As you all know, I am a huge sports fan. I follow my teams, keep up on the leagues, and seem to remember too much information about too many things. But I think this is one of my favorite times of the year. Both the NBA and the NHL are in the playoffs. For the better part of the last decade that would mean its time to root for my favorite teams in those two leagues, the Pistons and Red Wings to make a deep run in the playoffs. This year, clearly, it's the Red Wings, or no one at all.
That said, there is something special about the Stanley Cup Playoffs. On paper, it's the same as the NBA playoffs. In each, you have to win four seven-game series to be declared champion. Yet, it seems, the Stanley Cup is the harder trophy to win. The NHL is more likely to see top teams upset, top stars hurt, and anxious fans with high expectations feeling blue.
More importantly, I love the tradition. The playoff beard, when players stop shaving until their team hoists Lord Stanley's Cup. Players who avoid the Cup out of respect until they've won it. The moment when winning team shakes the hand of the losing team in a display of sportsmanship often missed in other sports.
If you've never been to a playoff game, you are missing out. The atmosphere in a packed arena where every time a player steps on the ice it could change his team's destiny is electric.
I don't know if the NHL is my favorite sport, but I know the playoffs are one of my favorite things to watch!