The Critical 'I'

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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

PLAYOFF TIME, OR, WHAT I'LL BE WATCHING FROM NOW UNTIL JUNE
i want stanley
It's an action-packed night of pucks as the NHL playoffs start up! I've already gotten one ESPN game under my belt tonight, with Detroit taking down Nashville 3-1 in a scrappy game. It's time to do the sleep-deprivation thing now as Game 1 of Dallas-Colorado just started. I loves me my hockey, boy.

I loves it so much that I'll be heading out to a game myself, this Saturday for Game 2 of the Islanders-Lightning series! It'll be fun, a nice afternoon game. Where hopefully, the Bolts will build a 2-0 series lead en route to wiping the Gorton Fishermen out of the postseason. I'm looking for the local club to go all the way to the Cup Final, where they'll fall to the Dallas Stars. Hey, I can dream...

Catching the playoffs on TV is nice, because it's probably the only reliable televised entertainment I can tolerate these days. And contrary to (apparently) the rest of the world, I don't think there's enough NHL hockey played throughout the year; the summers are unbearable for me, sports-wise. Then again, this summer will have the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, so I'll have some succor.

And after these playoffs, and the World Cup? Everyone is assuming Ragnarok, in the form of a lockout and cancelled season. Even with a season, the league's television contract is up in the air, with a possibility of much fewer national games on for the next stretch.

Call me an idiot optimist. I'm fairly confident management and labor will come to an agreement, pervasive rhetoric aside. I frankly don't care what the final form of the new CBA is, although I'll always pull for the players. As for the broadcasts, given ESPN/ABC/Disney's recent track record with sports programming, I think everyone would be better off if the NHL didn't come back to the Mouse channels. Ideally, another network, eager to get back in the big-league game, will step in.

Anyhoo, play on, play on. (And could ESPN have possibly chosen worse opening-theme music for both games tonight? Some piece of shit that bordered on speed metal. Gimme a break; get some good musical accompanyment for a change, something hip and urban instead of that hard-rock/alternative crapola.)