Weekend Links: I Want My NHL

Allow me to get ungrateful for a few minutes. Cool? Thanks. The NHL has a scheduling problem. We’ve now had two whole days without playoff hockey. In May. That’s insane and should not stand. Now I know, I know, “Jake,” you’re saying, “it’s only two days, surely you can survive.”

Yes, I probably could. Can. Will. Whatever. But consider the fact that there was a chance the NHL would schedule tonight’s game 7 between the Rangers and Capitals for 12:30 in the afternoon. That’s an hour and a half from now and, I don’t know about you, but my Saturday morning hangover is pushing me towards going back to bed rather than staying up to watch a hockey game. My shortcomings aside, had the NHL not come to their senses and actually had this game in the afternoon, I can’t see ratings shooting through the roof.

Here you have two of the most marketable teams in the league (one has Ovechkin, the other has New York), playing in a game 7 to finish a ridiculously close series (seriously, it’s like the second closest series in history. Washington’s last round was the first) and you have the makings of ratings magic. For a league that is so hell-bent on upping their profile in America, this move made about as much sense as a dog driving a helicopter (I know I just kind of sounded like Grandpa Simpson, I’m just enjoying the visual).

Thankfully, the game is indeed taking place at 7:30 tonight. I’ll be watching and I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog you probably will be too (if you don’t, we’ll know and we’ll find you). However, this is a league looking to maintain interest in momentum. They have arguably the most exciting product in sports, especially in the playoffs, and they’re finally starting to regain some ground down south that they lost so entirely during the lockout yet they don’t seem to know what to do with it. I know that the back in the schedule is largely due to three of the four second round series being over, if not entirely, but the timing of today’s game is emblematic of a larger problem facing the league. They’ve made it, but they’re kind of afraid to be here.

I know it’s been a while, NHL, but you can do this. It’s game 7; eyeballs will be on the screen. I’d just be wary of your scheduling if we end up with a Phoenix/New Jersey final. A break in play might be the last thing that series needs. But I’ll still be there. And so will you.

Links To The Past

  • I don’t know if I mentioned it but there’s a game 7 tonight between the Caps and Rangers. Here are some guys who could make a difference. (Puck Daddy)
  • The London Knights are going to the Memorial Cup. Again. (The Toronto Star)
  • Just a reminder – the Phoenix Coyote are in the Western Conference Finals. I know, I hardly believe it either. (The Hockey News)
  • If you think game sevens are hard on the players, you wouldn’t believe how hard it is on the fans. (Down Goes Brown)
  • Remember Braden Holtby’s awesome mom? She just got a whole lot awesomer (it’s a word, shut up). (Washington Post)
  • How much should we look up to those on our TVs? Really interesting read here. (Vintage Leaf Memories)
  • Hockey players lose teeth, blah, blah, whatever. Guys, Sports Illustrated wrote about hockey! (Sports Illustrated)
  • Today in “no shit”: Bryzgalov didn’t live up to his contract. (ESPN)
  • Nothing happened last night so I don’t have any video for you so here’s a random video from two weeks ago because Jonathan Quick is awesome.