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When's the next game?

Tuesday, 05.05.2009 / 10:11 AM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Semifinals

By Paul Kukla - NHL.com Correspondent

Playoff GearI want more! More of the same, more overtime, more hat tricks and more unbelievable saves!
 
I want to sit on the edge of my seat from the opening minute to the end of the game. I want the four semifinal conference series to go seven games and end with an OT goal!
 
The more hockey the better and no doubt about it, this is the best hockey we have watched this season. All I want is more of the same, a lot more of the same.
 
As hockey fans, we have been treated to many outstanding games. Every game this round has been entertaining, gut-wrenching for the fans affiliated with the teams that are playing and leaves us wanting more.
 
As a neutral observer of all the teams involved (except Detroit), I have been thoroughly impressed with the on-ice product. The determination and drive of the greatest hockey players in the world has been impressive and just think, it will only get better.
 
Now is the perfect time to turn your non-hockey friends into a hockey fan. Invite them over for a viewing party, organize a get together at a local watering hole or just call them at game time and tell them to watch and keep watching.
 
I guarantee you the vast majority of the people you contact will want to watch another game. But you have to start the ball rolling by getting them to view a playoff matchup.
 
It is hard to believe this, but there are people out there that do not know anything about the game we love. By informing these people about NHL playoff hockey, you are really doing them a favor by telling them to watch a game that means something, a game built on determination and grit, style and skill too.
 
They may ask you what lies ahead, what team is bound to end up in the Stanley Cup Final? Your response is critical and this is what makes our game different than all the other playoffs. You just tell them you have no idea of the outcome of each series and tell it like you mean it, because you do.
 
You explain each series is too close to call, and if they respond by saying the Washington Capitals are up 2-0 on the Pittsburgh Penguins, you just tell them the Penguins now return to their home rink for two games and if they win those, all they need to do is steal a game in Washington and then anything can happen.
 
For the other series, you can put your "homer" hat on and explain how your team will come out victorious, but also mention how tight each series really is and deep down, you have no idea which team will move on to the Conference Finals.
 
Let me leave you with one last thing -- tell your non-hockey friends to plan their next month or so, leaving blocks of time open for all the playoff action that is yet to come, they will want to watch even though they may not know it yet!
 
As always, any comments or hockey talk you want to mention, please leave a comment below or contact me at pk@kuklaskorner.com.



Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season