You ever see something like that happen before an NBA playoff game? I didn't think so.
The actions of Minnesota's Derek Boogaard and Anaheim's George Parros before game 5 of their playoff series, is a fitting example of why the NHL playoffs are much more exciting than the NBA playoffs (or that hockey players are just psycho). Either way, with the NBA playoffs set to begin tonight and the NHL postseason already in full swing, it's time to explain why the hockey playoffs are better than their basketball counterparts.
- The Intensity Level Is So Much Higher In The NHL: I'll give you that NBA players pick up the level of their play once they hit the playoffs, but it still doesn't come close to hockey. If you sat down and watched a full NHL playoff game - only if you can find Versus or TSN on your cable lineup - you would be entertained for the entire 60 minutes (or more, depending on how many overtimes are needed). Players go to another place in the hockey playoffs as exhibited by the Rangers' sweep of Thrashers and now
Calgary's attempt at an upset over top-seeded in the Western Conference. And where else would you see a fight break out in the warm-up skate. Every game feels like the movie Slapshot - if you haven't seen it, go rent it. Detroit
- The NBA
Playoffs Take WayToo Long To Play: The Toronto/New Jersey series is one of four playoff series that start tonight. If it goes the entire seven-game series, do you know how long it will take to finish? 15 days. 15 DAYS!!! Are you kidding me. Do teams really need three days off in between games? Come on. Some of these teams play four games a week. Now they want to make them play only seven over a two-week span? The Rangers/Thrashers series, if it made it past four games, would have had two sets of back-to-back games. The Senators and Penguins played a back-to-back set, too. If hockey can do it, why can't basketball? It just makes it drag on and on for what seems like forever.
- The First Round Actually Matters: Last year in the NHL playoffs, all four lower seeds in the Western Conference advanced to the second round. The Edmonton Oilers, as an No. 8 seed, made it all the way to the
cup finals. They lost to stanley , but still, the fact that an eight seed made it that far, shows that in the NHL, anyone can really beat anyone. In the NBA, is there really any doubt that Carolina Phoenix, Dallasand will advance to the second round in the west? Or that San Antonio Clevelandand will make minced meat out of Washington and Orlando, respectively? The chance of the upset is so much greater in the NHL. Detroit
- Refs Actually Physically Get Involved In Hockey: When a fight breaks out in any NHL game, it is the refs, or really the linesmens' jobs, to break it up after the two battlers have settled down. They actually get in there and physically pull them apart and then escort them to the penalty box. In the NBA, the likes of Joey Crawford throw out T's like it's yesterday's trash and challenge such dangerous guys as Tim Duncan to fights (Had to take my cheap shot at him).
- Is There Really Another Trophy Cooler Than The
Cup? You can't sit there and tell me that the NBA championship trophy, or the Vince Lombardi trophy, or the World Series trophy is better than the Stanley Cup. You don't even refer to it as a tropy ... it's just the cup. And is there a more honorable sports moment than watching the winning team skate around the ice with Lord Stanley's cup, each passing it off to another teammate. Tell me you didn't get chills when Ray Bourque finally hoisted the cup when he won it with Stanley Coloradoin 2001 (or for us Philly fans, when Rod Brind'amour got to do it with last year). Then each player gets to take the cup with them for a day, wherever they want. If I had my chance, I'm taking it to Carolina and using it as my chip holder at the blackjack table. Atlantic City
- Is There Really Anything Cooler Than The Playoff Hockey Beard? What other sport encourages obscene facial hair? Some of these guys start to look like Tom Hanks from Castaway more than actual hockey players. It may not be around as much as it used to, but the superstition of not shaving until you've won a playoff round is still one of the best things about the NHL playoffs. Let's see Kobe Bryant, Shaq or LeBron go an entire round without shaving. Or better yet, Steve Nash. He'll look like Cousin It from The Adams Family before all was said and done.