I have been absent from Bleacher for a little while now, but I have never forgotten about this incredible interactive website.
With that said, I must comment on the exceptioanl hockey being played in the 2009 version of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
I am a true 'Hockey Pig', living in hockey passionate, Toronto, Ontario.
I believe, in all honesty, that this 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs has been one of the best tournaments played for a championship that I have ever witnessed as a hockey fan and player. Growing up in the late 70's and 80's I witnessed and critiqued both the modern era dynastys of the years gone by New York Islanders led by Denis Potvin and the high octane Edmonton Oilers, then led by a certain icon named Wayne Gretzky.
Throughout these 2009 playoffs, the quality of hockey that has been played has truly been a wonderful experience to watch as a fan and critique of the game.
Outside of the latest Game 5 blowout by the veteran and extremely disciplined Detroit Red Wings, I am totally excited by the way that this year's championship final has developed. Both of these post-strike era hockey clubs would have easily challenged the Islanders and Oilers of the aforementioned years gone by. The no longer upstart Pittsburgh Penguins, are for real and despite an emotional and physical collapse in Game 5, this young squad is still very much alive in the 2009 Stanley Cup Final!
I am not one to pass on any warranted praises to the NHL and their dictatorial ways. However, the hockey that has been displayed and of course played in these 2009 playoffs, has been nothing short of exceptional from a fan and viewer's point of view.
Again, with that said, I commend the players and the league with figuring out that hockey is best played with attitude, intensity, passion and of course skill.
With the world class likes of Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, plus the re-addition of Detroit stalward Pavel Datsyuk to their star studded line-up, this has ultimately made the latest quest for Sir Stanley's mug even more exciting to watch from a fan's point of view.
The television ratings on both NBC and CBC in the U.S. and Canada are positively high, which means a bright future with the, usually timid NHL, in the not so hockey crazed United States of America.
All this aside, I say welcome back NHL hockey in North America, keep up the great play and product.
For the record, this scribe in the 'Great White North' thinks that Detroit is still just too deep and experienced for the developing Penguins, yes I say that with just two games to go, but hey I have been away from BleacherReport and now I am back and I know that you 'bleacher creatures' respect opinions.