Rebroadcasts provide moments of pain and pleasure
It feels weird to not have live hockey. Maybe it's an example of "privilege," but I miss it.
To fill that gap, networks are broadcasting past games. I watched part of NBC's rebroadcast of the 2015 Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers over the weekend. While on one hand it's silly to spend time watching old sports for which the outcome is already known, it's also enjoyable to see individual players and configurations of players from even the recent past and to recall some of the drama that live sports brings apart from the end result.
And, in the case of the 2015 Finals, to remember how painful it was for Blue Jackets fans — at least this Jackets fan. Besides the fact I don't care much for either franchise, both rosters were littered not only with former Jackets, but former Jackets whose departures were painful.
Jeff Carter (it pains me even to type his name) and Marian Gaborik were Kings, and the Rangers roster included Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, Anton Stralman and, of course, Rick Nash. Former CBJ head coach Scott Arniel was an assistant with the Rangers.Get Straight Jackets delivered to your inbox: Sign up for our daily newsletter
It was all too much. This is the kind of thing I'm talking about when I tell people the hockey gods have it out for the Jackets. Pout or leverage your way out of a situation you don't like and your punishment is to play for the Cup? Still makes me shudder to think of it.
Of course, some rebroadcasts are of happier times. You may have watched the four-game sweep by the Jackets over the Tampa Bay Lightning in last year's playoffs a couple week ago. (It was also the subject of the previous edition of Straight Jackets.)
Not that there wasn't some pain there, too, what with the quality performances turned in by Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene, all since departed in free agency. And to be reminded of dominant Josh Anderson, hard-nosed-if-declining veteran Brandon Dubinsky, emerging scorer and personality Alexandre Texier — all things we saw none or too little of this past season.
But the past is about all we have now. The remainder of the current season and the disposition of the next one are uncertain — big-time sports in general, large crowds in general... who knows when we'll have that kind of thing again?
So while you're scanning YouTube for time-spending content, check out "14 Minutes of Pissed Off Goalies." Check out Game On! Minnesota, a channel that features, among other vids, an annual Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team.
In a coming Straight Jackets, I'll be sharing some all-time great moments in CBJ history. We don't rival most other franchises' histories, but we've shared some fun, exciting and weird stuff in 20ish seasons. Meantime, stay safe and healthy everyone.