Sports

I miss the NHL teams outside of Canada and the eastern region

Where did you go, Connor McDavid? Hockey fans in our country look lonely at you.

You may also have recently played in Novosibirsk with Leon Draisaitl, Orston Matthews, John Tabares, and all the other star players struggling somewhere in Canada.

Come to think of it, the same is true for many US-based hockey celebrities, from Patrick Kane to Nathan MacKinnon.

Instead, get the Sabers. Lots of Sabers.

Buffalo has played 20 games since returning from his absence from COVID-19 in early February for two weeks, playing 12 games against Islanders, Rangers and Devil’s. They lost 18 of those 20 and lost 14 in a row.

Our mission here is not to criticize the NHL. The league did a great job last summer using the Toronto and Edmonton playoff bubbles in the process of awarding the Stanley Cup to the Florida team.

A border crossing-less schedule for this year’s division game only is also a last resort. The end is another season in the fall of the normal road (we hope).

The most important thing for fans is to get the Islanders and Rangers to play at all. And I often look at the two best players of the 21st century, Alex Obechkin and Sidney Crossby.

Still. .. .. This is getting boring.

Part of the fun of grinding the long regular season of professional sports is the variety of athletes, cities and colorful uniforms that parade the TV screen along the way.

Baseball lost a lot on its limited travel schedule last summer and fall, but the NFL sticks to regular travel plans, and the NBA now does.

So there’s a juicy and potential NBA Finals match, such as Nets at Jazz on Wednesday. Well, in theory, no one knows which net will decide to play on a particular night, anyway.

On the other hand, in the NHL, it is Buffalo that the islanders and Rangers move farthest before the final of the conference. This means that for non-geography enthusiasts, they won’t even leave the state.

They should abandon their plane rides altogether and rent three Chevrolet Suburbans this season. When driving New Jersey for a match against the Devil’s or Flyers, they don’t even have to pump their own gas.

It is even more noteworthy that in the current situation, the NHL existed in six franchises in the 25 seasons from 1942 to 1967. This is an unimaginable situation for hockey fans under the age of 60.

By the time I started following the league in 1969-70, there were at least 12 teams, some of which were new teams in colorful uniforms that young fans could accept. Blues! seal! Kings! (I chose blues.)

Anyway, I’m here. For hardcore fans, of course, there is a way to watch non-eastern teams through national television and digital subscriptions. But for many of us who are primarily looking at the locals on the MSG network. .. .. Lots of Sabers. And in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the league rounds up the regular suspects to the same.

As of Tuesday morning, it means islanders participating in Capitals, Penguins and Bruins in a four-team mini-tournament without running out of star power.

Usually that’s nothing wrong. But by that time, Ovechkin may qualify as a resident of New York State. (Don’t explain state and local taxes to him. It doesn’t help to offend him.)

First of all: Let’s end this regular season.

The Islanders match against Bruins on Tuesday has already been postponed, and the match on Thursday is a question mark. That’s not a good thing.

At least they won’t play Sabers again until May.