The 300: Playoff Hockey Is A Gateway DrugColumns, Hockey, I'm So Hideous — By P. Barnett on May 15, 2014 at 8:11 pm
(Ed’s Note: Phillip Barnett has been down with the team since the ETSF/TalkHoops days of 2008. As is life, sometimes it takes a personal challenge to muster up words consistently. The self-proclaimed “I’m So Hideous(s)” is taking a new journey in putting up 300 words a day on the many questions, concerns and thoughts that happen to cross his mind. With that in mind, here is the the next installment of The 300.)
We sat there, burgers sitting on the table, watching the last 120 seconds of Game 6 not really knowing what was going on. It was hard to really follow the action as we’re relatively new fans to the game, but the intensity was tangible; the stress became less bearable with each passing second. The horn sounded, and we were essentially released to finally start eating our food. The Los Angeles Kings forced Game 7.
We’ve tried following the Kings as much as possible in these playoffs, watching three of their wins in the wild comeback from a 3-0 hole against the San Jose harks and parts or all of four of the six games against the Anaheim Ducks.
There is a lot about hockey that is weird. Men ice-skating. Three … periods? Octopus thrown on the ice. Fighting. Ambiguous penalties. It works though. Hockey works.
In the NBA, there have been a lot of amazing games, beautiful moments, brilliant passes and ridiculous shots. I don’t imagine myself being enclosed in a cocoon of goosebumps following a hockey match the way I was after seeing Damien Lillard’s game-winner.
But I don’t think the NBA has the ability to provide the raw intensity that is the final two minutes of a hockey playoff game. The sheer volume of shots slapped at Jonathan Quick at speeds I’m failing to fathom, each one adding to the anxiety that the previous produced — it’s a rush.
Watching my first Stanley Cup Finals with a rooting interest is akin to the first time I got high. It was weed brownies, I had way too many and it was way too intense. While edible narcotics are no longer my cup of tea, I can get down with hockey, the gateway drug of the sports world. Go Kings Go.