The NHL's Sweet 16 are set. The best time of the year is here: the Stanley Cup playoffs.
This spring figures to be a great one. We have tradition (five of the Original Six teams are in—sorry Toronto), and we have some refreshing new faces (hello again, Colorado and Dallas). We have the defending Stanley Cup champs (Chicago) and the runner-up (Boston) back after good seasons again.
We have everything we need for two months of nightly fun. Sudden-death, hold-your-breath overtime games no doubt will grip the fanbases of most, if not all, teams. We'll see bearded men play in pain. We'll see them play with pressure at its highest.
There's nothing like playoff hockey. Every bounce of that little rubber disc takes with it the nerves of each team's fans. If you have a team in the playoffs, you might as well stock up on the antacids now. Remember, though, it's just a game. (Right.)
The following is a look at the strengths and weaknesses of all 16 teams. May your team be proved to have many more of the former than the latter when the playoffs (and your beard) have stopped.