The NHL playoff bracket is set, and it’s as good a time as ever to remember that playoff hockey is unlike anything else in sports.
— NHL (@NHL) April 9, 2018
There are many great post-seasons in sports. The NFL playoffs for the Super Bowl and March Madness stand out as two great post-seasons. Playoff hockey is just different.
Now, I’m not saying playoff hockey is the best. I’m simply saying that it’s an experience unlike what you see in other sports. Players are ready to die on the ice if it means advancing. Hockey players are cut from a different cloth, and I hear some of them are even raised with grizzly bears and wolves in the -50 degree weather of Siberia. Don’t fact check that because I know it’s true.
Hockey brings people together, and the games are incredible. You don’t know what living is like until a player is on a breakaway with nobody between him and the goalie in overtime of an elimination game.
You know what else playoff hockey has? Playoff beards, which are an absolute necessity.
Once in college, I grew a dirty playoff beard for the Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup run. My sister was not happy because there was a chance it would overlap with her wedding. I promptly informed her that marriages come and go all the time, but Stanley Cups are forever. The beard would stay for as long as the Red Wings were alive. They ended up losing before the wedding, so it didn’t matter. However, it’s the commitment to the game that’s important. Now, imagine how much more seriously the players take it. This isn’t a show! It’s a bare-knuckled brawl.
Kick back, grab a beer, throw your razors in the trash and enjoy the games.