Adams: Wake me when it’s over
Will someone bring me a soft pillow and a warm blanket?
On second thought, forget it. By the time we grind towards the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals, I will be better off with an air conditioner and wet wash cloth.
With a dysfunctional season abbreviated to 48 games and a late beginning, this NHL campaign is destined to wind down around the end of June. It will outpace the NBA season and will nearly eclipse MLB’s All Star Game.
However, make no mistake. There is no hockey drama in the next four weeks. It will be one of the most boring final four weeks in creation.
Before I fade off into a deep slumber as if a relative of Rumplestiltskin, let me remind you that the finality of this season will be about as predictable as the summer solstice, which will occur before the final goal has been scored to decide what should be the most unengaging Stanley Cup Finals ever.
In the west, it is the Los Angeles Kings versus the Chicago Blackhawks. Wake me up if I snore too loud! The Kings won the Stanley Cup last year. Chicago won it the year before. Same old horses. Same old buildings. Same old crowds. The rich get a bit richer in the West. This will be about as exciting as doing push-ups on a 100 degree day. Yawn! The Kings finished off the San Jose Sharks in seven games. Chicago did the same to the Detroit Red Wings.
So, it is the same old scenario played by the same old teams. It would be like the same horses running the Kentucky Derby every year. I am no horse race fan, but the Preakness would provide more entertainment than this test of patience.
Then there is the East. The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the Boston Bruins.
Alas, also the same old story. The 2010 Stanley Cup champs versus the 2009 winners. Do you feel a little WWE in the air? How could the Stanley Cup winners of the last four years meet up?
If I did not know better, I would surmise it was the Sacramento Kings vs. the Los Angeles Lakers years ago when the league all but guaranteed a seventh game that the Kings eventually lost in overtime.
This year, the hockey gods are playing a mean joke. There is nothing intriguing or engaging about these match-ups. They are the ultimate snore fest. Go ahead and visit the Yuba River this Saturday when both series begin. Stay away from watching sports. It will be like a sedative of mammoth proportions.
The Bruins could trot out banished goalie Tim Taylor. How about if Mario Lemieux takes a few shifts for the Penguins? Phil Esposito could represent Boston. Tony Esposito could fill in for Chicago. There is no luster for the Kings. They snuck in last year and did the same this year.
The only thing worse would be if you were a fan from Canada. Our neighbors to the North consider the Stanley Cup their most important possession. It is their Holy Grail. Yet, the last team that won was the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. They are celebrating their 20th anniversary of being deprived of the Cup. They are bitter and angry. They may boycott these wimpy final weeks, too. I don’t blame them. It may be better for their mental health.
Many of you may have wondered why you saw no articles about the Sharks during this year’s run. Blame that one on my nemesis, KNCO’s Tom Fitzsimmons. He is a big New York Rangers fans. Now, they were supposed to win the Cup. However, they are nowhere in sight, instead polishing their golf games after an ouster by Boston.
Fitzsimmons told me the Sharks would never win a Stanley Cup because I was the curse with the articles I wrote. So, I refrained, only coming out of the closet now. Tom was wrong. He’s probably still laughing at me. The Sharks were out in seven against LA’s finest. The scheme did not work. It just prolonged the agony of another lost season.
I’m getting ready for my June nap. If I wake up toward the end of the month, all this foolishness may be over. This will be like watching paint dry on a cold winter day. Don’t expect a lot of plots or surges by underdogs. It is about as predictable as it gets.
The only thing it will settle is who will win the most Stanley Cups over the last five years. Wake me up in time for the Fourth of July.
Jim Adams lives in Nevada City and is a regular contributor to The Union and a broadcaster for TouchDown Productions. Contact him at email@example.com.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.