks ago we started with 16 teams and within the next 72 hours only one set of fans will be left standing.
And maybe it’s time to say that much as we all love hockey –- the NHL Playoffs go on far, far too long.
Mostly for broadcast reasons, there have been 2, 3 and even 4 day breaks in the action this season.
Maybe that ensures teams get more rest and players more time to heal. But ultimately it’s counter-productive.
Marginal fans lose interest. Even die-hards begin to skip games to keep up with the rest of their lives. And ultimately, the broadcasters its all done to serve don’t benefit either.
This year the NHL got a dream match-up between the two largest population centers in the US. But by the time they got there, the more-attractive-to-Americans NBA Finals had reached their penultimate pairings and hockey’s TV ratings went into the tank.
Tonight’s potential final game goes up against the first game of the NHL finals, so those ratings will get even worse.
Maybe more frightening, by the time the NHL Awards hit Las Vegas next week, its star players risk bumping into the shootouts that inevitably accompany NBA Championship wins and losses.
Vancouver might have rioted after last year’s championship loss but nobody died. Meanwhile, eight NBA fans were shot in Oklahoma City after their team WON in the Quarter-Finals!
All that said – we’ve still had some spectacular hockey and with only a few hours of it left, make sure you get enough of a fix to get you through the summer.
Short as that may be in those parts of the country where it has yet to arrive…
The standings in the Infamous Writers Pool as we go into the final week: