Pool Time

The National Hockey League playoffs have begun. Sometime in the next month or so we will see the Stanley Cup Champion crowned.

Last season I was excited to be able to watch televised games in my time zone for the first time in years. This year I already know I’m unlikely to show much interest in these contests. Unless perhaps a Canadian team makes the finals and national pride kicks in.

Hockey has been on my mind because I have been receiving emails about the need to set up my playoff pool. There are prizes to be won. 

But not by me. I think I have proven that pretty conclusively. In the just finished season, I ended about 500 points behind the leader in the hockey pool I joined. I wasn’t quite in 5,000th place, but I was pretty close.

Which leads me to conclude I know absolutely nothing about hockey. Or at least about hockey pools.

If I had made my season selections with my head and not my heart, I would have done much better. If I were to make playoff picks I would by default choose Canadian teams, followed by teams from the pre-1967 era, the so-called “Original Six.” (Which actually weren’t, but that is a matter for hockey historians.)

None of those teams are favored to win the Cup, though a couple might last a few rounds. Toronto has a strong team, but haven’t been champions since 1967. 

Montreal was the last Canadian Stanley Cup winner, in 1993. The were finalists last season, and dead last this year. All it takes is a couple of key injuries. 

Sports fans tend to put a little bit of their heart and soul into supporting their favorite team. When they lose, it can be heartbreaking. It isn’t rational, but it is reality. I’m better off avoiding that.

Maybe I’ll wait until next year, when I hope the Ottawa Senators will finally end their playoff drought.

As they say, hope springs eternal. But not for me. Not this Spring.

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