Playoff Beards for All!
Well, for one thing, the players care more. They know they have to win these games, or they have to go home. That's why in the playoffs, you'll have a game go 4 overtimes like last night's 5-4 Vancouver Canucks victory over the Dallas Stars. One game wasn't enough for Game One of this series, to they decided to play a second game with a 4-4 score. Then a third of a game.
Some of my best college memories revolve around playoff hockey, because the playoffs were always starting about the time our final exams were kicking into gear, and there was no better way to stay up and study for a test than by turning on the TV to ESPN and filling your eye-holes with cold, slippery puck action. In fact, that's the reason why I witnessed the longest playoff hockey game since 1936.
Where I went to school, to kick off finals week, we'd have this event called midnight breakfast. Basically, it was an acknowledgement that everyone was probably drunk and needed to sober up before 8 AM finals the next day. So they'd fix us breakfast at midnight. Pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, bagels, oatmeal, juice... you know, the usual breakfast foods that I never saw while I was at college, because I always slept in.
Anyway, at midnight breakfast, there's hockey on the TV, and the game is already in overtime. So, since it's sudden death, everyone gathers around to watch it. And we keep watching it. And we keep watching it, even though they're trying to shoo us out of the cafeteria so they can close up and go to bed. After 92 grueling minutes, that bastard Keith Primeau scored to give the Philadelphia Flyers a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As for me, I just got indigestion.