I tried really hard to watch NHL on the Fly interview some Blackhawks. A couple of them sounded fine, said the usual stuff: we’ll be playing a tough team, gonna be a great game, we’ve worked hard to get here, yadda yadda. Everyone talking about these two brave young teams, all those young guys… Leighton was the only one who suggested that his team was “older” than the other team. Certainly the marquis names are.
Wait, I was trying to say something about what the Blackhawks said. I’m trying, really, but I’m seeing red again and the only thing that sticks in my mind is the spectacle of Toews and Kane giggling about looking at girls in the audience. It seemed of grave importance for Kane to insist that he only did this during warm up, though Toews would not confirm it. That sort of sent me into a catatonic state. I don’t care if Weekes prompted them by mentioning “girls!“, he also gave them plenty of outs to discuss something more intelligent to do with the experience of sudden celebrity. They opted not to, being 14 year old boys at heart.
I don’t like grape juice, the taste, or the way it stains your clothes when sloshed by children, or its negligible dietary value and excessively high sugar content. Until it matures into a palatable vintage it is not amusing. No doubt I am being overly critical. Blame Byfuglien, I do.
I could whine about the show not spending enough time talking to Flyers, but again I may be seeing red which interferes with my skills of observation.
Another thing possibly related to my skewed perspective is the to do being made of Keith’s teeth. In his “welcome to the Stanley Cup Finals” press conference, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman mentioned Keith and Laperrière as examples of the heart it takes to get to the finals. I will grant that to come right back to the game, after a clearing shot by Marleau knocked out seven teeth, is the definition of “cowboy up.” HOWEVER, to compare that injury to Lappy’s is insulting.
Keith was damn lucky he got hit in the mouth. If you have to get hit in the face, that is pretty much the best place to get hit by a puck. That’s what your teeth are for, like a facial crumple zone for protecting your brain. As with a crumple zone, it only works once but it works.
So why not compare Keith’s injury to the broken toe suffered by Gange? Or Carter’s broken foot? Or Boucher’s sprained ACLs (he is dressing for this game as back-up)? Oh, wait, maybe it is because the Blackhawks’ list of walking wounded simply CANNOT be compared to the Flyers’. Comparing Keith to Lappy is just a blatant attempt to elicit some sympathy for a team of very young, very fancy and mostly unscathed players, sympathy they patently do not deserve. (Late edit: I remembered that Campbell was also hurt this season and he is playing again for the Hawks. Still doesn’t balance but I give credit where it is due.)
Kevin Weekes and the other fellow at his desk (one name at a time) were asked to assess the teams some nights ago. They both said nice stuff about both teams but ultimately came down to giving the Hawks the advantage. These are the same guys who said Leighton would cave. Twice. Hm.
Another fellow, Gary Green I think, pointed out that the key to Leighton’s success so far has been mental. He credited him with being a very cool customer. Yes, very Tauran. No one is better at shutting out the noise.
I will admit that the show did spend a good deal of time on the Flyers’ post-game press conference. Then I have to complain that too much time was given to Pronger. He is well-spoken and moderately witty. I don’t think I want to know too much more about him. If the Pens captain makes me cranky, I suspect that too much info on Pronger would make my ears bleed. I already know he hit Subban in the face with his stick, which resulted in the 4 minute penalty in game 5 against the Habs. Really? Subban? Ach… I am very sure I do not want to know more about Pronger. He is completely atypical for a Libra. But maybe that’s where he gets the gift of gab.
This is the Year of the Tiger:
Hot passion meets cold steel with the arrival of the year of the Metal Tiger. Forget about last year’s slow plodding. Events set in motion now will pick up speed and continue until either the objective is attained or the whole endeavor crashes and burns. Unfortunately Metal has a destructive relationship with the Tiger’s fixed element, Wood. The combination of Metal and Tiger is not, however, a totally negative one. They represent the kind of force necessary to accomplish the most difficult tasks. The impossible just might be possible during this exciting time. (Chinese astrology website)
There are more Tigers on the Hawks than on the Flyers. I tried looking up player horoscopes along these lines but ran into the same thing I always run into when I try to go into specifics with horoscopes: radical inconsistency. Especially with the Chinese horoscope, you get variations when dealing with a 4000 year old calendar. Some said, for example, that Kane was born in the year of the Dragon, others said Tiger. So clearly there is no point in trying to get too detailed. Broad strokes are better. For the Hawks to succeed is so far beyond the realm of the impossible that I have to think this alignment benefits the Flyers over the Hawks. Maybe I am still seeing red. Or maybe I’m still seeing Tigger.
But here’s the rundown on how these two teams got where they are. What jumps out at me in that article, red blinders or no, is that when they hit bottom, the Hawks purged and rebuilt, while the Flyers tweeked what they had. The consensus seems to be that this was the wise choice for both teams, but I have a thing about replacement versus renewal. As with environmental responsibility, using what you already have is always the nobler path.
More from the “lies, lies and more lies” bin, from one of those NHL on the Fly updates I watched last night (why do I bother watching? Because proving them wrong makes me feel clever?): someone stated that Michael Leighton has never faced a team like the Blackhawks. The Orange Crush mentioned that he had done so, once this season. So I thought “maybe the confusion is that, since then, the Hawks have changed their team a lot.” Further research (four clicks on NHL.com) tells me that Leighton faced the Hawks on March 13, 2010. Wow. I wonder how many players the Hawks could have possibly acquired since then? Or perhaps they have completely overhauled their playing style. Or maybe someone is spreading more false rumors irresponsibly?