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February 7, 2011

National Hockey League Playoffs Great Time To Give Hockey Another Look

If you are not a hockey fan, which, if you are reading this, you probably are, but just in case you aren’t, this is the time to tune into hockey. The playoffs are always a treat but this year has a special feel to it. Two of the games greatest young players will be involved in the first round and a couple of teams that were long shots, at best, have forced the issue and made it to the playoffs.

I fell in love with ice hockey during the first round of the playoffs in 1986. I started watching in the first round and have been hooked every since. The speed and skill that it took to play the game was amazing. It was fast, tough and unpredictable.

Twenty-two years later, I love hockey as much as I did then. Yes, there have been some changes, some good, some bad but the sport itself is still as exciting as it ever was. This season during the playoffs is a great time for those that don’t usually watch hockey, to give it a try.

In the United States hockey is not as revived as it is in Canada. ESPN shows poker but they can’t find a spot for hockey. When they did show hockey, they seemed to pick the worst games possible to show. They went with east coast teams usually, like the New Jersey Devils or Boston Bruins, teams that play a rather defensive minded game that even hockey lovers have a tough time watching.

Well, no matter what your previous experiences with hockey have been, this is the year to watch some of the playoff games. The talented Sidney Crosby and the amazing Alexander Ovechkin are both in the playoffs. Ovechkin, who is only 22 and in his third season has already broken the record for goals by a left winger in a season. He is flamboyant and intense and an absolute must see for sports fans. Be prepared to be amazed by his skills and dedication to the game.

Crosby, who was injured for part of the season, will come together with another young phenom, Malkin to lead their team in the first round. Expect beautiful passes and scoring chances and great goaltending from the young Fleury in net.

Teams that had to claw their way into the final playoff spots are in the running, fierce and eager to make a statement. There are several potential Cinderella’s just waiting to happen. This year the Stanley Cup could truly be hoisted by any of the teams that have made it to the playoffs. While there are favorites and teams that have been picked by analyst as mostly likely to win, it is really anybody’s game this year.

The best place to watch the playoffs is CBC. Hockey Night in Canada does more than just show the games. They offer in depth analysis and bonus segments with interviews and important hockey information. If you truly want to get a feel for hockey and the playoffs, CBC is the place to be.

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