Monday, April 28, 2014

Habs-Bruins, awards snubs and more dumb things sportscasters say

So, it's the Canadiens and Bruins again in the Stanley Cup playoffs, and anyone with an emotional investment in either team will insist they wouldn't have it any other way.  Don't believe it for a second.  Detroit would have been a significantly less formidable obstacle to the Conference Final for the Canadiens, and Boston would have much preferred Tampa Bay as a second round opponent because the Lightning don't live rent-free in the Bruins' heads like the Canadiens do.  Intellectual honesty aside, there's a lot to be said for a post-season showdown between two arch-rivals whose bitter antipathy transcends the teams and takes visceral root among the two cities' respective fan bases and even the media.  In hockey terms, Boston-Montreal is personal in every way, and that's what makes it the most desirable matchup even when it isn't.

There was moderate grumbling among Canadiens supporters after the perceived snub of Carey Price in the Vezina Trophy nominations, and while Price was unquestionably Vezina-worthy this season, so were the three goaltenders who were named as finalists.  Price is still a legitimate candidate for a Hart Trophy nomination as NHL MVP, although the award itself is considered a slam dunk for Sidney Crosby.  In a best case scenario, Price will have to console himself with a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup.

A lesser individual slight saw Tomas Plekanec overlooked as a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward.  That's a tougher case to argue because the relative absence of related statistics makes it difficult to measure if you're not schooled in the subtleties of good defensive play, which in turn makes it that much more puzzling that the Selke is voted on by hockey writers instead of players, coaches or general managers.

Memo to too-hip-by-a-half sportscasters: they're the Avalanche, not the Lanche; the Oilers, not the Oil; the Canucks, not the Nucks; the Coyotes, not the Yotes; and the Rangers, not the Rags.

I'm Ed Ird.  Or Tird.

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