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MUSICK: Marathon game too crazy for words

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)
The Blackhawks' Nick Leddy (left) and Boston Bruins' Tyler Seguin fight for control of the puck during the second period Wednesday of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center. The Hawks defeated the Bruins, 4-3, in triple overtime.

CHICAGO – Triple overtime.

A double deflection.

A Blackhawks' 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins.

Oh, man. Hockey is crazy.

No, that doesn’t do justice in describing this sport. Hockey is Krazy. Or maybe it’s KRAZEE.

Yes, I like that better.

Hockey is KRAZEE.

As for Wednesday's extra-extra-extra breathless thriller between the Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins in the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final? Well, no word exists for that level of crazy-Krazy-KRAZEE.

But we probably should get used to it, yeah?

Andrew Shaw netted the game winner when he deflected a puck, which had been deflected one moment earlier, which had been fired by Michal Rozsival one moment earlier. The Hawks' 63rd shot on goal finally was the knockout blow.

When the Hawks and Bruins arrived for Wednesday's morning skate, they had fresh legs and hungry hearts. They were ready to partake in the first Original Six title matchup since 1979.

More than 13 hours later, they were on that same ice, skating in those same circles.

These are world-class athletes. They can survive these types of endurance tests.

What about the rest of us?

Don’t get me wrong. The game was unbelievably fantastic. The type of game you’ll never forget. The type of game that reminds you why sports is the best brand of reality TV out there.

But, holy hockey stick, it’s tough to sit still and watch.

At one point, I thought referees would stop the game to celebrate Jaromir Jagr’s 50th birthday. As the clock ticked past 11:45 p.m., I could have sworn that the Blackhawk Indian logo at center ice blinked two times and yawned.

And what would happen if the overnight cleaning crews showed up? Would they sweep around the feet of bleary-eyed fans who had lost their voices long before?

Here’s what I know. It might be all I know.

Both teams had approximately 10 million chances to win the game.

Now, both teams will have two days to do whatever they need to do to restore their bodies.

Drink lots of milk. Take lots of naps. Light a scented candle and snuggle up to a good book.

The rest of us will not be so lucky.

We have alarm clocks to despise. We have toast to burn. We have jobs to (sort of) do.

In the meantime, players will try to water down the significance of Wednesday’s ultra marathon.

It’s just one game, the winners will say. We can’t afford to let up now.

It’s just one game, the losers will say. We need to forget about it and move forward.

But the truth is that Game 1 is kind of a big deal.

Since the NHL introduced its best-of-seven format in 1939, the team that won Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final has gone on to win the championship in 56 of 73 seasons. That’s 76.7 percent, which seems like a lot to a guy who couldn’t score that high in two semesters of pre-calculus.

Anyway, that leaves the Game 1 loser with a 23.3 percent chance of winning the series.

Hey, I’d take those odds in Powerball.

But hockey is slightly less random than the lottery.

It might not seem that way, but it’s true.

Whether they admit it or not, the Hawks knew Game 1 loomed larger than Zdeno Chara on stilts.

The Hawks’ series record is 30-10 when they win Game 1, and it’s 18-41 when they lose Game 1.

Again, math is not my strength. Nor is strength my strength. What my strength is, I’m not certain. I’d like to think that I have blossomed into a pretty good parallel parker. I also make omelets.

I’m getting off track.

What time is it, anyway?

• Shaw Media sports columnist Tom Musick can be reached at tmusick@shawmedia.com and on Twitter @tcmusick.

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