The regular season is nearly over and the quest for the Stanley Cup is almost upon hockey fans everywhere.
The NHL's 16 best regular season performers earn a trip to the first-round of the NHL playoffs, where almost anything can happen.
Analysts and fans predict winners weeks in advance based on regular season performance, skill level of the team's players, and various other factors.
In a best-of-seven series, all the skill in the world matters not if a team isn't ready to battle in order to move on to the next round.
The NHL playoffs usually include some form of upset, ending a team's season prematurely, and allowing the harder-working team, or team favored by the hockey gods, to advance. Upsets are not uncommon in the NHL playoffs, especially in today's league with such a high level of parity.
With great skill comes great expectations, but some highly-skilled teams simply cannot answer the call.