Monday, February 12, 2018
A Sophie's Choice...
Time for some hockey talk. We haven't done that in a while. :0)
Over the weekend, the Dallas Stars had an opportunity to move out of the Wild Card slot for the playoffs and into an actual playoffs berth. True, they'll have to hold onto it, but they've had the Wild Card slot for a good month or so, so chances look promising.
One point separated the Stars and the team ahead of them in their division, the St. Louis Blues, going into the weekend with two games on the schedule for both teams. Did they make it??
Well, the Stars won Friday's game earning them two points, but so did the Blues, so there was no change as of Saturday.
On Sunday, the Blues played early and lost. The Stars had to have known this going into their own game. So what did they do? They lost in spectacular fashion to one of the five worst teams in the league. Ugh.
Granted, there were a couple of factors going against them, but they played like crap, even for them and even with the things they had to deal with.
Anyway, the answer is no, they didn't pull it off. They're no better off, but, on the other hand, they're no worse off. The team now has four days off to get their act together. On Friday, they play...guess who?...the St. Louis Blues. Someone's going down.
Now onto my dilemma.
I have three favorite teams, all in different divisions. The Stars can play both of the other two teams at various levels of the playoffs. While the Stars are my home team, the other two have very compelling story lines for why I would want them to win--
The Pittsburgh Penguins are going for a third Stanley Cup in a row. Due to changes in the league over the last dozen years, two in a row is difficult enough. Three would just be phenomenal. And as the saying goes, "If any team can pull it off, the Penguins can." Collectively, those boys have played a lot of hockey in the past three years--not just NHL, but other competitions as well--and they're tired. But after a questionable start back in October, they're lighting it up now in the last thirty or so games heading toward the post season. So, yeah, go Pens!
The Vegas Golden Knights are going for their very first playoff run in their very first year as a team. They've already broken numerous records for a franchise in its first season. They are, to pretty much everyone's surprise, first in their division at the moment and they've hovered near the top for most of the season despite a spate of injuries to their goalies--of which every team only keeps two on the active team roster. They've had three goalies come in this year from their minor league teams who've all done a yeoman's job of guarding the net. They could actually pull this off. What's not to love about this narrative? So, yeah, go Knights!
And then, of course, are the Stars--they've been to the playoffs only twice in the last eight years, losing once in the first round and once in the second. They've made it the Stanley Cup playoffs twice since moving to Dallas twenty-five years ago, winning only once in 1999. Would I love to see my hometown boys (I say hometown, but only four players are even American!!) get to the playoffs and win the Cup. Just because they're my team and it'd be super cool to have hockey eclipse every other sport in this state for a while. So, yeah, GO STARS!
What I discovered in watching Friday night's Stars game against the Penguins is that I definitely want the Stars to win right now, during regular season play. Why? Because they need to make it to the playoffs before my Sophie's choice can even be a choice. They need the points to climb the standings.
Any suggestions on how to choose when the time comes?