There is something to be said when glancing at the NHL.com home page.
"Man, that is a sleek and sexy design!"
"It looks like Gary Bettman and a five-year-old designed it!"
"Dang! Three of the four semifinals series are going to game sevens!"
Ok, so I said the last one. But seriously, it is an amazing time to be a hockey fan. The Chicago Blackhawks will be going to the Western Conference Finals, possibly for an Original Six meeting with Detroit, or maybe with the Cinderella Anaheim Ducks.
Glancing at the other end, top-dog Boston could be outed by the Carolina Hurricanes, who have truly picked up speed and seem poised to slam into the Eastern Conference Finals. They could meet either or the depth-filled Pittsburgh Penguins, or the talent-filled Washington Capitals.
Either way, tonight is the night of the game seven: something only true hockey fans can ever fully appreciate, especially at this magnitude.
Last night, driving to Walmart with my girlfriend, I mentioned that the Ducks had managed to win Game Six and stay alive against the Red Wings. She, a hockey novice, asked what that meant. I explained the significance of the game seven. From the tone of both of us in the conversation, I knew she understood that sometimes in a game seven the "best" team may not win; that maybe my Ducks stood a slight chance. Additionally, she seemed amazed at the fact so many of the teams were going to a game seven.
It got me to thinking about the fact Boston and Detroit, two of the best teams during the season could wake up tomorrow out of the playoffs. How Washington with a win would deny Sidney Crosby a Stanley Cup for one more year.
Who lives and dies boils down to 60 minutes. It doesn't get anymore exciting then that. For those of you with teams involved, you of all people know your team's season comes down to that 60 minutes.
Who will live and die?
I don't have a magic mirror to tell you how the games will turn out, or even have any predictions. Merely an urging to all who grace the NHL home page of Bleacher Report to watch as many games tonight as possible. History could be made, like so much has been made before in game sevens. Tonight, six teams find out who survives and if their hard work was all for nothing.
Get excited, hockey fans! Go find that remote!
Ken Armer is a Community Leader for the NHL and the Dallas Stars for Bleacher Report. He also covers the Anaheim Ducks for TheHockeyWriters.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org