So the best time of the year is upon hockey fans. The first round, multiple games a night, the threat (prospect) of a 2 pm finish of a game and the joy of going home to watch them after knowing the result.
This is the life of a west coast hockey fan in Australia.
The playoffs are impossible to watch on delay, I live on #hockeytwitter and I love it, the conversation, the stats, the arguments, it is fantastic, especially for someone who has struggled to find people here in Perth to sit down and watch games with. It is a product of the sport and of the time zones.
I am about to move back to the east coast and the time zone is even less friendly for live game watching, however it really doesn't matter, all of the Penguins games are going to be watched when I get home from work, I will probably watch every Vegas game due to Marc-Andre Fleury and the 10 minute condensed games are one of the really good things the NHL has actually got right.
On the podcast we have discussed frequently how annoyed or disappointed we are with the current seeding system of the playoffs. The NHL says they want rivalries and to be honest the current system doesn't reward excellence for 82 games, but its give fans good teams playing good teams whilst relatively healthy.
It is why the first round of the playoffs is the best. Look at the Cup Finals last year, Nashville was a shadow of their best due to injury, Pittsburgh too was far from their best, but the fact this is such a factor by the Cup Final shows how lucky teams must be to win the Cup.
I really am hoping for 8 great rounds of 6 or 7 games in each series, just to prolong the first round, because after that the quality of the hockey deteriorates for multiple reasons.
Injuries, officials, weather, schedules, officia.... no sorry already mentioned them. This year the on-ice officials may be spared the indignity of 'deciding a series', all due to the NHL not working out goaltender interference or having clear lines for offsides. One team's playoff dreams were crushed by a dubious offsides call, I think we can see it happening at the worst time this year.
As for the on-ice stripes, just call the penalties when you see them, don't worry if you call 12 penalties in the game, that is not your fault, it is the players, not calling a hook with 3 minutes left because you want the players to decide the game is rubbish, you just stopped a scoring opportunity slide because a player was out of position.
The ignored penalty is just as influential as the called one.
This could be the last playoff run I get to really pay attention to, as in having the time to watch multiple games and really get immersed in each series.
I want to see the Penguins win it all, I want Marc-Andre Fleury to be the driving force behind a deep playoff run for Vegas, I'd love to see the Jets go deep and see what happens to the Media if Taylor Hall makes it to the second round.
I hope you all enjoy the playoffs this year as much as I am going to, you just don't know if your team is going to get the bounces, but even if they don't jump on another team or another player and ride their success, this time of year is to be enjoyed, not morned.
Thanks for reading.