Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pitarresi: Have you ever watched the Stanley Cup playoffs?

When people tell me they don’t like hockey, or I read that sentiment someplace, or the national radio talk show guys do everything they can to ignore the game – and most of those smug know-it-alls do ignore it with an vengeance – I want to shout at them:

Have you ever watched the Stanley Cup playoffs?

And I’m shouting it again now after last night’s 2-1 Pittsburgh Penguin victory over the defending champion Detroit Red Wings in the seventh and terrifically entertaining deciding game of the finals.

You don’t like speed, body contact, aggressive and creative play? You don’t like seeing guys give up their heart’s blood to win? You don’t’ like a dramatic save to preserve the victory a couple of heartbeats before the final horn sounds? What is not to like? You don’t even have to understand the game to any great depth to like all of that.

I also love the Stanley Cup itself, which is more and more hyped each year but doesn’t need any help in terms of value. It is 116 years old, and it’s the most treasured trophy in sports. I think it’s great that everyone on the winning team from the general manager to the stick boy gets to lift the Cup.

I don’t think any sport celebrates its championship as monumentally as the National Hockey League does, and I don’t think any sports media organization does a more thorough job in covering one than the CBC does. By the time they got to the 22nd player on the roster, I was getting a little tired, but I was very impressed with the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team – and it’s a big team - which knows just about every salient detail of every player’s career and private life.

The coverage might have been too good. I’m quite sure that I heard at least three Penguins use the “magic word” as they lifted the Cup. I can hardly blame their exuberance, but guys, come on, you know you are on national television.

That aside, it was a great show. And I ask again, if you say you don’t like the game, have you ever watched the Stanley Cup playoffs?


Blogger MARK said...

John I agree with you-hockey is a team sport-one of the few left-if an NHL Hockey team does not mesh in and out of the Locker Room then they simply will not win the Cup.
!6 wins is a war of attrition and one of the most important requirements to win Lord Stanley`s Cup is that you have to taste your own blood to remind you who in the He double Hockey sticks you are.
Did you hear that-Tennis and Soccer-just two "sports" that produce enough prima donnas-oh yeah we need those kind of people in Albany.
I say put `em on the ice and run `em into the boards-that way you can wake `em up and they can save on the price of a cup of Joe.
I am Engy and I would have paid for this message if you would have charged me !

June 14, 2009 2:36 PM  

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