Thursday, June 5, 2008

Playoff Hockey

I like sports. I used to participate in lots of sports, but now am mostly just a fan. I'm not a rabid fan of any particular team, but I like sports in general. I like pro and college football, March Madness (college basketball), just about every Olympic sport, golf, baseball, lacrosse, and even poker (at times.) With many of these sports, I am much more interested at playoff time. The games matter more and the quality of play is highest then. There is something about the passion of playoffs and special events (like the Olympics or major golf tournaments) that is really compelling.

Of all the sports I like to watch, the most exciting is playoff hockey. When a playoff hockey game is tied or within a goal, the third period is absolutely great. Earlier this week, there was a playoff game that went to three overtimes. The energy was so absolutely incredible and the action so riveting that there were times that I couldn't take my eyes off the action long enough to look at the game clock that was on the screen. The Penguins tied the game with about 30 seconds left in regulation and then it took two and a half more periods to break the tie. Every shift was tense. Every pass crucial. Every save critical.

The series ended a couple days later with another thriller that came down to a fluke goal and a desperate shot sending the puck sliding across the goal mouth as time expired. I'll miss the thrills.

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