Game 6, Eastern Conference Finals. The New Jersey Devils (for whom I am reluctantly rooting) versus the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The winner will face the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final series; the Cup will be awarded by June 13th at the latest.
And then summer will begin.
It's a slow withdrawal, this ending of hockey season. Luckily, So You Think You Have Pants Can Dance has started up again! I watched the premier last night (because there was no hockey on) and I think it's going to be a pretty good season. And, the new season of True Blood starts in June, picking up the nine pm time slot from Game of Thrones.
Yes, there will no shortage of athletic dancing, explicit sex, and bloody violence to keep me going until the fall -- and that's just SYTYCD! (Bah-dum-dum!)
So anyway, people ask me why I'm still watching when my Caps are out of it. Easy -- I love the game. Of course I wish the Caps were playing tonight, but I'll still watch.
Because it's the Cup, as the NHL ad campaign goes.
I love the speed, the skating, the physicality, the strategy, and yes, I admit it, I like a good scrap now and again.
So why root for the Devils? That's easy; because the Rangers beat my team! So naturally I'm going to root for the Other Team.
Hey, I'm even watching the Canadian Hockey League's Memorial Cup games when the NHL Network shows them. This is junior hockey -- kind of the minor leagues of hockey. Many of the players have already been drafted by NHL teams, but they're still completing their educations or refining their skills or both. Tonight the Shawinigan Cataractes are playing the St. John Sea Dogs; the winner of that game will play the London Knights for the Memorial Cup.
But all too soon it will be full summer and hockey will be over until the preseason begins in late September. And then once again I will be in Section 407 of Verizon Center, wearing my red jersey, and hollering "LET"S GO CAPS!"