What Happens (And Doesn’t Happen) When Playoff Hockey Begins

Start of overtime during Round 1, Game 1 vs. San Jose Sharks.

Last Friday was Cardinals Spirit Day at work for both me and Mikey. And so in honor of the World Series Champs, we wore our St. Louis Blues attire to work. Because in this family, baseball season doesn’t start until hockey season ends.

Playoff hockey season is in full force, my friends. The hubs and I have secured tickets to every Blues home playoff game, and we are pumped. Pumped, as in, me dancing in front of the TV with The Bear, pumped. Pumped, as in, shouting “Let’s Go Blues!” at any given moment, on any given day, at any given hour, pumped. Pumped, as in, creating our very own, “Get Pumped” playlist to listen to on the way to the games, pumped. Do you see the level of pumped we are living in, folks? It’s serious business.

Aside from these prime examples of pumped-ness, there are a number of other things that happen when playoff hockey begins. And on the flip side of that, there are a number of things that don’t. You see, the road to the Stanley Cup finals is a long one, made up of three best of seven rounds. And if your team kicks butt enough to make it to the finals, it’s another best of seven round — which, timing wise, puts you in the month of June. Those three months of battle may result in the following:

Your husband may get a little scruffy.
In true hockey tradition, Mikey is growing a playoff beard this year. The last time I saw him with a playoff beard was back when he played in college. And it was not pretty. But I figure since he hasn’t done it in 10 years, he should give it a shot this decade.

Mikey's playoff beard in progress.

Your voice may get a little scratchy. Or you may lose it altogether. Same goes for your hearing.
If you’re fortunate enough to make it to a playoff hockey game, you should be ready for insanity. It’s unlike any form of screaming and cheering and cussing and high-fiving right in line with the strangers around you. So don’t be surprised if you lose your voice and your hearing. Just take comfort in the fact that your surrounding comrades are in the same boat.

Your calendar will become one big TBD.
Your best friend calls you up and wants to make dinner plans in two weeks. Ehhhh, you can’t really commit at this point because in the event your team makes it to the next round, you don’t want to spend game 7 catching up over cocktails. You’d rather be losing two of your five senses at the game. Sorry, friend.

You may find yourself penny-pinching.
Let’s face it. Attending every game in the playoffs is going to be expensive. So as much as you’ll hate to do it, you may resort to having a glass of water and crust of bread for lunch every day. And the lone inhabitants of your fridge will be a) the Heinz ketchup bottle and b) the remaining pickle juice from the jar your husband ate for dinner last night.

Your couch will see some serious action.
Yes, there’s nothing better than cheering on your team. But watching the other teams battle on TV while warming your couch is highly entertaining, too. Those of you who have caught the Penguins/Flyers series these past few days will know what I’m talking about. That’s what makes hockey great. I can easily watch other teams aside from the Blues play because it’s not like that other sport where watching any team other than your own is more snooze-worthy than Ben Stein reading War & Peace from cover to cover.

Your house will fall into eternal disarray.
Not that my house isn’t already in eternal disarray, but I’ve felt it even more since playoff season has arrived. The floors don’t get swept nearly enough. Your plans to mulch the yard get pushed further and further. The dust on your fireplace mantle gets thicker and thicker. (Good thing I’m short. I’m not tall enough to see the top of the mantle to really even notice.) There are just some things that will be neglected during this time of year. And it’s okay. Take a deep breath, and repeat after me. It’s oooo-kay.

Your beer intake levels will see their highest scores year to date.
It’s only natural to want to enjoy a cold brew while watching a playoff hockey game (or any hockey game, for that matter.) Which is why when your husband tells you he isn’t going to have any beer at the game tonight (in an effort to penny-pinch), you suddenly realize he’s had two beers at $9 a piece! (Yes, this is a true story.)

I’ll tell you what though. All of this is worth it because that’s what hockey fans do. And if you walked up to any of them and asked, they’d tell you they wouldn’t have it any other way.

And now for my random, intermittent Tourettes-like call-out… LET’S GO BLUES!

Fan salute to celebrate the 3-0 win in Round 1, Game 2 against the Sharks.

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Filed under Hobbies, St. Louis

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