Friday, May 14, 2010

What makes it so upsetting?

I have been loving the playoffs so far this year.  Sure, all the players I took in my hockey pool have been eliminated, but since I wasn't expecting to win anyways it's not that terrible.

In fact, I would rather have all my picks be wrong if it means awesome hockey, which is what has been happening so far.  (Except from the Vancouver Canucks.  They have taken over from San Jose as the biggest under-achievers in the Western Conference.)

As a former Leafs fan, I really shouldn't ever cheer for the Montreal Canadiens, but really, how can I not?  Some of the best hockey has come from the bleu, blanc et rouge, including two "upsets" in the first two rounds, beating Washington in round one and Pittsburgh in round two.  Honestly, I wasn't that upset at all.

Sure, Washington was the top team during the regular season and Pittsburgh is the defending Stanley Cup champions.  And okay, the two superstars of the league play on these teams: Ovechkin for Washington and Crosby for Pittsburgh.  Fine, Montreal barely squeaked into the playoffs, finishing 8th in the Eastern Conference when most people weren't expecting them to make the post season at all.

Yes, when you list out everything like that, I can see why Montreal's winning ways are considered an upset.  But isn't it more upsetting that the top team wasn't able to beat the Habs?  Isn't it more upsetting that the defending champs (and Sidney Crosby) seemed to forget how to score?

All kinds of pomp and circumstance is made over the regular season and the standings, with trophies for finishing first and scoring the most goals and racking up the most points and all that.  But really, the regular season simply decides who gets to play for Lord Stanley's Cup.  Sixteen teams get to give it a go and the best team wins.  (And don't start in with bad reffing or foot-in-the-crease goals or any of that nonsense.  If you think you can do a better job, go put on the stripes and pick up a whistle.) 

I don't think anything Montreal has done should be considered an upset because they have played better hockey than anyone they have faced and they have earned their playoff victories.  Both series went to seven games, so it's not like they had it easy, sweeping their opponents.

It's more upsetting that New Jersey lost in the first round in five games.  It's more upsetting that Roberto Luongo can't seem to stop a beach ball.  It's more upsetting that people started to care about hockey in Phoenix right when it seems hockey will be leaving Phoenix.  It's more upsetting that Montreal fans seem to feel it's appropriate to support P.K. Subban by wearing black face.

But Montreal causing upsets in the playoffs?  Nah.  It would only be an upset if they were to lose now.

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