The Fictional Hockey League

Critiquing hockey romance novels, of which there are many. Overthinking it is the point.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Body Check: Post 17-

Chapter 10: MATH IZ HARD

I know I harped on this in the previous blog post, that the number of away games (3) in the past week just does not make sense unless they’re (awfully quickly) into round 2. This chapter opens with the reveal that:

[T]he series was 3-2, and if they won tonight’s game they’d move on to the second round of play-offs (117).

Let’s put aside the question of how many times Brody flew away from Chicago (and more importantly, Hayden) in a week. Let’s just work out the game situation.

It’s game 6 (if they’ve won 3 and lost 2). And they’re in Chicago, as we’ll learn in a bit (just trust me on that part for a moment.) And… no. If the play-offs are going as the NHL has them, it would be the following:

Game 1 & 2: Chicago
Game 3 & 4: LA
Game 5: Chicago
Game 6: LA
(Game 7: Chicago, if needed)

If the author thinks it’s every other, as I hypothesized in the previous entry, then it would work:

Game 1: LA
Game 2: Chicago
Game 3: LA
Game 4: Chicago
Game 5: LA
Game 6: Chicago
(Game 7: LA, if needed)

Game 2 had to have been in Chicago, as that’s the game that Hayden attended with her father and when Brody heads to LA the team is up 2-0.

Now, that puts Game 3 in LA, after which he apparently flies back to Chicago and manages to attend the party at the “gentlemen’s club”. Game 3 is the one they lost 6-0.

We know nothing about Game 4. If it were in LA, then Brody (and Becker) would have had to fly back to LA presumably Sunday night for on-ice practice in LA before a, presumably, Tuesday game.

Which is absolutely stupid. But even if he’d done that, he’d have had to fly back to Chicago, then to LA, twice more in order for him to have left town/Hayden three times. This chapter confirms the three times again:

And it troubled him how that light left her eyes whenever an away game came up. He’d had to leave town three times this week… (120).

For what? Games 4, 5, and 6? And now we’re having a magical second Game 6 in Chicago because the first two didn’t count? Even if we assume it’s an every-other series, that would put games 4 and 6 in Chicago (which would work for this game) but would only have him out of town for game 5, a single time to upset Hayden.

If you can figure out what this author is thinking with this play-off series, I’d love to know. Got theories? I literally can think of no way for the competing information to work. Even if you count Game 3 (LA, loss 6-0) as one of the times Brody left town in the past week, he’d still have left town only once more (for Game 5, about which we know nothing). GAH!

The LA Vipers win Game 6 pretty easily (5-1), or rather I should say the Warriors lose it. The league tells the players just 15 minutes before puck drop that there will be an official investigation into the bribery claims. There’s no way a team can play well with that hanging over their heads. Not to mention, although the text doesn’t really talk about it, but players have to be looking at each other suspiciously. Which one(s) took the bribe, if anyone? Who went to the league to tell them that he knew something? Which player is sleeping with the owner’s wife? (Well, we know, and Brody suspects, who that one is.) On-ice is not the same as off-ice, but it’s awfully hard to trust your teammates on-ice if you can’t off-ice. And hockey is about as much of a team sport as exists. (No one can skate faster than the puck, therefore you have to be about passing and intercepting and knowing where your teammates are and trusting them to do their jobs, etc.)

With morale already terrible and attention not on the game, Brody chooses the walk to the ice as the time to confront his captain. Why would you do that?! I mean, it could potentially ease Brody’s mind (not likely—no matter what he learned, he’d still have questions/anger) but it can only upset the captain. Your team is walking onto the ice to play Game 6 in a play-off series. You are professionals. You get paid a ton of money. You should be focusing.

At any rate, Captain Serious/Craig confirms that it was him—he is, in fact, sleeping with Sheila. And he went to the league because he had suspicious about games that the team lost that they shouldn’t have and he won’t play on a team with people who would sabotage the games for money.

I understand that he can have suspicions but… I have seen the worst league the in the team (statistically) beat the best on any given evening. Someone has a bad night, one team gets all the lucky bounces, whatever. Things happen. For me to buy Craig’s explanation, he has to have magic abilities.

Speaking of bad timing, in the middle of the third period, after a line change, Becker takes a moment to ask Brody if he is staying away from Hayden as he (Becker) suggested. Brody thinks about that, reflecting, that

[f]or the first time in his life, he was with a woman he actually liked hanging out with (120).

Questionable use of prepositions aside, seriously? The first time ever? He’s never ever met a woman in his 29 years who he enjoyed spending time outside of bed with? Wow. Okay.

Post game, Brody heads out, expecting to head to Hayden’s hotel. Instead, she’s leaning on his car (and we’ll talk more about this scene in the next post). She can tell from the body language of people leaving the arena that it was a loss and she asks if that means the Warriors are out of the playoffs.

“No, the series is tied. We’ve got another chance to win it tomorrow” (121).

The tied part is correct. But holy crap, no. Teams don’t play back-to-back in the playoffs, they just don’t. (I know, I know, this isn’t the NHL.) They don’t even play back-to-back that often (although they do) during the 82 game regular season. Sigh. And they should be playing in LA for Game 7, which makes it even MORE unlikely they’d not be playing immediately again. (I suspect the book will put Game 7 in Chicago but I haven’t read far enough to know for sure.) Then again, what with all the away games Brody has been flying to (potentially without his team) we’re on something like game 9 already anyway….


  1. Heh. Math. What are numbers? Perhaps there is time travel or teleportation involved.

    1. If there was teleportation, then Hayden would have absolutely no excuse to complain about Brody not being around since he'd only be gone for game times. Time travel seems to make a lot of sense, frankly, as the only option for this time line of away games to make some kind of sense, (maybe he was away three times in a parallel universe?) but then we have the same kind of issue-- if Brody *can* time travel, why not just play his away games *and* hang out with Hayden. He wouldn't run into himself (he'd be in LA and Chicago) and then hopefully not create a paradox (except for that whole NHL games are televised thing.)