Despite my protests, the NHL has decided to continue the playoffs, even though there's not a single likable team remaining and everybody whose opinion matters agrees that giving the Stanley Cup to a team as unlikable as these is bad for the brand and for hockey and for America and for Canada and for American-Canadian relations and for Franco-American Spaghetti O's and for NAFTA and for global warming, and for the plight of orphaned sea lions and for Yahoo! Commenters.
Oh well. You were warned, NHL.
I guess that since they're going to bother to play, some of us are going to bother to watch. Being as such, here's an open thread for us to say mean things about everybody who's left.
Two games today:
#5 Los Angeles Kings at #1 Chicago Blackhawks - 5:00 on NCBSN, RDS, and TSN
Both teams survived a seven-game series against a lower-ranked team. Los Angeles got here on the back of their home ice advantage against the San Jose Sharks. The home team won all seven games of that series. The Hawks got where they are through magic and voodoo and cheating and probably deals with the devil. LA has the size and the goaltending advantage. Chicago has more overall talent. This should be a fun series to watch because all of the collective dirtbaggery we've seen from these teams will be wielded against teams that deserve to have those particular kinds of dirtbaggery leveled against them.
#4 Boston Bruins at #1 Pittsburgh Penguins - 8:00 on NBC, CBC, and RDS
Let the rankings fool you if you'd like but these are absolutely the two best teams in the East and it's not particularly close. Boston got here by kind of waiting around until the Rangers decided they were kind of tired of being coached by John Tortorella. The Penguins made it this far by having too much scoring talent to let their glaring defensive weaknesses slow them down against the 15th and 14th-worst teams in the NHL this season. This is a fundamental dream matchup of a powerful offense versus a stingy defense. Just be prepared for the purple ink that hockey writers have no doubt ordered in huge quantities for the sake of Jarome Iginla.
Open thread, folks. Let's watch these jerks hockey while we wait for important stuff to happen.