1. "He must be injured or out of shape."
Am I the only hockey fan who's tired of Lazy Announcer Crutch #4,056: assuming that a player is struggling because of a mysterious injury or unable to bounce back from the fatigue of a longer season? The most recent example is Mike Green. That's not to say he wasn't playing hurt, but it's just so tired to assume that is what is happening.
Could it be that a young player simply isn't used to playing in the playoffs? Maybe they are on a slump because all that open regular season ice has been strangled away by better defense, familiarity and higher stakes (more shot blocking, stricter matchups, better competition since you don't get any more easy games against Tampa-like teams).
While the usual "list of previously undisclosed injuries" is always an interesting read, let's give the opposition's shut down forwards, top D and coaches a little credit, OK?
2. Diving (and complaining about diving)
It's hard to say what's worse: players acting like they were run over by a Buick from a light tap of a stick or the people who constantly bitch about flopping. I'm all for people making Crosby diving jokes, as long as they're funny. But after watching Alex Ovechkin flop with equal vigor, let's leave that out of next year's round of "Ovechkin= totally better" columns, mmmkay?
2b. Excessive penalty bitching
Man, that Caps-Pens series really tried my patience after a while. To some (not all by any means) Washington fans, the refs beat the Capitals, not the Penguins. Even though the Penguins played better team D, blocked more shots, took more shots, enjoyed superior puck possession and actually showed up to Game 7.
Earl Sleek's (relative) stoicism toward penalties as a Ducks fan showed me a lot. Whiny, losing teams let penalties derail their focus; winning teams persevere.
Want a compelling case of corrupt officiating? Watch the NBA.
3. Marc Andre Fleury handling the puck
We anoint thee "Bizarro Hextall" as you are both jolly while Hextall was grumpy and a train wreck playing the puck while Hextall was an artiste.
You still have the mouth of Gary Busey, though.
4. No more Anaheim Calling, Hockey Blog Adventure or Storming the Crease
Thanks again, everyone. Your contributions made a crazy thought turn into a reason to check CLS a few times a day. The door's always open.
5. A nearly inevitable Red Wings repeat