With all due apologies to March Madness, the Super Bowl, October baseball and the like, the second season of the National Hockey League simply has no equal. Quite simply, no other postseason possesses the combination of passion, drama, excitement and identity of the NHL playoffs.
It takes a host of special qualities to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup. Though any sport can claim that regular season success doesn’t necessarily translate to postseason celebrating, the NHL playoffs are truly a whole different ballgame.
In the playoffs teams rarely outwork each other, because everyone is working like it’s their last day on earth. No one out-toughs each other in the playoffs, because there isn’t a person on any NHL team that wouldn’t cut off their own right arm for a cup. Injury is a four-letter word in the NHL’s second season.
In the playoffs the goal gets smaller, the goalies get bigger, the spotlight is all encompassing, and every goal is a clutch goal.
There’s nothing like scoring a goal in the playoffs, and there’s nothing like allowing one either. Everything is fought for, goals, assists, loose pucks, inches…etc.
That’s why it’s so important to have players, a team, that are made for playoff success. Players who have clutch in their blood, and a heart big enough to pump the water out of Niagara Falls.
For your convenience, PI took a closer look at the types of players that close the gap between playoff teams, and that silver chalice that will inevitably take its victory lap in June.
To read this article in its entirety, pick up the May issue of Panthers Insider, on newsstands now, or call 954-835-PUCK for subscription information.