Yes, my dearest Sassies, it's that time of year again - the NHL playoffs are in full swing, and my boyfriend's all-time favorite team, the Montreal Canadiens are in their first 2011 playoff series against the Boston Bruins, a rivalry fraught with tense history.
My boyfriend, unlike myself, is a loyal hockey fan. As soon as the season starts, he relishes watching his Canadiens in action. I, on the other hand, sigh heavily and wonder what else is on. That is, until playoff season. I had no interest in the first game of the Montreal/Boston series. Then, I displayed mild interest in the second game. And the more the Canadiens advance, the more ardent my fervour as one of their greatest fairweather fans.
You see, I invest no time or emotion in this team until they get to the playoffs. I don't know if it's because suddenly, the stakes are higher or maybe it's because playoffs feel like a regular hockey season on crack. Senses are sharpened, emotions are heightened. It's some crazy-ass shit.
Like last year, the Canadiens, clearly the underdogs and not expected to go very far in post-season play, knocked out the two top ranked teams in their division (Washington and Pittsburgh) much to everyone's surprise, but ended up losing their series against Philadelphia. It was some of the most exciting TV viewing in recent memory. I was all over that shit.
Now Montreal is leading their series 2-0 against Boston and there's a game on tonight. I'm actually kind of excited about it. Like, I might actually watch it. Also, the game's not expected to interfere with new episodes of Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara, starting at 10 pm tonight. I have my priorities.
The "hockey widow" is a common term here in Canada since most wives/girlfriends/partners of rabid hockey fans pretty much lose their partner's attention as long as said partner's favorite team is in the playoffs.
To give my American readers an idea of how important hockey is to Canadians, a national leaders' televised debate was recently rescheduled because it would coincide with a Montreal/Boston playoff game. You see, we're in the midst of a federal election here, kind of like when you guys vote for a new President, but in Canada, even federal politics takes a back seat to the NHL. 'Cause that's how we roll.