Hockey: It's Stanley Cup Playoff Time, 2009

by Dan Aspan
Special to iVoryTowerz

As spring transitions into summer, some of the best sports action is taking place on ice. The National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs are underway, and there have already been some incredible games. First, the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins squared off in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins got the best of the Flyers (as they did last year), coming back from a three goal deficit to win Game 6 and advance to the second round. I don’t have any allegiance when it comes to hockey, which makes these games all the more enjoyable. Being from Philadelphia, I was pulling for the Flyers to make a run. But I can’t deny the thrill of watching Penguins players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. When you have two incredible players on a team like the Penguins do, it’s always going to be a challenge to keep up.

Then you take a look at the Washington Capitals and their exciting roster with players like Alex Ovechkin*, Mike Green, and Alexander Semin. After falling behind in their opening round series against the New York Rangers 3 games to 1, the Capitals have fought back to force Game 7 (tonight, Tuesday, April 28, in D.C.). If the other games of this series are any indication of what’s to come, this is a game you don’t want to miss.

As a huge baseball and football fan, I have grown to appreciate hockey much more in recent weeks thanks to the incredible talent of players like Malkin, Ovechkin, and others. Watching these guys fly around the ice and score unbelievable goals has created a huge sense of excitement that the NHL hasn’t been able to provide fans for years. As the Stanley Cup playoffs progress and the inevitable drama of sudden death overtime games unfold, the NHL will continue to reach more sports fans across the country and the world.

*If the video highlights of the Crosby and Malkin goals weren’t enough to get you pumped up for some playoff hockey, check out this insane goal by Ovechkin in Game 5 against the Rangers.

(The Capitals vs. Rangers final can be seen on the Versus cable network, along with the final between the New Jersey Devils and the Carolina Hurricanes. The full television schedule can be found here.)

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