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NHL Playoffs: are you watching them?


Robust T
I must say that the NHL playoffs have been a nice diversion for what would otherwise be a dreadful off-season. NBA? Yuk. MLB? Please. At least hockey has a lot of physical play and athletes that care about the game. I've had the good fortune of going to quite a few of the Tampa Bay Lightning games this year and I'd be very surprised if they don't win the Stanley Cup this year. I got to go to game two of the Stanley Cup finals last night, the Lightning kicked the crap out of the Flames. To any of the hockey naysayers out there I have one question: have you been to an NHL game? Hockey really doesn't translate well to TV, you can really appreciate the speed of the game in person. It isn't the Buckeyes, but this is the off-season...
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I can't stand hockey, and yes I've been to a game (used to live in the Detroit area while the Red Wings were dominating). It just doesn't do anything for me.

Plus, it's just sanctioned violence. Tell me- what does fighting have to do with the game? Intimidation? Ok, I can see that, but you can do that without acting like a bunch of high-school thugs.
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DEBuckeye - I presume you are a football fan since you're here - isn't football basically sanctioned violence? Every play you have the linemen duking it out on the line of scrimmage, DB's & LB's flying around the field trying to get a big hit, etc. That's roughly akin to wingers duking it out with defensemen in the corners for a loose puck, the constant battle for traffic in front of the goalie, and so on. Now I'm not a big fan of the fighting in hockey, but I don't like late hits, spearing, flagrant facemask penalties in football either. Bear in mind you were going to Red Wing games, and having to try to adopt a team from that state up north...
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Yes, I'm a huge football fan. A friend of mine has used the "football is sanctioned violence" arguement with me many times. I don't buy it, and here's why- football is a violent game, lots of hitting, etc. But, that is a part of the game. The idea is to tackle the guy with the ball, or make a big block. And if anyone goes too far, the ref will call a penalty immediately.

Now I realize that some hitting and blocking are a part of hockey as well. Even if it were played without any fights, it is still a violent game much in the way that football is. They are pretty comparable in that sense. The difference is that in hockey, players are allowed to beat the hell out of each other. This is violence that I feel is outside of what is necessary to play the game. It's assualt and battery, really. They are allowed to hurt others just for the sake of hurting them- actions that would send any one of us to jail if we did it.

I'm not trying to argue or put down hockey, it's just how I see it. Plus, I never really learned the game, so I don't know what's going on half the time.
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I can buy your point of view - last nights game was a one-sided affair won by TB 4-1, once the game was out of reach it did become a bit of a slugfest. What happens is that cheap shots engender more cheap shots, and then tempers boil over and the team's enforcer will be there to protect the stars on their team. Plus when the score is so one sided like that, the losing team will start pushing the envelope with physical play to try to set the tone for the next game...

Sadly enough, I learned the game by playing NHL Faceoff 97 on Sony PlayStation with all of the penalties turned on. You get a better feel for the rules on two line pass, offsides and icing when the infraction is called on you personally. As an aside, I played an entire season of this game, without so much as a word to anyone in my campus apartment at the time (I lived with 3 girls and one guy at the time and none of them were big football fans) as the Vancouver Cannucks after The Game in 97 just to vent off some steam. I figured that was better than braking stuff like some of my friends would do from time to time.
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There isn't a fight every single game (heck prob. every other game at best has a fight)...

The two guys have to agree to it, and when sombody stops (or is knocked to the ground) it is over... it usually doesn't happen unless somebody took a cheap shot at a "better" player. The guys stick up for each other in that manner.

I'm not a big fan of the fights (unless some punk defenseman goes after a smaller skill guy... then the Big Ugly needs to get knocked around by another Big Ugly)...

The game itself is great... I enjoy live NHL games more than I do live NFL games (now watching a game on TV, I'd preffer the NFL)...
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gbear: I completely agree about the live vs. TV comment you made concerning NHL and NFL games. Seeing an NHL game in person is intense, you're right on top of the action (at least I am from my seats:) and it's much easier to follow the puck. Watching hockey on TV doesn't do the game justice - even with all of the angles they're using now it just isn't the same as being there. I'd like to see them put at a camera at the center line on either side of the arena and switch from one to the other so that the puck is never hidden below the boards...
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The advent of HDTV IMO will help the NHL big time...

I have a buddy that is on the fox crew (he is a camera man with them) that does the BJ's games... he is very excited about the HDTV that the NHL is converting to. If you watch BJ games on fox, your watching it through the lens of my buddy (there is really only 5 camera I think... one facing each bench, one bird eye, one in the corner where the zimboni machines come through, and one reverse angle (does the penalty box shots, and reverse angle on goals if folks are in the way of the reg. camera's)... I think they also have a stationary camera behind each goal...
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I thought last nights game was very well played. I actually think the 1-0 type games are better. I am amazed at the skill and speed that these guys show on their skates.

The alternative NBA game last night was a crock and evidence of why the NBA stinks. The MVP of the league gets totally mugged in the lane with no call and then on the other end Kobe barely gets breathed and a foul is called. That kind of homer refereeing sent me packing for the night.

My first live NHL game was a Red Wing game and it was totally awesome. I was hooked from then on. It hasn't hurt that I have brushed up against Anna K. at the Joe a couple of times either. :groove:
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The thing that really bugs me about ABC's coverage is that they are pimping their NBA Finals coverage before, during, and after a Game of the Stanley Cup Finals. The NBA is in their conference finals now, whereas there's two or three games left for hockey - but ABC has been selling the NBA ad nauseam during what should be the marquee event of the hockey season. I realize that they let NBC take over the broadcasting of the NHL, but at the end of last night's game they played that freakin' video for the Black Eyed Pea's "Let's Get it Started" in its entirety (the actual song is "Let's Get Retarded" which would be a better description of the NBA IMHO.) It bugs me that they just finished airing a huge game that changed the momentum of the series and I had to change the channel to get post game coverage...
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I agree with DEB. It seems that it's "not a real hockey game" unless there is at least one fist fight, and they're always the same (both holding onto the opponent's jersey with one hand while trying to blast him with an overhand right with the other). I think the worst thing, though, is the cheap shots so many players give...not a blindside legal block, but cheap shit away from the play, like swatting the guy with your stick when he's not looking, pushing him into the glass when the play is over, sucker punching a guy, etc. Hockey is nothing but a bunch of 85-IQ Canadian goombahs making a living at the game because they don't have the mental prowess to do anything else. I have yet to see or hear an intelligent, articulate pro hockey player.
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Mili - have you ever watched a post game press conference? Hearing their little sound bites between periods doesn't give the players their due - try tuning into ESPN News after Game 5 tomorrow night. The captain of Tampa's team, Dave Andreychuk, is very well spoken. The guy is 41 and has been in the NHL for 22 seasons - yet he doesn't sound like some knucklehead that's had his head bounced around too many times. As for your assesment of hockey players in general - I'm pretty sure I could spout off some equivalent stereotypes about professional athletes in any sport, but they wouldn't be any more accurate than what you just called hockey players...
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I watched Miracle over the weekend. Does that count?

To answer the question, no, I have not watched any hockey. Hockey is one of those sports I prefer to see in person and I really cannot stand to watch it on TV.
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