Heros to Zeros

As a watcher of the post season, without any vested interest, I am being afforded an entirely new perspective on the game.

When you’re watching your own team, it is all encompassing.  Sure, there are other series taking place, unless you’re lucky, but they pale so dramatically in perceived intensity, that they turn out to be little more than mere background noise.

Obviously, this post season, each series had to garner interest on its own merits, and so far, so good.  In fact, I’ve been rivited by the play, and intensity of each series, and am finding myself with a bit of a renewed passion for the game, as a fan of hockey, not just the Senators.

It has also allowing me to find a new perspective on the definition of success.  For years, as Sens fans, we’ve been saddled with the burden of supporting a team labelled as post season chokers.  When you follow one team, and that team has yet to win a Championship, it is easy to succumb to those merit less attacks, and allow them to, in part, define your views on your team.  But when this accusation is held to the test of reality, it soon begins to lose it’s credibility.

Almost every season sees upsets, but without doing any research, has this year been the year of the upset?  The two top seeds are out, one in the first round (SJS), and 3 of the 4 remaining teams were bottom 5 finishers in their conferences.

So what does this say about the concept of being a “choker”?

To me, it says the label is far too quickly applied, and dismisses the reality that, even in a seven game series, any team has a chance.  It also clearly displays that one very good streak in the regular season, followed by mostly average play, can quickly create a degree of separation from the rest of the pack, that erroneously indicates a teams superiority, when in fact, the reality remains that competitiveness in the NHL, especially among the top teams in each conference, is all but too close to call, seeding be damned.  In fact, it may even show that you are better off going onto the post season under the media radar.

What does it say about the “pundits”?

That they’re just guessing, like the rest of us.  As you follow the game, you really come to see that media coverage is almost exclusively “flavour of the week”.  Apart from a few select players, or teams, everyone is judged on a “what have you done for me lately” criteria.

This is why we have teams, and players, that can go from Hero’s to Zero’s, just like that.


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