Monday, April 24, 2017

Moving On (hockey edition)

I'm more or less at peace with the Bruins' ouster; as I said before, I'd rather they didn't make the playoffs than make it in and be embarrassed in the first round, but they weren't embarrassed. It was a very close series, and they had a lot of key injuries; really, they acquitted themselves pretty well, for a team that for much of the year was questionable to make the playoffs. And young players like Charlie McAvoy give me hope for the next season.

Before we get there, though, there is (gasp) other hockey stuff to watch and follow. First is the playoffs. I've considered the remaining series (games start Wednesday), and am declaring my allegiances:

  • Ottawa versus the Rangers. Obviously I must root against Ottawa, as they knocked the Bruins out, so I am pro-NYR. I may turn these games off early, though, as I am So Over hearing about how fabulous Erik Karlsson is (I mean, he is, but enough already).
  • Washington versus Pittsburgh. I really don't like Pittsburgh, and I am hoping that this is the year that Washington finally sheds their recent reputation as a team that rocks the regular season but can't make it in the playoffs, so go Capitals, go Ovi. Get the monkey off your back.
  • Nashville versus St. Louis. Normally I'm not big for or against either, but I like how Nashville swept Chicago out in the first round (I don't like Chicago), and I'm also a fan of PK Subban, so go Nashville.
  • Anaheim versus Edmonton. I know very little about Anaheim, so I will root for Edmonton and their cadre of young stars, bought with many top drafts picks at the cost of many years of being truly rotten. This may not be their year, but they're on the upturn.

This is pretty relaxing hockey for me to watch. I'll turn it on if I'm home, but don't plan around it. I turn games off and go to bed when I'm tired. I certainly don't stay up for overtime, unless and until it could be the Cup-clincher. Last night I had a game on, but the noise level was a little jarring after a while, so I muted it. Peaceful. I have these preferences, but I don't truly care about any of them, not enough to get tense. It's kind of nice.

And after the Cup is raised, there will be a few things to look forward to:

  • The NHL Awards show, which this year will also feature the expansion draft for the new team in Vegas. I am very curious about who they will draft, obviously from the Bruins but also generally; it's been a long time since the league expanded.
  • Then there will be the regular draft, and free agency. I can't see the Bruins doing anything too big at either, but you never know.
  • After that, it will be time for the Bruins to have their development camp for the future players.
  • And then, it's the long desert until rookie camp, and regular camp, in September. At least it will be summer, and I will have nice weather to comfort me.
It's also possible, even likely, that there will be further repercussions to the NHL's decision not to shut down for the 2018 Olympics. Who will go anyway? Which teams will punish players for going, and which won't, and will the NHL put a rule in about that? Will some teams end up calling up half their farm teams for three weeks in February? How many college players will decide not to sign this year, but play another year in college in hopes of making the Olympic team? I just read about a player going to play in the KHL, with the implication that he's doing it so he can go to the Olympics ... depths and possibilities.

It could get interesting. And with about five months to training camp, I'll take what I can get.

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