You know it's time for playoff hockey when...
* You've stocked up on enough Molson, Export Ale and Labatts to keep the '84 Oilers feeling no pain for the next year and you remember that the Canadian border is over 1,000 miles away but you figure you could still make it there and back between periods.
* If the family hears cursing and vomiting and sees chairs levitating - don't call the local priest, just hope the home team scores the equalizer before his head starts spinning around and talks poorly about your mother.
* You're wearing your toque, your face is painted and you're singing French-Canadian hockey songs as you revel in the streets and your girlfriend reminds you that it's 83F (28C), you're in Miami and you are NOT a member of Les Glorieux.
* The Wife and Kids know that, unless a bone is sticking out
, they are not to bother you after an hour before game time.
* If your favorite team goes down 2-0, your family has the good sense to remove all sharp objects from the room, up your beer intake and confiscate your shoelaces.
* You can't decide which jersey to wear, so you put 'em all on - at the same time.
* The HNIC theme song is considered sweet talking your significant other.
* You have the foil on, a week before the game and your friends call you a loser because it took you so long.
* You aren't all that upset that the Leafs missed the playoffs...
* Your non-hockey friends look at you strangely, and you wonder why it is you have non-hockey friends in the first place.
* Don Cherry begins to look like a fashion plate.
* You actually look forward to watching Versus. Imagine the horror!
* Keith Jones actually looks less and less
like a farmer and more like a hockey commentator - but then the Flyerside Chat is outstanding.
* You begin watching RDS and understanding what they are saying.
* Your ability to complete household projects/honey-do list is governed solely by whether or not it can be resolved in 15 minutes or less.
* Your 3 year old looks at the TV and says, "Crosby's a punk"...without prodding him. That's good parenting.
* You start sending your kids to the "Sin Bin" for not coming up with the 4 Saints - Orr, Gretz, Mario and Clarkie - quickly enough.
* You throw dog treats into the corner of the kitchen to see which one of the two "wants it more."
* You head to the fridge, get hip checked by your 9 year old and she gives you a facewash, just for good measure - you bang your stick on the kitchen cabinets in appreciation, as you yap at her about a rematch.
* You look at basketball and baseball fans and just shake your head at those poor, misguided souls. One day, perhaps, they might see the light.
* When anyone tries to gain entrance to the playoff "man-cave" (thank you BF), they first must pass a hockey version of The Bridgekeeper's Test
from Monty Python
. It begins..
"What is your name?" - "Your Wife. You moron"
"What is my Quest" - "To seek Lord Stanley's Grail"
"Who is my favorite player?" - "Clarke, no Brind'Amour...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah"
You laugh, because all along you knew it was Johnny Vermont. Sorry, babe.
* You realize that the Dallas Stars DO know how to play hockey, but they still suck
* You appreciate how amazing the San Jose Sharks really are and how much more of the Western Conference you wish you could see.
* You scoreboard watch more than you take care of personal hygiene issues.
* You hope and pray that the Caps make it into the postseason, because they playoffs would be much the better if Alexander Ovechkin was in it.
* You look at Evgeni Malkin and shake your head, knowing that Sid is the 2nd best player on that Pens team. Ray Shero must be on cloud 9 right now.
* As a Flyers fan, you realize how many points were wasted during the big swoons that occurred with this young club. But, you are also heartened by the turnaround and poised to make a statement in the playoffs. Big home games vs the Devils and Pens. Gut check time.
* You count the seconds until they drop the puck and it is still not fast enough.
* You realize how amazing this game and the players really are.
* You would give your left walnut to watch a parade down [Broad Street] (insert street name).
Thanks for reading and GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for reading...