five steps for enjoying the rest of these playoffs, no matter what

  1. Stop reading fancy stats if they are upsetting you.  Especially don’t read your favorite team’s fancy stats.  Lol at shot attempt charts on Twitter, don’t avoid them completely.  But this information should flow over your body like a weak ultraviolet light.  These things are going to be a lot more fun to reflect on in like, August, when you’re splayed out in bed with summer sweat ensconcing your body, counting the seconds until the puck drops again.  You can reflect rationally on things like Jack Johnson’s zone adjusted corsi or whatever over an iced sweet tea on the veranda.  There is a time and place for this.  After the Derby Day picnic.
  2. Get used to overtime and ties.  Pour emergency shots if you have to.  With the exception of the Habs-Lightning series, all of these damn things are close.  Also, stop acknowledging the Habs-Lightning series as an event in your personal timeline.
  3. Take this opportunity to plan your next jersey/t-shirt purchases in earnest.  You know you might not want to pull the trigger until after TSN has served up another lukewarm helping of “Free Agent Frenzy”, but now’s the time to start considering things like summer sales, shady Chinese websites, and whose name you’re going to want displayed publicly on your body come October when this whole damn circus starts again.  You may hate it now, but you’re going to miss this emotional roller coaster when it’s over, and yearn for even a fraction of this feeling.
  4. Read Joe Starkey’s much-lauded column about how Penguins fans are joyless sacks of shit and vow to never become that person.  Even if you’re bitter as hell about the Penguins underperforming right now in tight games, you have to admit that this is entertainment and metaphysical terrorism on a deep, deep level, and that these are still things that you are going to tell your grandchildren about in a post-apocalyptic scenario when trying to convey to them how good things could get before they got so, so bad.  Pre-empt your own nostalgia.  Think about how lucky you are to be alive and have things like food and shelter and Twitter.  Go to the Brownsville Drive-In and try not to punch any kids.  Be merry because this is sports and it’s supposed to be fun.  Take a run before the game and get high as fuck on endorphins.  Be naughty and let yourself eat processed sugar, or have a beer.  It’s warming up in the northern hemisphere.  We think.
  5. Even if you can’t watch the whole game, watch and listen to bits and pieces of as many games you can, as many broadcasts as you can.  Canadian national, American national, local announcers, radio feeds.  Drink it in.  Watch people being happy.

For better or worse, we’re in this tomorrow, and if it doesn’t end 4-3 we’ll have a block party, and you’re invited.  Go Pens.


About Zoë

from Fayette County, living in Boston, chronically fussy. Writing about the Penguins, the CWHL/women's hockey, and hockey/sports media criticism.