Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bob Lobel: The Risks of Home Ice in Game 7

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

The shelf life for something written or said on a day off after a dismal sixth game and a much anticipated “all or nothing” game is minimal. 

Like a paper used to be. Read it and then wrap the fish in it. That’s its basic worth by this time tomorrow. Trying to make the most of a short attention span, I can tell you I honestly am not a fan of 7th game home games in the National Hockey League. 

In the NBA they are a huge advantage. In Major League Baseball it’s a so/so proposition, depending on the starting pitching. That dictates almost everything in baseball no matter what the situation. 

Now, you can check it out for yourself. I’m too lazy to do it because I’m sure it is a correct statement to say that more often than not, home teams in 7th games in the National Hockey league find no advantage whatsoever. 

In fact, and my wife will brand this a cockamamie theory, but 7th home games in the NHL bring a ton of extra unneeded and unwanted pressure and angst for the home team. They are in front of their fans. They have everything to lose. Sometimes they play not to lose, which is a certain recipe for disaster. I did not want the Bruins to play the Canadiens in a 7th at home.

One thing the home team has going for it at the beginning of the contest is the excitement and energy of the home crowd. That will last as long as the other team lets it. The  Canadiens can take that away in a nanosecond.  If you’re playing at home in game 7 you  better have more going for you  than the home town fans. 

We do know this to be true: They can turn on you in a second. It’s extra crap you don’t need in a game like this.

Now, this does not mean the Bruins are cooked. Not at all. There are times they clearly looked like a better team.  Usually, when they have lost, they are the ones that have beaten themselves.

So hope does spring eternal. I’m just saying this is a very dangerous road to travel. There has to be a comment on the Montreal pregame show at the Bell Center. It is spectacular. 

Once! After that, it gets old very fast. It is an amazing creation of computer generated graphics that seem to be created by a 1000 monkeys sitting in front of 100 computers, just pounding away. They match up with an amazing array of random designs of shapes and lights, with a kid holding a torch for the final ice on fire sequence. 

See it once and be amazed. See it more than once and ho-hum!  

Finally since it has been shown over and over again on sports channels everywhere and on network TV everywhere, to ignore it would be stupid. To bring it up would be ignorant, but “The Kiss” is the topic of the NFL draft. 

I have no idea who the Patriots took, but I do know Johnny Football went to Cleveland, and I do know Donald Sterling did a pathetic interview on CNN, and I do know that a significant social moment took place late in the draft in St. Louis.  

A drafted gay man (first ever to come out in the NFL before the draft) kissed his significant other on video tape. It had a “Brokeback Mountain” kinda of feel to it.  Let’s put it this way without passing judgment,  it got my attention. 

Apparently, it got a lot of people’s attention, and elicited enough social value comments that were totally negative or totally positive, depending on what color state you live in. 

I would like to be able to say “so what,” but it was such an amazing awakening of feelings across the board that to ignore it would not help either the pro or con causes.  It caused you to feel and think about what is inside you. 

That’s what we all have to live with, and that is anything but a bad thing.

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