After the jump, some quick thoughts on the plane crash that occurred in Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon.
Plane rides can be fun. You know, assuming you’re not 6’4″, you’re not afraid of flying, the in-flight movie doesn’t have Debra Messing or Patrick Dempsey or some other foreshadowing of a crappy romantic comedy in it, and you don’t have to sit next to Barry Melrose. For this year, all the Flyers’ front office expected of John Stevens was to get his team to the gate on time, purchase a ticket, and board the playoff charter to the States. They did that. Who cares if the carrier is Oceanic, the preferred airline of an Eastern Conference ready to get buzzsawed by the Detroit Red Wings? Sure, it’s a doomed passage, but just think of all the extra Versus commercials your guys will get to be in.
Once on the plane, like I’ve said, you’ve done what’s expected of you, and now you play the role of the underdog. You’re meant to be unmemorable – no one should remember your face on this flight. Enjoy your peanuts, put on your iPod, and solve the crossword in the flight magazine. Great. As long as you don’t get swept, the person next to you won’t complain to the flight attendant that you snore.
Then you had to go be a goddamn hero.
OH MY GOD! SOMEONE IN FIRST CLASS IS CHOKING!
As a six seed in Coach, you have no responsibility to help someone who can’t seem to remember to chew their 5-dollar Sun Chips before they swallow them. But hey, the crossword was easy, and you’ve still got 6 hours of flight to kill. Unfasten your seat belt, rock the Heimlich, win a couple of OT-thrillers, dislodge the Sun Chip, and watch how grateful the Washington Capitals are that you saved them from meeting God in the near future.
Or in this case, Hockey Jesus in the Conference Semis.
Next, the kid in front of you won’t stop crying, and the mom has that “if you tell me to quiet him, I will stab you through the heart with my SkyMall catalog” look on her exhausted face. You look at the kid. He looks at you. You hand him a crayon that you find in the seat pocket. The kid smiles back. So does his row. So does the whole damn plane. He’s quiet.
Congratulations, you just eliminated the Montreal Canadiens.
All is well. People are going to remember you for your two heroic deeds. Hell, they’d like to see what else you have planned for the rest of the flight.
Then some British recluse down a hatch on a mystery J.J. Abrams island turns a key and breaks your plane into three pieces.
Pens 4, Flyers 1.
As Lost has taught us, a plane crash somehow doesn’t always mean instant death. The Flyers have a young core of talent, an emo kid with plenty of off-season musings, midly reliable goaltending for the first time in the decade, and an off-season remove the eleventy billion stitched around Braydon Coburn’s eye. Sure, Derian Hatcher will find a secret stash of Dharma Initiative pudding and put on 80 pounds. And of course, people will question those magical numbers – the ones that will be used to find a way to keep Jeff Carter and stay under the cap. But hey, that’s why we watch.
Hey Sidney Christ, it looks like you’ve got some smoke monster on your chin. Just sayin’.