Playoffs Gone Wild

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Amazing night of hockey tonight. High scoring rollercoaster games, high flying young stars, high emotion all around. If ever there was an evening of games that graphically illustrated why playoff hockey is so utterly compelling it was this night.

First, in the Battle of the Young Stars, the Washington Capitals, courtesy of a tip-in from David Steckel, gave everyone at NHL headquarters instant hard-ons when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6:22 into overtime to force a much anticipated Game 7 in what is the the marquee match-up of the second round. The NHL brass doesn’t deserve such good fortune but they’ve got it. Appointment viewing for Wednesday night, any way you slice it.

Then, as if the Caps – Pens game was merely an appetizer, a wild, see-saw shootout between the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks that saw six goals scored in the third period, multiple lead changes and, eventually, a hat trick from an even younger star when Patrick Kane finished off the scoring with an unassisted goal late in the third to seal the deal and eliminate last remaining Canadian team in the playoffs with an insanely entertaining 7-5 win in Chicago.

The thundering applause in the United Center might still be going on as, when the telecast ended, few of the 22,000 in attendance were showing any signs of leaving the celebration of their brilliant young team moving on to the Stanley Cup Semi-finals, the first team to do so and the first time the Hawks will have done so since 1995.

Both games were incredible fun, filled with excitement, a feast for fans who love this sport, it’s speed, grace and physicality. Exhibitions of intensity and emotion that rewarded every viewer who invested their time in watching.

A frickin’ good night to be a hockey fan, for sure.

Keep it comin’!

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