General Hockey

Tangential Reality: “The Waiting is the Hardest Part”

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By Keith Filling

I gotta tell you, this 5 day layoff between the Conference Finals and the start of the Cup Finals series is driving me nuts.  The NHL plays the longest season of the major team sports (9 months from the beginning of the regular season through the moment the Stanley Cup is awarded), and during that time I find myself caught up in the preseason expectations of each team, slow starts and recoveries of teams and players, trades, waivers, coaching and management employment decisions and, as the season goes long, playoff hopes being realized or crushed.  It’s consuming, and being a serious fantasy player, it’s also necessary.

The fact that the Flyers made it to this point is a huge bonus – and probably making the wait worse – but I’d be anxious no matter who was playing for the Cup.

But 5 days?  Okay, 4 full days plus most of gameday, but that’s 5 in my book.  Hard to fill the time when you’re used to seeing a game almost every night.  This is just a sampling of the void that will suddenly appear when the troll that is Commissioner Bettman hands the Silver Chalice to the Captain of the championship team, so I suppose I should consider it a type of weaning.  So how do I fill the time?

1) Spend some QT with tangent_ma’am.  A true ‘hockey widow’, thankfully she has her own hobbies to keep her busy.  Doesn’t make me any less sorry for my Carroll O’Connor-like “Not now, the game’s on!” outbursts, and she deserves better than that.  But it is the playoffs, Honey, and my boys are still in it.  Sorry.

2) Read the blogs and articles about the Finals.  Yeah, me and everyone else. Many Hawks/Flyers comparison pieces.  A ton of commentaries on how one team will beat the other and just how badly.  Hang out on twitter for the latest blog postings.  It only makes we want the series to start now.

3) Read a book.  I got a few hockey books for my birthday last week, but I’m saving those for the off season hiatus, when I can stretch out on the couch or do some reclining and pass the time in the air-condition comfort of my men’s den.  I am, however, killing time in bits and pieces with Tim Allen’s “Don’t Stand Too Close To A Naked Man”.

4) Review my fantasy teams.  A good thought, but not much to do there with transaction freezes in effect.  Sure, I can put a bullseye on players who would help me next year, and maybe even make the necessary inquiries as to their availability (you guys in the Dynasty league – watch your email), but that’s better suited for the late summer, as the anticipation factor rises with the coming of a new season.

5) Yard/house work.  The best option, as these chores have a tendency to get back-logged.  Spring cleaning somehow turns into summer cleaning.  Have to get a few things started just to get into the groove.  Maybe tonight or tomorrow…sure, I want to fix that shed door, but if somebody feels the need to toss the contents into the yard while trying to steal my leaf-blower, I’d be one step closer to re-organizing it.  Have at it, kids, but hurry please.

6) Catch up on some ‘regular’ TV.  I managed to watch the season finales of both ‘NCIS’ and ‘NCIS – LA’ without having to set the DVR this week.  The end of Jack Bauer’s ‘24′ run was just a couple of hours late since it fell on game-night Monday.  I have a season of ‘House’ DVR’d…maybe that’ll be my sidetracker for tomorrow.  At least I can get it started.  After I decide to procrastinate my spring cleaning duties, that is.

7) Fix my laptop.  Everything happens in threes, right?  Twice in the last week and a half, I’ve had to re-install Windows on this damn thing (.dll issues both times).  I’m seeing more blue screens than “History Will Be Made” videos lately.  And that’s saying something.

8) Try to figure out just how many “Get a Mac” responses to #7 I’m going to get here.  The over/under is 4.  I’ll take the over.

Overall, I think I’ll just try to be patient, though that’s never been my strong suit.

Is it Saturday yet?

** Tangent Man — Keith Filling… a fantasy and NHL hockey junkie who has a lot to say about the reality of life experiences, Scotch, hockey, music and the bane of being addicted to a fantasy game. Read more of his work over at his “Off on a Tangent” blog. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

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Ed’s note… I had to add this video to the T Man’s blog today! A little Fugazi never hurt anyone!


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About Brian Metzer

Profile photo of Brian Metzer

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brian Metzer has been covering the Pittsburgh Penguins and National Hockey League since 2004. He is the host of Penguins Live Weekly, a show that airs Saturday mornings on 105.9 the X and iHeart Radio. He serves as the Pittsburgh Penguins correspondent for NHL Network Radio on SiriusXM, and is the NHL and Penguins correspondent for the Beaver County Times. Metzer is also a contributing writer for NHL.com and is the primary contributor for this site www.fromthepoint.com.

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6 Comments

  1. Walshy

    May 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    Bear me to the punch on #7 Tanget!

  2. Profile photo of Brian Metzer

    Brian Metzer

    May 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Walshy, I will have your piece up soon as well… been a long two days!

  3. Walshy

    May 27, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Yeah I got that impression! Don’t stress, more important things!

  4. rockychocbill

    May 27, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Yeah, reading. Not a chance right now. I’m as nervous as a cat in a room full of………..

    Good thing I have slav…errr kids to handle the yard work these days. They scrubbed the deck this weekend too as part of their Mother’s Day present. lol

    Sad to see 24 come to an end. I’ll be looking for a new weekly TV distraction this fall. Thanks for all the good times Jack.

    Oh yeah. And Apple blows.

    Except for this little hand held thingy I have. 🙂

  5. ixnay8

    May 28, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I was pulling for a Pens-Blackhawks final this year. At least one of them made it. And I guess it’s a good thing the Flyers made it over the Habs because now I have a good reason to really cheer for the Hawks. It’s just too bad that my friend who is a huge Chicago fan is in Europe with his dad for the next couple weeks. The rest of us are worried about waiting a few days to see a game…He’s gonna be wandering the streets of Europe at 1-2am trying to find someplace to watch the games. Worst European vacation ever (Griswalds excluded).

  6. tangent_man

    May 28, 2010 at 10:56 am

    @walshy – I put that one in there just for you, my friend. lol

    @rcb – Your Bruins fan son…is he speaking to you again yet? 😉

    @ixnay – holy cow. You’re right. The Griswald’s got nothing on your friend.