It is April now, and you know what that means.
That’s right. More snow.
Just kidding. It’s actually time for playoff hockey.
The regular season is over and we have some fantastic first-round matchups ahead of us. Seven teams made the playoffs this year after not finishing in a playoff position last season—I should probably note that this includes Vegas, a team which I predicted would break the NHL record for fewest points in a season and instead went ahead and won its division in the franchise’s expansion season.
Hockey playoffs are one of the best times of the year, and there are some fun things that seem to happen on a yearly basis. The following is an incomplete list of hockey playoff tropes that we hockey fans look forward to every spring. Expect all of “Hockey Twitter” to go crazy when these things happen.
- Celebrities Showing Up at a Playoff Game
Little excites a hockey fan more than finding out that someone relatively famous is a fan of their sport. New York has Cuba Gooding Jr., St. Louis has Jon Hamm, Nashville has Carrie Underwood, and Los Angeles has Colin Hanks—which is appropriate, because hockey is not big enough for his dad.
I cannot wait to see which celebrity the NBC camera operators seek out during the Minnesota-Winnipeg series. Both the Jets and Migos are from Atlanta, so I have to assume that Quavo will be rooting against the Ryan Suter-less Wild.
- Hockey Writers Dying During a Vegas-Nashville Conference Final
Humblest condolences to the hockey writers who have to cover this series. If this series happens, there will nobody left covering hockey. Everyone had enough fun last year on Broadway, so if the Predators make a final against the Golden Knights, the NHL might explode.
- Fans Complaining About Goalie Interference
Nobody knows what goalie interference is anymore. I mean, they do, but it is way more fun to whine and complain after every single call. Everyone got up in arms about the Panthers-Predators no-goal call late in the regular season when it was so obviously interference, but that was just a preview of the meltdown a fanbase will have if a review does not go their way in the playoffs. I cannot wait for Vegas to be eliminated when a fan throws his MGM chips at Tuukka Rask while he is trying to stop a shot.
- Washington Losing to Pittsburgh in the Second Round
This is classic. Ever since the NHL switched playoff formats so that the division opponents always face each other in the second round, the Capitals have been served on a platter for the Penguins to systematically humiliate year after year. This year might be the Caps’ best chance with Pittsburgh coming off a so-so regular season and two straight long playoff runs. Alex Ovechkin is not getting any younger, so this might be the only time for a while that it is the Caps’ year.
For real though, it is going to be great when Pittsburgh wins and the Twitterverse publicly shames one of the best players in modern hockey and PFTcommenter.
- LeBron Cramping Up in the NBA Finals
Let’s be honest, this is the longest-running theme in the entire hockey universe. Hockey players are just tougher than every other type of athlete. When Steph Curry or LeBron has to limp off the court with a season-ending knee injury, someone will post a meme they made six months earlier about how some Canadian from Alberta named Black Jack played without a knee in the 1957 Stanley Cup Final after he lost it in a stick fight all the way back in training camp.
This will get hundreds of thousands of retweets and will go ultra-viral. Everyone will love it and the joke will never die. Thanks LeBron! After all, Sidney Crosby would never gather a bunch of kids around him in Cole Harbour and then announce he is going to play for the Panthers.