Every spring, hockey fans look forward to the most exciting and challenging tournament in all of American sports: the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Each season gives us its share of unforgettable games and moments, though admittedly some years are more lackluster than others.
Since becoming a hockey fan 20 long years ago, the postseason that stood out to me as the most exciting was 1994. True, this is in no small part because I bleed Ranger blue. But objectively, there was plenty for all fans to root for: seven series that went the distance, including the Finals, thrilling runs by underdogs like the Canucks and Sharks and a team overcoming its snakebitten past to win its first Cup in more than half a century.
This spring, we’ve been treated to a postseason that parallels the ’94 playoffs on a number of levels. The 2011 chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup has certainly lived up to the standards set 17 years ago, and has, in fact, exceeded them.