The Most Brutal Game In Sports

Want to know why hockey is the most brutal sport? Go watch a game seven in overtime and tell me you’ve ever experienced a more gut-wrenching, hear-pounding situation for a longer time. The Bruins-Hurricanes Game 7 last night ended regulation at 2-2 and headed to overtime where a next-goal-wins period ensued.

That is brutal. For every minute during that time, the teams fought for every loose puck, diving and throwing themselves, but nothing would go in. The fans stand and cheer the entire time, but at every turnover or bouncing puck, a silence falls over the arena at the chance of one team winning. Every shot draws shrieks from every fan in attendance and when a Bruins’ shot just missed, the place with fall back, cringing at a miss opportunity.

Now, in other sports there are certainly situations where this happens. Baseball has that 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth. Football has that final second 45-yard field goal or the Hail Mary bomb. Basketball has the game-winning shot with 0.5 seconds left. Each one of those situations lasts at most for 1 minute. It is basically one gut-wrenching play to decide it all.

Hockey overtime is similar except that feeling lasts the entire time. From the drop of the puck in overtime until the game-winning goal, no one can relax for a moment. There aren’t even timeouts! It is 30 minutes of holding your breath and stomachs in knots. There is absolutely nothing tougher in sports to watch. Continue reading “The Most Brutal Game In Sports”

Let’s Play Seven

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are in full swing and the next two games feature three great game sevens. That’s right. Three of the four conference semifinals have gone the distance and that is what makes hockey so great. They should all be great, hard fought games and the most-anticipated game is tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins head back to Washington to face the Capitals.

This one has the making of one of the greatest games in NHL history. This series has been nothing short of phenomenal. I wrote a post a week ago or so saying that for this series to reach its potential, Evgeni Malkin needed to step up and push the Penguins to a game seven. He did more than that as Pittsburgh actually one three straight games and took a 3-2 lead in the series before falling at home in overtime. Now they have to head back to Washington where the crowd will be loud and ready to propel the Caps to victory.

I expect big games from Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin. This is the biggest game of the year so far and this is when stars come out. I’m not sure they can repeat their matching hat tricks from game two, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see each have multi-goal games as beneath winning the series, there is a competition for the best player in hockey. Don’t forgot Malkin either. He’s fighting for best-player-in-the-league honors as well and he could easily swing the game for the Pens. Continue reading “Let’s Play Seven”

Capitals vs. Penguins Can Get Better

APTOPIX Penguins Capitals HockeyWhat’s better than Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby  facing off in a playoff series? How about both of them scoring hat tricks in the same game?

Yes, that happened last night and it really is an extraordinary event. Hat tricks aren’t that uncommon. They occur maybe a couple times a month in the regular season and every once in a while in the post-season. But two in the same game by arguably the two best players in hockey? That is something special.

The Capitals took the game 4-3 and lead the series 2-0, but now Washington most leave their home town and head out to Pittsburgh, where the Penguins’ fans will surely be ready. If this series heads back to the capital tied at two games a piece, get ready to start talking about the greatest series ever.

For that to happen though, Evgeni Malkin must step up. Crosby and him are the soul of this team. Without one, the Pens don’t stand a chance against the Capitals. Malkin must make his presence known, both physically and on the scoreboard. The other two stars in this series have four goals each. Malkin? Zero.

Hockey fans are so excited for this series, because of what it can become. A heavy-weight showdown between the league’s best. But that isn’t guaranteed to happen. The Capitals could easily enter Pittsburgh, win a game, and head home and lock the series up. That would be such a disappointing end to a series with such possibilities. Continue reading “Capitals vs. Penguins Can Get Better”