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It All Comes Down To This

April 11, 2010

I am having trouble remembering a last day of the season that is as exciting as this one. Today two teams will fight for the final playoff spot in the East and at the same time two players enter today tied for the Richard Trophy with one game remaining.

Every once in a while the Hockey Gods will give us a day like today.

Two bitter division rivals in Philadelphia and New York will play at 3pm for the 8th spot in the East. In order to just get to this point, the Rangers had come from behind winning 7 of their last 9. On Friday night, these two teams played the first of this final home and home series which saw New York come away with a win. That result set up this epic showdown to make the playoffs.

It’s exciting for me to see what essentially is a playoff game happen today, but it also has me pumped for the playoffs. In the last year, a lot of my friends have come around to hockey and have become avid fans of the sport. While I keep trying to prepare them, there are no words to explain playoff hockey. Hockey is a sport that continually gets better and better. Pre-season hockey is fantastic because it welcomes us back, regular season hockey is great because of its unpredictability and playoff hockey is what happens when the best teams composed of the best players in the world face-off for the best trophy ever created. Even playoff hockey gets better within itself. A Finals game is better than a conference quarterfinals game, a game seven better than a game three, overtime better than regulation.

Not only is this matchup going on today, but a different battle is being waged for the Richard Trophy. This one between an established star and an up and coming player. Tied at 50 goals apiece, Alexander Ovechkin and Stephen Stamkos each have one last game to play. It is completely possible the two will have to share the honor, but eyes will still be glued to both games to see if the tie is broken.

So after 81 games, the 82nd will be the one that decides everything. That is about as close to perfection as we can get.

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