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Playoff Overtime Hockey Not What It Once Was

from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,

Playoff overtime is no longer as exhausting as it once was. It is being decided more quickly, by fitter players who are still dashing around the ice, their energy levels at or near 100 percent.

Two games three decades apart illustrate the point.

Game 5 of the Western Conference finals between the Kings and the Blackhawks on May 28 included what many players and coaches called the most exhilarating and fastest-paced overtime they had been involved in. Eight minutes went by without a whistle, and it took only 26 minutes of real time to play.

It was abundantly clear that neither team was tired despite the pace, right up to when the Blackhawks’ Michal Handzus finally ended it 22:04 into overtime.

“That may have been the greatest overtime I’ve ever seen,” Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville said.

In 1983, Game 7 of the second-round series between the Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres also went to overtime. But in that game, the Sabres were clearly exhausted. When Brad Park fired in the winning goal for the Bruins, three Sabres were flat on the ice, having dropped like bowling pins and seemingly unable to get up. The goal came after only 1:52 of overtime.

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Comments

awould's avatar

Contrast this with Lebron James leaving the game in the final minutes with his team losing. Poor fitness and conditioning.

Posted by awould on 06/07/14 at 04:50 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Contrast this with Lebron James leaving the game in the final minutes with his team losing. Poor fitness and conditioning.

Posted by awould on 06/07/14 at 04:50 PM ET

Do you seriously believe that Lebron James has poor fitness and conditioning?

Posted by SK77 on 06/07/14 at 04:53 PM ET

awould's avatar

Comparatively speaking, yes. Given he’s the only guy who couldn’t finish the game, it’s fair criticism.

Posted by awould on 06/07/14 at 04:59 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Contrast this with Lebron James leaving the game in the final minutes with his team losing. Poor fitness and conditioning.

Posted by awould on 06/07/14 at 04:50 PM ET

Do you seriously believe that Lebron James has poor fitness and conditioning?

Posted by SK77 on 06/07/14 at 04:53 PM ET

He’s more talented than everyone else on the court - I think most of the time he could get away with not being as well conditioned (or, the best-conditioned, if you prefer) as everyone else on the court and still be the best player out there.  It’s possible.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/07/14 at 07:36 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/07/14 at 07:36 PM ET

I don’t disagree with that at all. But, like, earn your whole paycheck by being prepared to go the whole game, extra even. Everyone else was. Drink some damn gatorade. Get some smart water. A packet of salt. Be conditioned to play whatever the game throws at you.

Anyways, my main point is, contrast that with what NHL players put themselves through in the playoffs, compared to the entire NBA really. Frigging ingrown toenail and they’re out.

Posted by awould on 06/07/14 at 09:07 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

Posted by awould on 06/07/14 at 09:07 PM ET

Haha I’m agreeing with you completely.. my main point was that I think that Lebron is lazy, cocky and entitled and so he doesn’t have to try his hardest most of the time to be great.  And thus, he gets exposed for his conditioning when he’s put in the right situation where he does have to try his utmost.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 06/07/14 at 09:52 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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