There's no greater time of year for a hockey fan -- or a hockey player -- than that of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Wild.com will chronicle the journey of Eric Staal -- in his own words -- during this year's postseason run. The 32-year-old Staal celebrated 1,000 games in the NHL earlier this season, winning a Stanley Cup in 2006 and reaching the Eastern Conference Final in 2009 with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Staal missed the postseason the following six seasons, returning last spring after a midseason trade to the New York Rangers.
Today, Staal reflects on what the playoffs mean to him and how keeping an even-keeled approach is crucial this time of year.