Monday, May 22, 2006

This is not your father's--or even my--NHL

With about six and one-half minutes left in the first game (Anaheim-Edmonton) on Friday, my wife valiantly attempted to send me downstairs to get her aspirin.

It was 2-1 and the Ducks looked threatening, so I said what I said throughout most of the late 1990s and early Naughts--I'll go at the next stoppage. Surely, there will be an icing, a penalty, a puck out of play, or a face-off.

The next stoppage was Todd Harvey's Empty Net goal with 42 seconds to go.

And it wasn't a European game, either; the players were hitting; playing the puck and the man, digging in the corners, passing, changing lines seamlessly.

It's one of the few times I've been delighted to have Comcast and its self-promoted "Outdoor Life Network."

The Daily Quickie nailed this one:
Seriously, if we make one plea to you, faithful readers, it is this: Start watching the NHL playoffs.

It's a shame that many cannot; Gary Bettman has to answer for a lot, but that no-risk-to-the-network contract he signed with NBC (which in large part precipitated the lockout of 2005) has marginalized the game he was trying to "save."

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