At a time when most people saw stars in their dreams on Sunday night, I was watching the Dallas Stars win an epic NHL playoff game over the San Jose Sharks that lasted four overtimes.
One of the absolute magical items that separates the NHL playoffs from any other postseason is the length of the games. Teams can, and usually do, play all night in the postseason. It’s an amazing sight to watch two teams in which the fan away from Dallas and San Jose has no rooting interest in the game except that they want to watch something memorable while avoiding sleep.
Playing just over 69 minutes of overtime, (which clocks in as the eighth longest game in the history of the league) both of the goalies put in a clinic on how to make the perfect save at the most opportune time. Don’t tag the loss on San Jose’s goalie, Evgeni Nabokov. The Shark goalie made 53 saves in over six periods and became the second star of the game.
He was just overshadowed by Dallas goalie Marty Turco. Playing at the highest level in his career, Turco became the first star of the deciding game of the series with a 61 save performance that left my tired hockey fans in disbelief. It seemed like Turco used every part of his equipment to keep the surging Sharks to just one goal in game six.
When Brenden Morrow went five-hole on Nabokov at 2:31 AM on Monday morning, I couldn’t help but smile. Someone finally broke through. At a time when infomercials and re-runs of “Mama’s Family” rule the airwaves, one of the best sporting events of the year took place without many people knowing about it.
That’s why the Stanley Cup Playoffs are sports most exciting series. Just remember this motto for the next month: sleep is highly overrated.