Saturday, April 07, 2007

Imagine, if this game had been for first place!

Considering the fact that Saturday's match between Toronto and Montreal is only for eighth place and the chance to most likely exit swiftly once the playoffs begin, one has to wonder why the media hype machine is in overdrive.

The shinny showdown of Saturday night is being treated as though Lord Stanley's Cup itself was up for grabs in a game seven winner take all contest. They suggest that the audience for Saturday's epic quest for the last entry spot may deliver Hockey Night in Canada a huge audience, which is a rather sad testimony to what Montreal and Toronto have become in recent years. Once upon a time they battled for the Stanley Cup in dramatic fashion, now it's just for the chance to say they were invited to the dance.

The newspapers, radio and talking heads of television are breathless in their descriptions of how this one game showdown defines what hockey really is. We can almost hear the dramatic music of Hockey Night in Canada as the two teams prepare to take to the ice, when instead perhaps the theme from Benny Hill might be more appropriate.

Especially if you consider the stumbling, bumbling route the two teams have taken to get to this pivotal moment of the season. A route that apparently allows you to lose time and time again and still have a slim hope of making the playoffs.

If only to silence these instant rooting sections of the two underachieving camps, one can only hope that the Islanders sneak up the back side and claim spot number eight on Sunday afternoon.

It might help to put all this bandwagon jumping in Toronto and Montreal into a proper perspective for the jumpees.

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