Here’s what could have been.
On Saturday night the Pittsburgh Penguins suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings to go down 3-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals. They head back to Pittsburgh for game six on Monday night. It’s a do-or-die game for Sydney Crosby and the Penguins. If the Red Wings win, they’ll take home their second straight Stanley Cup. There’s buzz and excitement on sports talk radio.
Monday night’s game is a thrilling game six in which the Penguins hold on for the win and force a seventh game in Detroit. Because the end of the game was up against a rerun of CSI: Miami and Here Come the Newleyweds all the buzz on sports talk radio the next day was about how exciting the final two minutes of that game were.
Wednesday night’s Game 7 matchup is everything Stanley Cup Finals hockey is supposed to be; Intense, closely competitive and electric. No matter which team wins, a significant amount of chatter the next day is about that game. Then everyone eventually switches their attention to Thursday night’s NBA Finals game.
Here’s what actually happened.
Rather than playing Game 6 on Monday, the NHL makes the decision to put it up against the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. Most casual sports fans switch over to the Lakers v. Magic game and never see the end of the NHL game. All the talk the next day was about Kobe’s turnover and missed foul shots. The NHL isn’t even an after thought.
All the talk on Wednesday was about the upcoming NBA game. All the talk on Thursday was about tonight’s NBA game. All the talk on Friday will be about the previous night’s NBA game – especially if Orlando ties the series.
The NHL will finally get around to playing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals on Friday night. A night when everyone is out on the town, and not in front of their TV sets. After having surrendered the entire week to the NBA.
Will someone please show Gary Bettman to the waterboard? There must be an operative at work that’s trying to take down the NHL from within. Maybe he has some information.
Because clearly they can’t be that stupid. Can they?