Did you forget about playoff hockey? Because we always do. No matter how hard we emotionally prepare for it, remind ourselves that it’s Not Like Normal Hockey, and line our shelves with fresh bottles of bourbon, it comes as a surprise every year. We’re somehow always shocked when we find ourselves screaming and crying in a pool of our own sick at a public location, surrounded by police officers and confused citizens. You think we’d be used to it by now, right?
For our sixth year doing playoff coverage, it’s all new to us. Is that right? Six years? Jesus Christ. Anyway, if you’ve been with us for any fraction of that time, you know we ditch the awards show come playoff time. There is only one award the boys are working for and we don’t want to give false hope that anything is meaningful if they don’t get that one.
Tonight’s game was a wake up call for anyone thinking that the Blue Jackets are just going to slink off into the night during this series. It was also a fun refresher course in what it feels like to die on the inside.
The Jackets are clearly the underdog in this situation and the Pens know as well as anyone that underdogs are fucking scary. This underdog is more like a pitbull on a fraying rope and we’re a mailman with a limp. That’s what the first period made it look like, at least, when the Jackets pulled ahead 2-1 after making everyone writing this series off gnaw their fingernails down to bloody stumps.
If this picture doesn’t strike fear into your heart and shame into your soul, you have neither a heart nor a soul, so congrats, you should be fine this playoff season.
MAF was good, but the defense was out to lunch. P.S – if you are a MAF supporter and people give you shit, chances are they know nothing about hockey. “The goalie sucks” is just an unpopular enough opinion that people skate by with it thinking it looks like they know a lot more about the game than “average fans.” That way, if you defend the goalie (especially if you’re a woman) they give you these pitying eyes like “oh, if you only knew.” They are also clueless about outing themselves as hockey illiterate. There are plenty of reasons to find fault with a player but if someone can’t (or more often won’t) understand your views, they’re just a tool.
SORRY THAT SHIT BOTHERS US. SAYING YOU HATE YOUR GOALIE TO LOOK INFORMED IS BASICALLY HATING A POPULAR BAND TO SEEM MUSICALLY SUPERIOR.
*Ahem* The second period started out like the end of your life, because the Jackets made it 3-1 with a shorthanded and unassisted goal. You slowly feel your life force draining out of your pores and you wonder if that Organic Peanut Farm in Oregon is taking any new live-in volunteers.
The game is tied up in fewer than three minutes because no one wants you to wake up in the morning. Gibbons is a fiend at drawing penalties. Your neighbors are probably calling the cops for fear a BTK copycat is loose in the area, let’s be honest.
The third period also boasts a glaring no-call. Sutter got an insane scoring chance and Tyutin (Fedortootin, for those of you who were confused) hooked the shit out of him. No call. We’re all enraged. Even Colby Armstrong is like Whaaaat.
Sutter pulls us ahead in the third, but none of us are breathing any easier.
Actually, at the end of the third when we put the first game of the series under our belt? Still not breathing.
This is a warning. 4-3 is not the score of a game in a series that is all locked up, and shame on anyone thinking that it is. If you know the Terrible Truth, we are here for you with blankets and hot cocoa and hopefully some soundproofing equipment soon because srsly we may be violating local ordinances.
Get your shit together. There’s another one soon.
Oh God I forgot I told Zoe I would include this:
Get your head in the game.