At long last, our global nightmare is over. The terrifying(ly dull) scenario of a New York Islanders vs Dallas Stars final has been averted thanks to the brave men on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa won yet another overtime game 2-1, where Anthony Cirelli was the hero to send the battered and bruised Lightning to the finals.
Now, about the dullness of the Stars and Islanders. There is this bizarre conflict online where some people are pushing back against the idea that either team are “boring”. They will claim that defense is fun to watch, actually, and this isn’t just coming from fans of those two teams. Even independent fans or writers will sometimes say the same thing.
But I am here to dispel two things. First, the idea that defense is fun to watch. No it isn’t, and you all who say that need to stop. The point of defense is shut things down. Turn the game into a null state, where offense goes to die. Very rarely you will have a team who is both very good at defense and offense at the same time. But in that case, it is them being good at offense that makes them exciting. Not the defense. An all-defense team like Columbus, the Isles, and I will admit to a lesser extent the Stars, are not fun to watch as a hockey fan with no rooting interest in those teams.
In fact, I hate when those teams succeed because they lead to the sport being more boring, less offense and skill focused. I can acknowledge that it takes its own kind of skill and dedication and hard work to be a defensive juggernaut, while also knowing it’s not fun to watch.
Second, the idea that the Isles were actually good at defense. They might be better than average, but if you’re trying to tell me that this:
5v5 shot rates for T.B - NYI— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) September 18, 2020
Islanders were fortunate to hold on as long as they did. pic.twitter.com/iw2HyfmYiy
Is the a ‘good’ defensive team, then boy you must have raved about the great defensive team that was Randy Carlyle’s Toronto Maple Turtles!
Dallas at least has some fun players on them. Heiskanen is a very good defenseman, who is actually fun to watch. Klingberg too, and Seguin, Benn, Radulov, Pavelski, Hintz... they have some players who are not plain whole wheat toast with no butter or anything on it. I can even say that I very much like the likes of Barzal, Nelson, and Pulock. Doesn’t mean their team is fun to watch.
It will be interesting to see how the Finals go. I would normally say that Tampa should be the favourite, but they are already playing without Stamkos but also with other key players being really banged up, like Point.
ONTO THE LINKS
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Today, in hockey culture is incredibly stupid:
Still trying to process how Adam Pelech played almost 32 minutes in Game 5 with a broken wrist that needs surgery— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) September 18, 2020
Here’s the schedule for the finals:
Full Stanley Cup Final schedule pic.twitter.com/ThvSdRmd8U— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) September 18, 2020
Do you agree with me that the Isles and Stars are boring to watch?