How I Finally Learned To Enjoy The NHL Playoffs


Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

I love the NHL playoffs. I love watching hockey. But during the playoffs, I would turn into a different person. This year, I made a decision to change the way I watched hockey during the playoffs.

As recently as last year, I wouldn’t touch my computer or my cell phone to check anything online during the games. There were times where I would would kick myself when leaving the house because I didn’t do the thing I did last game when they won. Some years I would shave after every loss.

This year, I decided to hell with it. And, let me tell you it’s a much more enjoyable experience. I change seats on the couch, rooms in the house, I even travel between periods. And it doesn’t hurt that the team is playing well.

I don’t think this would work for everyone. Some people enjoy the superstitions and rituals. That’s fine. Keep doing that. But for me, I find it a lot easier to be connected. I take myself out of it.

It wasn’t easy. During Game 1, it was tough to have my computer on. It was just different. I used to throw things if it didn’t go well. I used to be a ball of nerves. It’s weird to think back at myself back then. It feels like a different person. I enjoyed playoff hockey then and I enjoy it now.

But it’s a different feeling right now. Sure, the team is doing well which helps. If they were down 3-0 I would be looking for anything I could do to change the luck.

During Game 3, I started watching the game at my cousin’s house. With about four minutes to go in the second period, I turned off the television to start my drive back from the South Shore to the island. By the time I got to the car, it was 2-1 Montreal.

In a certain way, this may have been a superstition. Me pretending not to care is my way of tricking the hockey universe. But a different part of me knows that I never have made a difference. I might as well just do what I want and hope for a win.

I like to say I’m growing a playoff beard, but in the end, it’s just me being lazy after coming back from vacation.