Still feeling icy about hockey? This should help

You should be in hockey heaven right now. Your beloved Lightning should be in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, which would have started on Wednesday, defending their Stanley Cup Title.

But, as you know, they’re not.

Instead, you’re stuck with baseball — and your beloved Rays — and you’re sore that the 2004 title banner was never raised. You’re sad that the kings of hockey can’t return to their Ice Palace.

Well, as you might realize soon, maybe you shouldn’t be. Here are 15 good reasons to hate hockey.

I hope this helps you let go.

No. 1: Can you name three all-stars from each conference? That’s what I thought.

No. 2: Hockey is not a sport everyone can play. Not only is there a tremendous amount of expensive equipment required, there are no “backyard” ice hockey games like there are with baseball, football and basketball.

No. 3: Unlike those big three sports, hockey wasn’t invented in America. Since when do we import sports?

No. 4: Unless you are Superman, you can’t see the puck during televised games. It’s like trying to watch a fly that’s buzzing around your room.

No. 5: Many hair historians trace the origin of The Mullet to the NHL.

No. 6: Unlike other goal-orientated sports, scoring in hockey results from dumb luck far too often. There are only so many goals off of a skate that I can take.

No. 7: The NHL holds the record for most columns in the standings. It hurts the eyes to look at records that look like this: 22-10-11-6. It’s the worst system this side of the BCS.

No. 8: There are way too many lines on the ice — a red line here, a blue line there and random circles everywhere. I think they all have something to do with something called icing, which I hope is never explained to me because I don’t want my head to explode.

No. 9: It is well known that hockey locker rooms are among the foulest smelling places on earth. It’s so rotten that rats have been known to run from them, holding their noses while squeaking, “Screw that!”

No. 10: Hockey highlights take up valuable time during SportsCenter.

No. 11: Fighting is allowed. Call me crazy, but I’d rather watch two guys boxing than two guys on skates trying to undress each other while trying to gain leverage on the slippery ice. It’s pathetic. And they wonder why fans jump into the penalty box.

No. 12: Ties are possible.

No. 13: Memo to NHL general managers: Sign a Sumo wrestler, put some goalie pads on him and put him in front of the net.

No. 14: Can you name three current NHL head coaches? Thought so.

No. 15: Finally, the most obvious reason: It’s April 15, and there’s no hockey. And there might not be for a long, long time.

I hope you feel better.