Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, April 30, 2021

rounded up
I always find the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs (or any sport’s first-round playoff, for that matter) to be the most exciting. With a full field of 16 teams in action, it’s truly got the variety that the subsequent thinning-out by elimination lacks. (On the other hand, I guess quantity gets traded for quality.)

As the Conference Semifinals commence tonight, here’s my brief wrap-up of the noteworthy happenings of Round One, starting with my personal disappointment by the collapse of a certain Manhattan-based squad:

- Yeah, the Rangers performed better than I thought they would versus Washington. And even if they had slipped past the Caps, they assuredly would have gotten swept next round by the Boston Bruins buzzsaw, so really, it’s just as well that they ended their postseason run early.

Still, did they have to implode so spectacularly? Blowing a 3-1 series edge, lapsing back into puck-overhandling instead of shoot-first offense, suffering a high-gloveside chink in King Henrik’s armor, and experiencing a comical meltdown in team discipline from the expected (barely-controllable pest Sean Avery) and unexpected (too-fiery head coach John Tortorella) sources. In some ways, the most disappointing shortcoming in the NHL this year.

- I’m prepared to designate the New Jersey-Carolina series as one of the best ever. The closing-seconds shocker that won Game 7 and the series for the ‘Canes was simply amazing, and will stick in my memory for as long as it sticks in the craw of the Devils and their fans.

- Not one for the ages, but the Chicago-Calgary series was probably the second-most entertaining pairing in this first round.

- Seriously, is anyone at all surprised that San Jose did the early-round bounce yet again? They’ve made an artform out of this. Their season-closing shakiness only reinforced their expected return to form. When the Ducks ticked up as the matchup partner, there was no doubt in my mind that Anaheim would dispatch their cross-state rivals. Frankly, I thought that even St. Louis would have had a fair shot at knocking off Team Teal, had the Blues lost their final regular-season game to land in the No. 8 seed.

- I really thought the Blues would put up a better fight. They gave the Canucks plenty to handle, but not eking out even a single win was surprising.

- I didn’t see anything to unconvince me that the Bruins are going to be lifting the Cup come June. That’s regardless of who comes out of the West.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/30/2009 09:17:25 PM
Category: Hockey
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Overheard today on the street:

Man, God, I already know you don’t exist, but do you have to keep reminding me of it?

A compactly quirky quip if I ever heard one. I’m thinking it evokes Nietzsche’s overarching concept of the death of God, only one step removed; more likely, it’s just a convenient pessimist’s manifesto.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/30/2009 11:34:30 AM
Category: Creative, Society
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might be that was
Montana is getting ready to revive the doctrine of state sovereignty at the point of a gun — albeit an exclusively “Made In Montana” branded pistol. A specialized gun-rights bill in the Helena legislature is designed to be a litmus test against Washington’s influence:

Supporters of the measure say the main purpose is not extending gun freedoms, but curbing what they regard as an oppressive interpretation of the interstate commerce clause and federal overreach into such things as livestock management and education.

“Firearms are inextricably linked to the history and culture of Montana, and I’d like to support that,” said Montana state Rep. Joel Boniek, the bill’s sponsor. “But I want to point out that the issue here is not about firearms. It’s about state rights.”

Between this and Texas governor Rick Perry flirting with secessionist sentiment, all of a sudden that wacky Russian professor’s prediction of a Disunited States of America by next year seems like brilliant prescience.

In any case, don’t expect the 2010 map of a fractured central North America to look like the one above. For that to happen, the Battle of Antietam would have to have never existed; oh, and there’d have to be fake superheroes running all over the place, too.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/30/2009 11:08:53 AM
Category: Comedy, Politics, Society
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