Game 4

In a 7 game series, Game 4 is always the toughest. Except when it’s not, of course. If you’re up 3-0, then Game 4 is just a prelude to the end. So fine.

If you’re not up 3-0, then someone is up 2-1. And where does the series go? 3-1 is a strangehold. 2-2 is a new, three game series. Huge change of momentum there. We’ll see where tonight leads. 2-1 Detroit about midway through the second. Go Wings!

Precision

Reflecting on my previous post, particularly the part linking the Red Wings and the Patriots: the thing that characterizes these two teams in my mind is precision. Not sure why that word came to mind. Precision doesn’t preclude passion, or heart, or flash, or whatever. It’s an undercurrent that makes all of these things more exciting, since the actually work. You can have passion without precision, of course, but it i sort of frustrating since it tends to stupidity. You can have heart without precision, but it’s kind of maudlin. Flash without precision? Ugly. Really ugly.

Patriots. Wings. Precision.

Hockey

My God. This is the best game on earth.

I’m watching Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at the moment. I’ve often told people that one of the great pleasures of being a Michigander masquerading as a Masshole, I get to root for the two best franchises in pro sports: the Detroi Red Wings (hockey) and the New England Patriots (American football). Despite the difference in sport, they operate in largely the same way: a) don’t pay anyone too much, b) put a premium on winning, c) admit a constant set of new pieces and let up-and-coming players go once they get greedy, irregardless of how popular they are. The nice thing is that, once you get good, this formula is self-perpetuating. Who wouldn’t want to play with Nick Lidstrom/Tom Brady, or Kevin Faulk/Hendrik Zetterberg, or Chris Osgood/Kevin Faulk, or Darren Helm/Wes Welker[1. Pairings are not coincidental.] ? I mean really? These guys are amazing.1

Anyway, back to hockey. It’s fast, continuous, smooth, rough, beautiful, sudden, Players display an impressive amount of toughness, endurance, teamwork and skill. It’s really hard to understand, at least for me, why hockey remains a “boutique” sport. To me it’s one of the most, if not the most, exciting sport to watch. A puck just landed right on top of Chris Osgood’s back. And didn’t go in. I mean, c’mon, people?

  1. 2. And guys who I'm still learning to pronounce their names, hometown guys like Justin Abdelkader, who just scored to make it 3-1 Wings. []