NHL Chatter Thread

Genghis Khan

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Apr 7, 2013
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22,418

Makes me want to watch hockey again.
Awesome.

I don't like either team but I'm thrilled because it amuses the hell out of me that Canadian teams haven't won in such a long time. They're so entitled. Toronto fans are the worst, but Montreal is bad too. It must really burn their asses. :lol
 

Smitty

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He's right, everyone knew Montreal had no business being there. The Golden Knights choked. That would have actually been an interesting series, Vegas vs. Tampa, though I don't think there's any way Tampa doesn't ultimately win.
 

Smitty

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Joined
Apr 7, 2013
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19,587

Makes me want to watch hockey again.
The NHL needs more of Nikita Kucherov’s shirtless, beer-soaked rants — not less

It was learned behavior.

After 16 months of Zoom press conferences — each more boring than the last, a matryoshka doll of say-nothing, dead-eyed, empty calories — I missed Nikita Kucherov’s post-Stanley Cup tour de force. I missed it because I couldn’t remember the last time one of those things was worth watching. I missed it because I went to sleep.

And I didn’t doze off, either. This wasn’t an accident. I willfully, knowingly made the trek from couch to bed. It was late, and I was tired.

Naturally, I woke up to Phase II of The Discourse. I’d missed the real-time shock over a hockey player saying something interesting (in public, on camera) and jumped, midstream, into the backlash. “Stay classy” Twitter replies. Hurt feelings. Reaction GIFs, as far down as you could scroll.

Why? Why? Why does such a huge chunk of the NHL-watching populace — the demographic who fetishize toughness and passion more than any fanbase in North American sports — reach for their pearls when it all gets verbalized? If you’re mad about this, why? Don’t you want to learn who these guys are?

This isn’t cherry-picking, either. It’s easy to do that when you’re writing off Twitter replies, but when there are enough folks saying the same thing, the straw man is made flesh. People are pissed about this, or they were — and they shouldn’t be. Hoo boy, they shouldn’t be. Typically, we have to draw humanity from hockey players in drips and drabs. We watch their actions, and we make assumptions, and we project. That guy cares because he plays hard. Ignore the 45-second answer where he said “get pucks in deep” enough to lull you into a trance. We rarely get moments like Kucherov’s — raw, real, funny, delivered with charisma and purpose, fueled by Bud Light — and when we do, a weird strain of Puritanism takes over. Hockey players are meant to be seen and not heard, or whatever.

There’s some irony at play here, too. When Steve Levy and Barry Melrose did their pregame hit on “SportsCenter,” both of them cracked jokes about how lethally boring Zoom pressers have become. That’s not the players’ fault, either. Each day, they’ve had to stare into a webcam lens and answer questions (some good, some bad, most in the mushy middle), with no real way to connect to the people asking them. Under normal circumstances, their answers are the product of media coaching, say-nothing hockey culture and contempt for the people asking them. Under pandemic circumstances, it’s even easier to hit cruise control and let some combo of all that stuff take over. We’ve all been doing this since March 2020. It’s easy to zone out, on both ends of the conversation.

Still, it was funny to hear Levy and Melrose state it so plainly. Levy said — and this is paraphrasing — that the circumstances of Game 5 were primed to kill enthusiasm. Melrose said he had to give up tickets to a baseball game with his grandson, and he was openly annoyed over it. The Canadiens were outmatched, everyone was traveling and Zoom pressers suck anyway, so … what are we doing here, exactly? So, the two broadcasters said, they opted to ask players whether they were having fun. Blake Coleman, technically, said something. Brayden Point, literally, did not.

And that was that. Good try, good effort. That’s how it works.

And that’s why Kucherov’s summertime airing of grievances was such a pleasant shock.

On Canadiens fans: “They acted, the fans in Montreal, like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? … Their final was last series.”

On Conn Smythe winner Andrei Vasilevskiy: “Vasy was outstanding. MVP… I was telling him every day, ‘Vasy MVP. You’re the best player.’ And they give it to whatever the guy in Vegas, the Vezina.” That was Marc-Andre Fleury catching a stray.

On his teammates: “I’ve been in love with those guys.”

Kucherov’s likes: Vasilevskiy, beer. Kucherov’s dislikes: ill-timed fan celebrations, shirts. And now, as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength. Until you pin me, Vasy, Festivus is not over. It was perfect because it was recognizably human and — this is important — harmless.

Kucherov should defend his guys because that’s being a teammate. He should lob bombs at fans in Montreal for counting their chickens because that’s being a competitor. He should — now, more than ever — be able to bask in the glow of a second straight Cup, won in front of his fans, on the home stretch of the weirdest, worst collective experience most of us have been forced to endure because that’s being a person.

For too many, that’s not being a hockey player. Here’s hoping that changes. And if the Lightning are back here in 2022, I’m staying awake.

(Photo of Jeff Vinik and Nikita Kucherov by Dave Sandford / NHLI via Getty Images)
 

Genghis Khan

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Messages
22,418
The NHL needs more of Nikita Kucherov’s shirtless, beer-soaked rants — not less

It was learned behavior.

After 16 months of Zoom press conferences — each more boring than the last, a matryoshka doll of say-nothing, dead-eyed, empty calories — I missed Nikita Kucherov’s post-Stanley Cup tour de force. I missed it because I couldn’t remember the last time one of those things was worth watching. I missed it because I went to sleep.

And I didn’t doze off, either. This wasn’t an accident. I willfully, knowingly made the trek from couch to bed. It was late, and I was tired.

Naturally, I woke up to Phase II of The Discourse. I’d missed the real-time shock over a hockey player saying something interesting (in public, on camera) and jumped, midstream, into the backlash. “Stay classy” Twitter replies. Hurt feelings. Reaction GIFs, as far down as you could scroll.

Why? Why? Why does such a huge chunk of the NHL-watching populace — the demographic who fetishize toughness and passion more than any fanbase in North American sports — reach for their pearls when it all gets verbalized? If you’re mad about this, why? Don’t you want to learn who these guys are?

This isn’t cherry-picking, either. It’s easy to do that when you’re writing off Twitter replies, but when there are enough folks saying the same thing, the straw man is made flesh. People are pissed about this, or they were — and they shouldn’t be. Hoo boy, they shouldn’t be. Typically, we have to draw humanity from hockey players in drips and drabs. We watch their actions, and we make assumptions, and we project. That guy cares because he plays hard. Ignore the 45-second answer where he said “get pucks in deep” enough to lull you into a trance. We rarely get moments like Kucherov’s — raw, real, funny, delivered with charisma and purpose, fueled by Bud Light — and when we do, a weird strain of Puritanism takes over. Hockey players are meant to be seen and not heard, or whatever.

There’s some irony at play here, too. When Steve Levy and Barry Melrose did their pregame hit on “SportsCenter,” both of them cracked jokes about how lethally boring Zoom pressers have become. That’s not the players’ fault, either. Each day, they’ve had to stare into a webcam lens and answer questions (some good, some bad, most in the mushy middle), with no real way to connect to the people asking them. Under normal circumstances, their answers are the product of media coaching, say-nothing hockey culture and contempt for the people asking them. Under pandemic circumstances, it’s even easier to hit cruise control and let some combo of all that stuff take over. We’ve all been doing this since March 2020. It’s easy to zone out, on both ends of the conversation.

Still, it was funny to hear Levy and Melrose state it so plainly. Levy said — and this is paraphrasing — that the circumstances of Game 5 were primed to kill enthusiasm. Melrose said he had to give up tickets to a baseball game with his grandson, and he was openly annoyed over it. The Canadiens were outmatched, everyone was traveling and Zoom pressers suck anyway, so … what are we doing here, exactly? So, the two broadcasters said, they opted to ask players whether they were having fun. Blake Coleman, technically, said something. Brayden Point, literally, did not.

And that was that. Good try, good effort. That’s how it works.

And that’s why Kucherov’s summertime airing of grievances was such a pleasant shock.

On Canadiens fans: “They acted, the fans in Montreal, like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? … Their final was last series.”

On Conn Smythe winner Andrei Vasilevskiy: “Vasy was outstanding. MVP… I was telling him every day, ‘Vasy MVP. You’re the best player.’ And they give it to whatever the guy in Vegas, the Vezina.” That was Marc-Andre Fleury catching a stray.

On his teammates: “I’ve been in love with those guys.”

Kucherov’s likes: Vasilevskiy, beer. Kucherov’s dislikes: ill-timed fan celebrations, shirts. And now, as Festivus rolls on, we come to the feats of strength. Until you pin me, Vasy, Festivus is not over. It was perfect because it was recognizably human and — this is important — harmless.

Kucherov should defend his guys because that’s being a teammate. He should lob bombs at fans in Montreal for counting their chickens because that’s being a competitor. He should — now, more than ever — be able to bask in the glow of a second straight Cup, won in front of his fans, on the home stretch of the weirdest, worst collective experience most of us have been forced to endure because that’s being a person.

For too many, that’s not being a hockey player. Here’s hoping that changes. And if the Lightning are back here in 2022, I’m staying awake.

(Photo of Jeff Vinik and Nikita Kucherov by Dave Sandford / NHLI via Getty Images)

Yep. I'm surprised it's getting any backlash at all.
 

Smitty

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Messages
19,587
Not enough Rangers fawning on this board.



:hawfap

Look at that head fake.

~fap fap fap~

Watch out if Kakko and Lafreniere start scoring, league.
 
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