Ottawa out in 6: #ChokeFest2015

So I’m a few days behind the times and Montreal’s already behind in the series. Awesome. Also oh well. Ottawa has basicly never, and I do mean never, done much as far as the playoffs go. Ignoring 2007, when the city very nearly exploded, they usually cruised their way into the playoffs, then promptly rolled over and played dead. And let’s not discuss those times when they went flat in the first round–er, well, kind of like now.

I would have preferred an obscure rule violation that ended up disqualifying both teams on sight, but hey, this works too. Now, if Tampa would be so kind as to handle the rest of it, that would be perfectly okay with me. Calgary’s Canada’s team anyway.

Vancouver out in 6: Is that all?

I didn’t have much of a dog in this fight, really. Haven’t had much interest in either team–aside from I know someone who knows someone who plays for Calgary, but you’ll have that. Vancouver had this series, though. Hell, they had the game yesterday. right up until they didn’t. Up 3 nothing, just to lose 7 4? You guys have been watching Toronto haven’t you? Knock it off with that. No, seriously.

On the up side, holy hell Calgary where’d that come from? I mean not that I’m complaining, but it wasn’t that long ago folks were asking if you were even going to be playing this week. And now you’re going to make me start flipping to hockey games again just because Canada. I both love and hate you for that. Now about that obscure rule violation in that other Canadian series…

Jets out in 4: We barely knew ye.

I gave up on my team having a spot in the playoffs when the bottom fell out in January. Which, when you combine that with me doing the school thing, probably explains why there’s been a grand total of 0 posts on the subject since who knows when. But that doesn’t mean I’d entirely lost interest in the thing.

I’d been passively keeping an eye on the Winnipeg Jets since the start of the season, largely because–hey, one more Canadian hockey team so why not. It was their first year, and I was curious if they’d stick. Clearly they have so far. But I was particularly interested in this year’s playoffs because in their first season as an NHL franchise, they managed to slide into the top 8.

I wasn’t figuring they’d go all the way, by any means. But that they managed to get that far on their first try was worth some attention. So I followed the series online, caught pieces of games here and there, and generally hoped Anaheim would slip up just a little, just once. They didn’t. If that one series is any indication, though, Winnipeg will explode if the cup ever ends up there. Next year, if you’re lucky. And I’ll be in your corner then, as well–at least until the Leafs do what they haven’t done in a decade. Bright side: I can go back to watching Montreal step on Ottawa, then line up to have the same done to them in return. It’s gonna be a nifty playoff.

So long, Jets in 4. We barely knew ye.

Side-effects of being a #Sens fan: Desperation leads to conspiracy.

That sucking sound you may or may not have just heard is what little of Ottawa’s sanity remains quickly finding and utilizing the nearest exit. While on the bus coming back from dealing with a few things, I was privy to the most interesting of sports related discussions. Interesting in that it almost had very little to do with sports and more to do with money. Fists full of money. We’ve all been fooled, if you’re the guys who were in this conversation.

The National Hockey League is now expecting the playoffs to go the full 7 games, not because it’s good competition and the teams might actually not fall over halfway through for a change, but because it means more money for the NHL and the teams in question. So, you take a Boston, for example, who’s apparently had Toronto’s number all season, and stick them in a playoff round versus Toronto. Then, you tell them, “Look. You guys flatten this team, okay? But that does nothing for us. Let them come back a time or few. Keep them interested. *Then* flatten them. Deal?”. And of course, because the teams get a pretty sizeable chunk of money during the playoffs anyway, both are fine with it.

Now, flash forward to the second round, and you’re a Senators hopeful. If you’re these Senators hopefuls, you’ve already got it figured out but good. Ottawa has the talent to take this thing pretty well all the way, you see. They could slam the door any old time and it’s all over. But that’s less money, and we all know how much the owners love their money. So instead you’ve got Ottawa holding back, while Pittsburgh goes up by 3. Most Sens fans would be a little worried by now. But oh no. These guys have it in the bag. Now, it’s Ottawa’s turn to do the owning–it’s supposed to go 7, after all. So Ottawa does their shtick tonight, then in the next, and eventually ties this thing up. Then, they can max out the money on both sides, give the fans their game 7, and Ottawa can take its much deserved place in the conference finals. Because money, and owners want some, and I honestly have absolutely no freaking clue.

I think, if nothing else, I’ve just unearthed a teeny tiny side-effect of being an Ottawa Senators fan. Having never actually won a cup (the Original Senators don’t count, as this is not the original Senators) leads a select few to unimaginal bouts of desperation. That desperation is quickly followed by a spin off into the land of alternate reality. There is a solution. And it isn’t even a painful solution. And it’s probably much more of a likely outcome than the theory. I just don’t think I’d wanna be anywhere near these guys when it happens.

In which Ottawa prepares to lose itself for about 4 games.

So. The Ottawa Senators made the playoffs. In a shortened season. One I’ve personally been avoiding since it became a shortened season. Awesome. This, roughly translated, means that for approximately the first round, the city will very likely shut down almost entirely at game time. Every sports bar, restaurant with a TV, and hell even some bus routes, will be Sens crazy. And me with my personally enforced lockout, and my not even bothering with the Sens when I wasn’t mid-lockout (although I did enjoy watching them get their asses kicked in 2007’s finals, and may or may not have rubbed it in just a little), with little to nowhere to run if I don’t feel like hiding from people or, really, getting much of anything done. Clearly someone hates me. Although, this does now give me my one opportunity to reconsider my personal lockout. Because really, as much as I have a problem with how things were handled this year, nothing is more satisfying than an Ottawa Senators playoff waxing. And if that waxing should come at the hands of my team of choice, I might feel slightly more justified in suspending it for a game or two. Because 2004. Damn you, NHL. You were not supposed to make things this bloody complicated. Or this bloody jammed up. Ah well. Back to memorizing playoff schedules. Sorry, May–we might be delaying an evening outing or two by a day. Blame the Senators. It’s good for you.

Chicago wins the cup, we win the longest current cupless stretch. I approve of this.

The blackhawks hadn’t won the Stanley cup since 1961. My Leafs haven’t won the cup since 1967. Near the end of the playoffs, chants of “1967! 1967!” sounded off amongst blackhawks fans. For that, I offer a hearty thank you. The cup was won in 6, by the Hawks, apparently fairly easily. This gives us the longest current running stretch wherein we haven’t had our hands on the cup. And one more very good reason to turn this thing around. Now, if we can just get our hands on decent players without costing us draft picks. Hey, anyone want Caberle? I hear he’s going cheap. Congratulations, Chicago. Get a move on, Toronto.

The playoffs fix themselves; Montreal is done.

It only took until way, way too late, but Montreal went sideways at the hands of the Flyers last night. The joy in this apartment could have filled a stadium. Even more so after reading some of the headlines this morning. All I’ll say, and I’ll say it again, is it’s a very good thing one commenter on Mike’s blog, who was perhaps even more of a diehard fan than me if that were even possible, didn’t take the bet I’d proposed in the comments to an entry. I’d highlight the extent of her diehardness, but–well–that’s already been done. Happy trails, Montreal. We’ve got the course right next to ours reserved for ya.

The eastern conference is coming to a head. Boston gets dumped from 3 0.

This is the perfect situation for a Montreal Canadians meltdown. They haven’t won the cup since 93. No team has come back from being down 3 games to none in a series since 1975. Prior to that, it was since 1942–the 1942 Maple Leafs, to be exact. Boston had a stranglehold on the series going into game 4, whereas the Penguins weren’t quite so fortunate against Montreal–I still have no idea how it is the Canadians pulled it off without cheating. In the last possible moment, Boston went from hero to zero in 60 minutes. And the Flyers managed to surprise the hell out of just about everyone who isn’t a diehard fan of the team. On Friday, in the seventh game of the series, boston was sent golfing. On Sunday, Flyers versus Canadians, game 1 will fill my living room television. And I will be toasting every Flyers goal between now and the end of the conference finals. Go Flyers go!

Montreal cheats, gets into conference finals. The hell?

In a twist that could only be carried out on TV–until this week, anyway–Vancouver gets tossed out on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, Montreal puts the Penguins on ice. This after just about everyone pretty much ruled the latter out of the playoffs after, say, the last game of the season. The explanation is a simple one–Montreal cheated. Has to be it, really.

Starting this weekend, I will renew with much more effort my own participation in the No habs No campaign. For every goal scored against Montral in the conference finals, I will permit myself the enjoyment of one more vodka and coke through the duration of the particular game(s). By the end of the series, I will either be very drunk, or very disappointed. Or maybe both, if they end up dragging it out to seven games and winning again–bastards. Either way, it’ll be quite fun. Anyone wanna join me?

the NHL playoffs just broke. No, really.

Canada’s team got walked over on Tuesday. I mean, really walked over. In the clearest demonstration of the hockey gods’ hatred of us, Vancouver is now a member of the golfing elite. Yes, this means the only team north of the border still in the playoffs is those other people. I may be wrong, but I don’t think “No Habs No” is having quite the affect it was intended to have…

Red wings? Now, shark food.

Again, I’m late to the party. Again, I’ve been insanely busy. And again, Detroit doesn’t do a whole lot in the playoffs. Gone in the second round, at the hands of San Jose. Who, er, might get a shot at playing Chicago unless Vancouver picks up their socks. The fun never stops.

These playoffs are going in entirely the wrong direction.

Last Wednesday, Montreal somehow managed to survive long enough to give Washington the boot. That netted them a matchup against the Penguins this week–and they’re even in the series at a game a piece. Montreal. In the second round. And not staring at elimination yet. Um. What? Okay, I get that the hockey gods despise me right now. But must they be so overly cruel? Really? I know I’m kind of looking forward to an original team cup final… but… Montreal? I’d really rather not.

Coyotes get clipped. Big time.

Speaking of teams you don’t expect to see in the playoffs, enter Phoenix. Beginning of the year, they were pretty much losing money, and the only reason they weren’t sold to a Canadian owner and set up to move is the NHL’s apparent anti-Canada bias. End of the year, they’re still losing money, still probably going to end up being sold and/or moving, and now, they can count themselves among the playoffs’ casualties. Not that a Stanley cup final featuring Phoenix wouldn’t have been fun to watch, but… come on. It’s Phoenix. As in, Arizona. As in, desert country. What’s a hockey team even *doing* there? Besides golfing this week, I mean. Good try, Coyotes. Wanna move yet?

Blackhawks in, Predators gone.

File this under massive underestimations. I didn’t even think Nashville would manage to make it into the playoffs this year. They didn’t make it past the first round, mind you, but they beat my expectations. Now, if they can just knock San Jose around a little, we’ll be a step closer to an original conference final. SWeet would be an understatement.

Oh, buffalo. You had such promise. Well, okay, maybe not.

In my one-person household, we have a problem. It’s baseball season, and Toronto’s actually doing… well… decently. It’s alsp playoff season, and Montreal still needs to be shown the door–something I’d like to be able to watch. Unfortunately, while my multitasking ability is awesome, my TV’s isn’t. So I missed the playoff style drop kick handed to Buffalo thanks to Boston on Monday night. But, as I’ve shown previously, just because I missed it by 4 days doesn’t mean I can’t have my own little cellebration. So long, Sabres. You were good in the regular season–just not good enough for the postseason. I’d say I’ll miss ya, but well… no.

The next best thing to a Canadians defeat? A Senators defeat.

I don’t get to stand in front of my TV screaming in victory yet–Montreal’s still in the playoffs. But, thank bloody God, Ottawa’s done. Their quest to choke in the Stanley cup finals died on Saturday. Yes, and I’m just now getting around to posting about it–I’ve been busy, okay?

In 2007, Ottawa sat tied at 3 games with the team formerly known as the Mighty Ducks in the Stanley cup finals. The city was freaking insane, to put it nicely–Ottawa in the finals just doesn’t happen. I called in sick to work that night just so I could watch the seventh and final game, but not for the same reason nearly everyone else who could have gotten out of work did. While they were seated in front of their TV’s screaming for a Sens victory, for the first time in my life, I cheered for the Ducks. And, in the dying minutes of overtime, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s sad, but true. Like the song says, the Stanley cup will never go to Ottawa. But, think positive, boys. The Leafs have your usual course reserved already.

Figures. I step away from the hockey world for a week, and miss an upset. Devils are gone.

I’ve been concentrating on other things besides hockey for the last several days, a trend that I think is gonna continue today–I have some employment resource thing to get to in a couple minutes. So it figures I miss seeing the Devils get their season handed to them along with their ass. I was kind of hoping Montreal would be the first on the golf course–my poor Leafs could use some lessons there. Ah well. At least I can take some comfort in the fact Ottawa’s gone. But, that gets its own post when I come back–if I don’t forget. I’m horrible for that these days.

Go ducks go!

Yes, I know, I haven’t done nearly the hockey/NHL blogging as I’d previously threatened to–a problem that will be corrected next hockey season. But that being said… it’s now the end of the second period. Ottawa is losing 4 2. And I, yes me, am fucking extatic. I called in sick to work tonight–I actually *was* sick, so stuff your opinions–and am subsequently watching this game, in spite of the fact I vowed never, ever to subject myself to a Senators game in which Toronto wasn’t playing and/or kicking their ass. But… I made an exception for game 4 because there was beer on the line–you owe me by the way, you know who you are. I’m watching game 5 because, well, watching Ottawa lose in the playoffs is an awesome thing indeed. And I live in Ottawa… how messed up is that? Not that it should surprise those who know me–my Maple Leaf fandom is well documented. And would be better documented except, well, again I’ve been lazy on my hockey/NHL blogging. My early as hell new years resolution: correct that. After I finish watching Ottawa lose. Again, go Ducks go!