The NHL is now a week and a half into its modified 24-team postseason, and not only is it an exemplary model of how to bring back a sport during a pandemic without showing your entire ass, it is also absolutely banging. In characteristic NHL playoff form, there have been unbelievable endings, unimaginable upsets, and, of course, Matthew Tkachuk being a gaping dickhole. Here are five things that we’ve already loved about the NHL postseason.
1. The Boston Bruins Are 0–3
There is no pleasure more timeless and, I’ll say it, pelvic than watching Boston sports teams eat shit. The Bruins were far and away the best team in the regular season, boasting the league’s top goal-scorer and arguably the best goalie. In the round robin, they’ve been dunked on by the Flyers, Lightning, and Capitals, and now they are sitting at the 4th seed, staring down the barrel of a Best-of-Seven series against the extremely hot Carolina Hurricanes.
2. The Avs Scored A Game-Winning-Goal With Less Than 1/20th of a Second Left
In hockey, a buzzer beater is typically a tying or winning goal scored with less than 10 seconds left. That would look like weak shit compared to Nazem Kadri’s game-winning goal against the Blues, which crossed the goal line with less than 0.1 seconds on the clock. To put that into perspective: the Avalanche won a game having not held a lead for the first 99.9995% of the game. Hockey is good!!!
3. Upsets Galore
The NHL, in all its streaky glory, is notorious for unpredictable playoffs. Last year, both 1 seeds fell to 8 seeds in the first round, including a 4–0 clean sweep of the Lightning, who had had a historically good regular season. This year, we’ve seen both 12-seeds knock out their 5-seed opponents in four games. The Canadiens, who finished 24th overall in the regular season, upset the perennially strong Penguins, while the Blackhawks, who were dead last in their eight-team division, took down the Oilers, who had the top two league leaders in points on their squad.
4. The Blue Jackets Executed One Of The Greatest Chokes in History
Up 2–1 in the best-of-five series, the Jackets had a 3–0 lead over the Maple Leafs with four minutes left in the third period. Somehow, they coughed up three goals in four minutes—which is fucking outrageous—then lost in overtime. For Columbus goalie Elvis Merzlikins, it was one of the most consummate bed-shittings in the annals of NHL playoff history.
5. Baseball is going to be over soon anyway
Throw some support to a league that didn’t trip on its dick throughout every phase of planning its return. For that matter, throw some support to the country that didn’t trip on its dick throughout every phase of its disaster response, too.