Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The NHL Absolutely Sucks

I say that as a longtime fan of the NHL and Red Wings hockey. And when they're not sucking, they're blowing. They're the MegaMaid of sports leagues.

What has my ire today?

Tonight's Game 3 between the Wings and Colorado Avalanche doesn't start until 10pm EST. A frigg'n second round *playoff* game isn't starting until I'm an hour from going to bed? Seriously, what the hell? And the NHL has been doing this for years to Detroit fans in particular because Detroit is the only Eastern Time Zone franchise in the NHL that plays in the Western Conference... and regularly makes the playoffs. (Hence, the Columbus Blue Jackets and their seven year run of never having made the post-season are excluded.)

It was bad enough that the NHL put the Wings in the Western Conference to begin with, what with the crappy start times for road games. It's just that much more frustrating in the playoffs. Then there's the way the NHL has tried to manufacture intra-divisional rivalries with a ridiculous number of intra-division games, while allowing legitimate Original 6 rivalries to atrophy. Couple all that with the league telling the Wings that their personnel are no longer allowed to twirl an octopus thrown onto the ice before the game -a longtime franchise tradition- and it just makes me want to tune out the NHL altogether. (I won't, but I should.)

No, it's safe to say that Commissioner Gary Bettman is not on my Christmas card list.