Now Starting: Reasons to Love HockeyJune 3, 2008
Last summer, Pookie and Schnookie at IPB posted a series of blog entries containing their 118 Reasons to Love Hockey. They’ve graciously allowed me to take their idea and run with it this summer. I was originally not going to start this until after the playoffs ended, but last night’s game provided me with some inspiration to actually start writing these.
Reason #1: Playoff Overtime
Sabres fans have a love / hate relationship with playoff overtime. We beat the Devils and Marty Brodeur in four overtimes to force a Game Seven in 1994. Brad May scored in overtime of the 1993 playoff series against the Bruins. We lost the Cup in 1999 in triple overtime because Brett Hull’s foot was in the crease, and the refs were too chicken shit to review the call. (Yes, I’m still bitter.) The 2007 playoffs also gave the Sabres plenty of close overtime games, including one against the Rangers with a beautiful winning goal by Afinogenov.
Playoff overtime is a completely different animal than the 60 minutes of regulation hockey. There’s that added sense of desperation, knowing that one goal will a) end the game and/or series and b) potentially change series momentum to favor the winning team. The announcers seem to get into it more, knowing that every little deflection or missed pass could lead to the winning goal. Since playoff overtime is sudden death, there’s none of that “hang on for five minutes and just make it to the shootout” that characterizes regular season overtime. For some reason, a game won in overtime during the playoffs is that much sweeter of a victory. The locker room interviews show players both simultaneously high from the victory, yet completely exhausted from the effort put forth on the ice.
And who doesn’t love a multiple overtime game? Even though the next morning you’re trying not to pass out from exhaustion during your morning staff meeting, you wouldn’t have missed the end of that quadruple overtime game for the world.
Even though I fell asleep during last night’s Pens / Red Wings game, the highlights on Sportscenter showed me that I missed a hell of a game. Both goalies made incredible saves and there were tons of good scoring chances for both teams. Not to mention the great pizza controversy of 2008. (On that note, while pizza is a carbohydrate and potentially could have some protein involved, pizza can sometimes settle in your stomach like a big ball of goo. I can’t beleive that the Pens training staff would allow them to consume such a food. I remember that when the Sabres played the Rangers in OT last year, the training staff was scrambling to have oranges and bananas and pb&j’s available for the guys. Not pizza.)