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The NHL's version of a hug.
It is no secret that hockey is a contact sport.
In comparison to MLB and the NBA, the intensity of an NHL playoff game features harder hits, faster play and a higher level of emotion.
Some of the NHL's most memorable checks have come in the playoffs. In the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mark Hardy unleashed a bone-crushing check on Montreal Canadiens' forward Mike Keane, shattering the glass as he sent Keane a message. And that message was received horizontally through the glass.
If that's not enough, ask recently retired forward Paul Kariya. During the 2003 Stanley Cup Finals, hard-hitting Scot Stevens of the New Jersey Devils knocked Kariya, who was then a member of the Mighty Ducks, to the point of unconsciousness after he blindsided him in Game 6.
There's a reason why Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber was fined $2,500 for his cheap shot on Henrik Zetterberg. The hit was classless, but the emotions ran high.
These are only a few examples of how playoff hockey increases emotion and intensity. All in the name of hoisting the Cup.