Last week, I wrote about the fact that we hadn’t seen a triple-overtime playoff thriller in over two years. Well the streak ended in Washington on Wednesday night, where the Rangers and Capitals contested the 20th-longest game in NHL history before Marian Gaborik eventually ended things nearly five hours after puck drop.
If you were following the game on twitter last night, you probably noticed that a lot of people complain about these marathon type hockey games. The players are too tired. It gets too slow. It’s not physical enough. I’m up too late and have to be up early in the morning.
Give me a break.
Sure, the pace did slow down after a while (though the majority of OT was still highly entertaining), the hits got lighter and the players were undoubtedly gassed, but what I love about these long, drawn out games is that they become as much a battle against yourself as they do a battle against the opposition. Not to mention, the longer the game goes, the more emotionally invested the players, coaches, management team and fans become.
Think about it. What feels more rewarding as a fan, seeing your team score the OT-winner a few minutes in, or sitting on the edge of your seat for a couple of hours before finally feeling the weight float off of your shoulders? Comparatively, what’s more crushing, seeing your team lose a game quickly after overtime begins, or being teased for nearly the length of an entire game before experiencing defeat?
Yes, after over 100 minutes of hockey, the quality of play begins to deteriorate (Ryan McDonagh played 53 minutes for God’s sake!), but at the same time, the longer the game goes, the bigger the stakes get, and that makes for some indescribable emotion.
If it happened every night, or often enough, it wouldn’t mean much, but it’s happened once in the last 25 months, so try to appreciate it instead of complaining about it.
Other than that, here are your morning links:
- One of the combatants in the DC Marathon, Henrik Lundqvist, “thought it would never end” (NBC Sports).
- Ryan McDonagh has more stamina than you (CBS Sports). Seriously, I was more impressed by McDonagh than anyone else on the ice last night. He not only stayed in the game after taking this hit, but ended up with a game-high 53:17 of ice time.
- Alexander Ovechkin’s playoff rep has taken a hit from uncontrollable playoff elements (Sporting News). Ovie has six points (three goals, three assists) and is a minus-one in nine playoff games this season, but at the end of the day, he still has 56 points in 47 career postseason games.
- Some post-game ponderings from last night’s Predators/Coyotes game (The Tennessean). Lost in the shadow of a triple-OT thriller was Pekka Rinne’s first career playoff shutout.
- Radulov, Kostitsyn aren’t guaranteed to play in Game 4 (NBC Sports). The Predators wouldn’t…would they?
- Is there a stigma attached to Russian NHL prospects? (National Post). Maybe not to GM’s and other team executives, but if you listen to some fans and media members, it’s pretty obvious that there is.
- The Flyers need to go back to their bully roots against the Devils tonight (Philadelphia Inquirer).
- Are the odds in St. Louis’ favour tonight in Game 3 against the Kings? (Calgary Herald)
- Dustin Penner has finally begun to assert himself (National Post). With his sense of humour and his ability to laugh at himself, it’s actually quite easy to find yourself rooting for Penner.
- Was the catfish thrown on the ice in Nashville on Wednesday night alive? (Puck Daddy)
- Canada’s competition bureau won’t challenge Bell and Rogers’ bid to buy a majority stake Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (Reuters).