hockey playoffs to ensure crosby vs. ovechkin in 2009

Michael Louie


Man, I gotta throw out some love to The Onion. With Casey out in LA, I’ve been catching up on some playoff hockey, and then today I saw this from America’s Finest News Source. From their early season sports bit “Flyers Defensemen Ceremonially Checks Sarah Palin into Boards” [one might recall my blog post last year about Sarah Palin ceremonially dropping the first puck at the Flyers home opener] to the headline “Gary Bettman: I Have Never Watched an Entire NHL Game,” The Onion’s sports writers have always been spot on and timely. Now we’re graced with the above, with the accompanying text reading thusly:

NEW YORK—Addressing reporters yesterday in an unnervingly calm tone of voice, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman—his hands, face, and white-collared shirt covered in blood—said that any obstacle standing in the way of both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin playing in the Stanley Cup Final has been “taken care of.” “Sometimes you have to put the greater good of the league ahead of the fact that the [Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals] are in the same conference. Unfortunately for some, that point needed to be made…how should I put this…more clearly,” Bettman said as he removed black leather crimson-splotched gloves from his hands and what appeared to be an ear from his jacket pocket. “Needless to say [NHL Players’ Association executive director] Paul V. Kelly, [New York Rangers General Manager] Glen Sather, and Mario Lemieux will not be attending this press conference as was originally scheduled.” When Bettman asked if there were any questions, no reporters raised their hands.

As a lifelong Flyers fan, I can’t help but listen to the conspiracy theories other fans have about refs pushing the agenda to keep Sidney Crosby and company in the playoffs. The satire above is shockingly somewhat accurate. I can’t put too much stock into the theories though, otherwise I might just have to give up hope in this year’s Flyers-Penguins opening series—but I will say that game 2 (which the Flyers lost in OT) was largely determined by the referees. The series is currently 2-1 Penguins, but we’ll see what’s up in Philly again in game four.

Needless to say, I’m not in the FFXI hockey playoff pool again like I was last year [since I don’t have any FFXI money to play with], but most of my analysis comes late as usual. There’s been some great hockey played so far, and some pretty surprising uhh…. surprises. The seventh-seeded NY Rangers are stunningly up 2-1 on the third-seeded Washington Capitols and Ovechkin. In the West the Anaheim Ducks (seeded eighth) are up 2-0 heading back home to the first-seeded, and President’s Trophy winner for best regular season record San Jose Sharks. I gotta say I’m still rooting for Roenick and the Sharks to make a comeback though. Mostly for JR’s sake. The Boston-Montreal series is interesting as well, if for nothing else reversing the roles and Boston exacting revenge for last year’s blowout loss to Les Habitants. There will not be a first-round-playoff-victory-riot for the All-Star-Ballot-Stuffing Canadiens fans this year.

Tomorrow night (Tuesday) is game 4 of the Flyers-Penguins series. You can bet I’ll be watching intently, and yelling at the TV probably more intensely. I can only hope Bettman keeps his greasy, bloodstained hands off the game, but that’ll be a lot to ask.

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