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2010 Playoff Nightcap: Welcome Home?

Are you serious NHL? You put your only 2 playoffs games today at roughly the same time?? And you wonder why your sport isn't growing..

That's Houston Texans offensive lineman Eric Winston tweeting earlier in the evening.  That's right... an NFL player just called out the moronic decision to run two playoff games at the same time.  That can't be good can it?

Look, we know it has to be tough thing to run a professional sports league and all and I wouldn't ever want to come off as an expert (am I an expert?) on how to do such a thing...  And I know us hockey fans prefer to bitch about every single thing the league does more than we do like a  heated debate on if it's Gretzky or Lemieux that was the greatest of all time (the correct answer to that question by the way is Bobby Orr)...  But sometimes it's not really rocket science is it?

Yes you have two games on the eastern time zone and it's a tough call, but is it really?  If (when?) Commissioner Middleton was running the league you start the Pens / Habs game at 6 pm EST because lets face it Montreal fans will gladly skip out of work early to get to the game and Pens fans as well to get to the closest TV.  You then start Sharks / Wings at 8 pm EST - yes it's a bit of a late start but at least by the time the first game is over, you still have at least half if not more of the second game to watch.

Is it an ideal solution?  Probably not because as we've already established, we hockey fans like to complain no matter what, but at least we'd get as much hockey on our TV as possible.

Pittsburgh: 1 - Montreal: 0 (Penguins Lead Series 2-1)

The up and down playoff run of Marc-Andre Fleury is now back up again with an 18 save shutout.  Evgeni Malkin also reemerged with the game winning goal very early in the first period.  But that's not my favorite story coming out of Montreal today...  It was a little AP tidbit about how Sidney Crosby was being welcomed "home" that crossed the wire that amuses me to no end in particular, this line at the end:

A restaurant laid out a No. 87 Crosby jersey over a red carpet on the sidewalk so that patrons could walk on it.



Look, I'm sure the writer of the piece meant well and maybe isn't much of a sports guy really...  but in what sport - or culture for that matter - is it "an honor" to have your jersey put on the ground and then walked all over on?

Well played Montreal fans, a constructive way to show your disdain for a guy and team that doesn't involve profanity, or riots or turned over police cars!  Between this and the fact you nearly almost had virtually no one boo the American anthem tonight, you may have redeemed yourself a little bit in these playoffs.

San Jose:4 - Detroit: 3 (OT) (Sharks Lead Series 3-0)

These aren't the same old Sharks...  They are no longer the team in teal that wilts away when faced with any kind of pressure, they are getting very timely goaltending, they don't need to rely on one or two guys because it's a team effort that is winning these games for San Jose.

But after tonight something tells me we'll have plenty of time to keep talking about the Sharks.  The Red Wings it would seem though are not long for these playoffs and I feel compelled to revel in it.

I can't say as I am gonna miss you Red Wings.  I will however miss your fans.  Those paranoid, tin-foil hat wearing, "the league hates us and that's why we've made the playoffs every year for two decades" crying fans...  I shall miss you all.  I'll miss how you've blamed everyone and everything for your team's shortcomings - well almost everyone and everything, we all know you haven't looked at your own team and blamed them for anything.  Nooooo... it's all about how your team has been conspiracy victims right?

How bad has it gotten for you guys and gals?  Right after Evgeni Nabokov stopped a Red Wings penalty shot, there were fans on both Twitter and on message boards that suggested that Nabokov gloved the puck right at the goal line and that if only the NHL had sensors in the puck and on the goal line - well maybe it would have been a ruled goal...

I wish I was making that up.  But that's how bad it's gotten for some Red Wing fans.

Has the officiating been bad?  No question.  Officiating has been bad all over the place against multiple teams and really how is the bad officiating in this playoff season worse than it was last season?  Or two seasons ago?  Hell, as both a hockey fan and a Minnesota Twins fan, I'm just happy hockey doesn't have a foul line.

But I am so tired of Red Wings fan constantly complaining and it's almost at it's merciful end.  If not on Thursday, then surely on Saturday.  Of course, the only downside to saying good bye to Red Wing fan was we'll still have Sharks fan sticking around...

This series really is a no-win for us isn't it?