Monday, May 16, 2011

Signs of a good and bad playoff game

The 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs have been very entertaining, for the most part.  Some people felt that the 2nd round was slightly disappointing, but the 1st round was a tough act to follow.  Let’s take a look at what makes a playoff good and what makes a playoff game bad.

Good: Tomas Kaberle finally getting involved offensively for the Tampa Bay Lightning.  Which reminds me, I don’t recall Steve Yzerman ever acquiring Kaberle.
Bad: Any playoff game involving the Philadelphia Flyers…for an official scorer, that is. I’m not sure they leave room for that many goalies in one game on their score sheets.

Good: Any game that Doc Emrick announces.  He’s slightly more enthusiastic than say, Joe Buck.
Bad: A Lightning press conference.  One way or another, the phrase “1-3-1” will be brought up more times than Sean Bergenheim scored during that particular game.

Good: Any game that features goals from Patrick Marleau AND a Sedin.  It’s as if players listen to Jeremy Roenick once in a while…
Bad: Any time Don Cherry has to admit than an American and two Swedes are the core of a Stanley Cup contender.

Good: Overtime games!  Bonus hockey!  Unfortunately, every American hockey fan must be constantly concerned that Versus might interrupt the overtime in favor of some intense hunting program.
Bad: Blowouts.  The good news is that the Flyers are out of the playoffs, thus their goaltenders can’t allow any more ridiculously lousy goals until next season.

Good: Games where new stars are born.  P.S. I nominate Joel Ward to be on the cover of NHL 12.  You know what, scratch that.  It should be Mike Fish…er, Carrie Underwood.
Bad: Games where goalies try to pass the puck.  Yes, Jim Hughson, they are “booing,” not “Lou-ing.”

Good: Playoff games held in state-of-the-art, brand new arenas in strong hockey markets.
Bad: Unfortunately, none of that applies to the Islanders.

Good: Watching star players scoring goals, such as Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, James van Riemsdyk, Jordan Eberle and even Jaromir Jagr this time of year.
Bad: Well, that tournament was played in Slovakia.

Good: Knowing that the playoffs can cause strange things to happen, such as realizing that Tim Thomas has allowed the most goals of any goalie in the Conference Finals so far.
Bad: Games that are not tied in the third period.  Dammit, what team in their right mind would invent a defensive system that makes games boring in the third period…?

Good: The playoffs can also create a “Cinderella” type of team, a team that the entire country seems to rally around.
Bad: Canada usually has a team to rally around every year, just usually not the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Good: Good playoff games usually coincide with loud arenas and great playoff atmospheres.
Bad: This still doesn’t apply to the Islanders.

Good: Games that feature high-end offensive skill, such as dangling around a forward who’s playing defense and without a hockey stick.
Bad: Games where the team’s most popular player is popular just because of his wife.

Good: Having large hockey markets succeed in the playoffs.
Bad: Of course, I meant American hockey markets…