Every year the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around, and every year you get hundreds of hockey fans telling you how there's nothing that compares to playoff hockey. Now you could chalk that up to hockey folks constantly begging others to "please like my sport". But for the most part, they're right. It's not like playoffs in other sports aren't wildly entertaining. But there's something uniquely chaotic about the Stanley Cup Playoffs. How else can you explain the fact that now 7 Presidents Trophy winning teams since 2000 have been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs? Damn near a 3rd of the best regular season teams this millennium have only went as far as playing 7 more games after the regular season wrapped up.
But this year the 'yoffs seem to be drunk off their ass. Just look at the eastern conference, for pete's sake. We had two series be decided in overtime of game 6. First up was Paul Stastny sending Carolina to the 2nd round in 6 games vs the Islanders.
And then we had John Tavares sending Toronto to the 2nd round for the first time since 2004 in game 6 vs Tampa. You were probably still pissing the bed the last time the Leafs went to the 2nd round.
Both of those series were just one shot from the home team away from going to a game 7. Speaking of game 7, we saw a couple of them last night. First up we had the historically dominant regular season Boston Bruins pulling off one of the biggest choke jobs in modern sports by blowing a 3-1 series lead, blowing a 3-2 game lead with a minute left in regulation, and packing up their shit to get sent home in overtime by Florida.
The best regular season team the NHL has ever seen. They had 3 different opportunities to close out the Panthers. They were tied in the 3rd period in game 5. They had a lead halfway through the 3rd period in game 6. They had a lead with 60 seconds left to go in game 7. And they still couldn't get the job done. Incredible.
So in the Eastern Conference you had two series get decided in overtime of game 6, you had one series get decided in overtime of game 7, and then tonight there's another game 7 on deck between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.
Speaking of game sevens…
Last year was the first year the Seattle Kraken were even in existence. Another thing that happened last year was the Colorado Avalanche winning the Stanley Cup. What happens this year? The Seattle Kraken take down the reigning Cup champions in game 7 with a 2-1 final.
So for those keeping track at home, that means that we had the current Presidents Trophy winning team, defending Stanley Cup Champion, and team that had won the Eastern Conference in each of the past 3 years all get eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And 3 out of the 6 games in the Edmonton vs LA series went to overtime.
There's nothing like playoff hockey, and anybody who disagrees doesn't know shit about anything.
Let's go Devils.