Baseball season?! no no no, it’s NHL Playoff Season

April comes each year, as do the hoards of crowds at baseball parks across the nation. But aren’t we forgetting about where the real excitement in sports is… It’s not where the green grass grows, but actually where it often snows. Many cities across the US and our neighbors to the North will be hosting NHL Playoff games. Mainstream America and the media majority have been talking about things like MLB’s opening day, the NFL Draft, and who should be the MVP of the NBA. With all of these other topics dominating the headlines and taking up space on Sportscenter, the NHL Playoffs are moved to the back of the closet, and in essence, totally forgotten about. Well, I’m not forgetting about it!

Next to the NCAA tournament, and the World Cup of soccer, the Stanley Cup playoffs are the most exciting sporting event in the world. Yet it receives little publicity. This might seem like a bad thing, and it probably is, but even though major sports networks and local TV sports guys won’t mention the NHL on the evening sports editions, we can all still enjoy the glory of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The best teams are all stockpiled into a tournament, the pace of the game picks up, and the most talented players from across the globe are showcased. Each year surprise teams take out a major contender, lesser known players propel their clubs to glory, and never ending games go to multiple overtimes thus giving “puck heads” a reason to stay up to 2 in the morning.

All that said, the NHL gives us 8 playoffs series to salivate over for a few weeks, and we all weigh in on who is “a lock to win”, who “doesn’t stand a chance”, and which teams “could surprise people”. That being said, even the experts don’t see certain things coming. Last year the two best teams squared off in the Stanley Cup finals, but there were plenty of surprises along the way. The red hot Capitals and Canadiens were both derailed by a surprise Flyers team. Out West, a Dallas Stars team, relying on veteran experience, took down Cup hopefuls San Jose, and Anaheim.

This season things should shake up a little differently, but either way, we can still enjoy the games, and the action. While the NHL might not be shown on major networks every night, we can enjoy weekend battles on NBC, and those of us with the VS channel can enjoy two games a night during the week (we will miss Sports Soup a little though).  Check back on Wednesday for some Stanley Cup playoff predictions


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