April 13, 2011

Playoff Hockey - Best Time of the Year

There is a transformation in April seen by hockey fans all over North America, and this transformation is fueled by passion. Passion, one of the most natural emotions, can almost be grasped during the months of April, May and June while watching the greatest athletes in the world compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Take for example, the 2010 second round series of Eastern Conference rivals Philadelphia and Boston. With the Bruins one game away from sweeping the Flyers, the season seemed over for the gritty Flyers. But with an emotional overtime win in Game 4, the Flyers stopped the Bruins train in its tracks, winning the next 3 games. This four games to three come from behind win, was the first in the history of professional sports, an unthinkable accomplishment.  Without passion, the Flyers would have been sent home to play golf in game four.  The Broad Street Bullies played an old brand of hockey to finish off the Bruins, a style of hockey that excites even the smallest of hockey fans.

Thunderous hits, ferocious forechecking, and unbeatable defense, all fueled by passion are what make playoff hockey the phenomenon that sweeps over the hockey world. Hockey is an incredible sport to watch, the talent and athleticism seen in players like Ovechkin, Mike Richards, Toews, and new star Steven Stamkos is unmatchable. When teams enter the playoffs, watching the sport takes on a whole new meaning. We’ve all had nights glued to the television, literally on the edge of our seats, with our hearts racing while our team battles conference foes for the right to play for Lord Stanleys Cup. The playoffs to anyone with a heartbeat means endless nights of screaming at the television, while wearing our prized jersey. The 2011 playoffs will be no different.

With opening round matchups like Bruins/Habs, and Canucks/Blackhawks we are bound to see the excitement that we wait somewhat patiently throughout the year to watch. Players put bumps and bruises on the back burner, and leave everything they have on the ice. This formula creates five star entertainment. We’re all in this to see the hits, saves, and goals that are bound to come during the next two months.  As teams look to shift into high gear, and ride whatever momentum they carry from the end of the regular season, the hockey world is in for a treat.

- Matt Gamelin

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