I will be the first to sit here and tell you that I am a sports geek and loser when it comes to sports. (I guess it couldve been worse… I couldve been hanging on every minute of TV coverage waiting for the royal family baby name to be released. While I am on the topic, if there is a more irrelevant thing in the world than the royal family as far making decisions and having an impact on a country let me know. The only one tolerable is Harry. I will start respecting them the day Harry beheads William.) I will watch anything from Football to Soccer. I will read articles and newspaper from across the country about various sports topics.
Needless to say, every night the last month has been a joy. With the NBA Playoffs, the NHL Playoffs, Major League Baseball, sprinkle in some horse racing, boxing, and NFL Draft my eyes are burning from the TV and my thumb looks like a watermelon from pushing the buttons on the remote.
The playoffs for each sport are the biggest stage. The lights shine the brightest, the intensity gets ramped up, and inches are the difference between a win and a loss. Rooting for the Philadelphia teams in the NHL and NBA, I have become accustomed to not having much to celebrate. This year being no different and even rubbing it in a little more with neither in the playoffs.
What this means is I have been able to watch both league’s playoffs fairly objectively. I have not had any day where I woke up only thinking about my team’s game that night. I have not had any sleepless nights after my team’s loss or any sleepless nights after my team’s win. I have only had sleepless nights trying to stay up and watch it. I lose more sleep in these 2 months than any other time of year.
This brings me to last night. I have watched Game 7’s throughout all of sports as well as one game championships. Sitting on my couch last night without a dog in the fight and actually disliking both teams equally as much, I was in an objective state.
Game 7 of the Capitals vs the Rangers was incredible. I have always thought that there is nothing better than the NHL Playoffs. (the rituals, the playoff beards, the crowds, the chants, the handshake line- its unlike anything else) And I have always thought that NOTHING even comes close to an overtime in the NHL Playoffs. Last night, we were treated to both. An elimination game in the Garden, game 7, overtime. What more can you want?
For 7 games, the Rangers and the Caps beat the living heck out of each other. For 7 games Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby stood on their head. All 7 games were decided by 1 goal with two of them going to overtime and one game a goal scored in the third period with one second left.
Last night Game 7 went to overtime. It is not often that I have literally been moved to the edge of my seat when my team is not playing. Last night it happened. The drama was incredible. As each second ticked, my heart ticked a little faster.
There are now four teams are left in what I believe is the hardest to win the championship in. The Chicago Blackhawks face the Anaheim Ducks and the New York Rangers face the Tampa Bay Lightning with the 2 winners meeting for everything.
Speaking of the Chicago Blackhawks, what they have done since the 2009-2010 season is as impressive as any of the recent dynasties. Being that the NHL is not as popular as the other major sports, it wont be mentioned. They have won 2 Stanley Cups and were an overtime goal away from playing in the Cup last year. That would have been 3 cup appearances in 5 years. With a series win over the Ducks, it is still impressive as it will be 3 Cup appearances in 6 years with a chance to win 3. In a sport that requires a little luck, a lot of toughness, and where home ice doesnt mean as much as it does in other sports it is extremely impressive.
Both NHL Semifinals will be worth watching but coming from a guy who follows the NHL, the Ducks vs Blackhawks is must watch TV.
I may not have seen it all in my life as a sports fan but one thing I have come to the realization of is the NHL Playoffs are the best. And nothing comes close to the intensity and drama of a Game 7. The sudden death overtime in game 7 … well I have no words to describe it.