Whatever the sport may be, the playoffs are the most important time of the year. The regular season and training camps evaporate in haste, fooling the shortsighted with a cheap parlor trick. It’s a brutal realization if you’re a victim. Months of hard work are wasted, but for the survivors it’s invaluable hope. It’s a reminder that sports are one of the few unscripted forms of entertainment still available. It’s also a reminder that preparation is the surest way to prepare for the unpredictable, mental slips can separate champions from mediocrity, and so can mental strength.
Watching these enormously entertaining hockey playoffs, it’s easy to see how two huge upsets are brewing. For the Canucks it’s simple, without Daniel Sedin, the pressure they’re putting on Jonathan Quick isn’t yielding enough goals. Quick has been the best goaltender in the playoffs thus far, and has demonstrated an astounding toughness in the face of the President’s Cup Champion. Last night must’ve been frustrating for the Canucks, who watched Cory Schneider match Quick every step of the way until a third period goal that was out of his reach.
The Penguins have fallen victim to a lack of discipline. There’s no excuse for the way they’ve lost. The crazy, whimsical series has been riveting and shameful in the same sense, and I’m not even referring to the fighting. The Penguins have wasted an All-Star team with foolish turnovers and gaping defensive holes. In game two, two short-handed power play goals propelled the Flyers over the Penguins, it’s simply sloppy.
So the Penguins and Canucks, the two Stanley Cup favorites in my book, are on the verge of getting swept. It shouldn’t be so shocking in the playoffs, where upsets have become the only thing you can count on. The Kings and Flyers used their strengths to their advantage and out prepared the Goliaths, good for them!