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Craig’s Corner: Craving a Rivalry

Photo by Candice Ward

Craig’s Corner: Craving a Rivalry

We’ve got ourselves a playoff format!

24 teams. A best-of-five series for the bottom eight teams in each conference to get into the playoffs. A round robin for the top-four teams in each conference to see if re-seeding is a possibility.

Sounds fun. And as a fan, I can’t wait.

As far as the nuts and bolts of how everything is going to work, feel free to read this piece by Carter Brooks.

But for this piece, let’s talk about what the fans are craving.

First and foremost, it will be live hockey. The rinks may be empty and we very well may be able to hear every single player’s stride carve into the ice, it will be a joyful day when our beloved NHL hockey returns.

How long will this last? Even during the bad times will we be saying, “Man, I’m just glad hockey is back. Nothing can wipe this smile on my face.”? I’m guessing that frame of mind will last one, maybe two games. After that, we will want to feel the full range of emotions that playoff hockey typically brings us.

This leads us to the rivalries.

For the sake of this article we will keep things local and focus on the Winnipeg Jets vs. the Calgary Flames.

Hey Jets fans, how long do you think it will take to build a solid resentment for Milan Lucic or Matthew Tkachuk? Maybe one game? One period? Maybe for some, no longer than a shift? I would have to agree!

As if the playoffs weren’t heated enough, the play-in series is a best-of-five. Things can go from calm to desperate in a matter of seconds. And as fans, it will not take long at all to hit the panic button.

Hockey in August seems a little bit strange right now, but by that time we will all be craving hockey. And if I know hockey fans as I believe I do, we will let our emotions get the best of us right away.

And you know what? There’s no other way I’d rather have it.

Craig Neufeld is a passionate hockey writer and fan and has dedicated much of his life to playing and working within the sports world. From rural Manitoba, when Craig is not working, he enjoys playing hockey and curling in winter, as well as being on the golf course or baseball diamond in summer.

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