Or are others having a hard time getting excited about these Stanley Cup playoffs?
Despite a Stanley Cup match up that almost certainly features the best in the east against the best in the west (which actually doesn’t happen all that often) and two star studded teams, I have a real hard time getting excited. It could be that I have been real busy with other stuff (work, moving, etc.) but the NHL is really making it hard for me as well. First off the past two rounds have been pretty dull as far as the competitive level of hockey goes as none of the series really had much drama in them and then the NHL goes and makes matters worse by having lengthy breaks between rounds. There were 3 days without hockey between rounds two and three and now we have 4 days off before the Stanley Cup finals begin on Saturday.
The NHL will say it is for (American) television reasons but when American television doesn’t bring in any significant revenue one wonders why they don’t for once do something for fan interest reasons. Why give fans 4 days to find something else to do or watch like the NBA playoffs or baseball or go out and get a head start on summer and enjoy some nice weather. It makes no sense to me.
It is times like these when I think back to a time when the NHL had a simple straight forward playoff format: One conference plays on one night, the other conference plays on the next and they alternate for the whole playoffs and teams play on every other night. Life was simple back then and you knew when your team was playing without having to refer to a schedule. Plus it kept interest high as one day you are talking about what might happen tonight, the next day you are talking about what actually happened last night, and then the next day it is back to talking about what might happen tonight, etc. Interest and discussion amongst fans was constantly happening but these lengthy breaks just kill all that.
I think it is time that the NHL change its philosophy from “get your product on network TV at all costs and the fans will come” to “lets serve the fans what they want and network TV will come”. TV ratings (and revenues) come when you have fans that want to watch hockey not when networks make time to show hockey.