I like hockey, I love playoff hockey

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Ploffs are quite possibly the greatest time of the year

What the Puck?!
Autumn McDowell
Sports Editor

It’s almost that time of the year. The time when casual hockey fans get involved in the sport again and when hardcore fans fall even more in love with it. It’s playoff time.

Playoffs, also known as ploffs, are virtually the greatest time to be a hockey fan – providing that you have picked the right team to cheer for.

This means that if you are a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, or Tampa Bay Lightning, this might be the worst time of the year because you lose horribly. Your team is just crappy enough to not make the playoffs, but not crappy enough to allow you to pick up a decent prospect. That must suck.

However, if you are a fan of the Edmonton Oilers or Columbus Blue Jackets, you still win because, even though you haven’t cracked the ploffs since Nam, your team has the chance to pick up an unreal draft pick. It’s funny how losers win like that.

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Philadelphia Flyers in an epic showdown that was classified as “playoff hockey.” It was a back and forth battle that even had the two coaches yelling at each other from across the benches overtop of Pierre McGuires annoying bald head. It was beautiful.

Essentially, in the playoffs, everyone tries a little bit more, the hits are a little bit harder, the pace is a little bit faster and the overall product is roughly 10 times better than usual – this coming from a fan who will intensely watch Game 1 in an 82-game season.

Now the big question, who ya got? Obviously, I will be riding on the Penguins bandwagon for as long as I can, except I’ll be the driver since I liked the team before all of the passengers came along with the Crosby train.

I wouldn’t fault anyone for picking the New York Rangers. They’re No. 1 in the Eastern Conference for a reason and, after seeing them on 24/7, it made me kind of love the team. I don’t even hate John Tortorella quite as much anymore after watching it. I still think the man is an obnoxious idiot, but at least he’s not a total jackass these days.

It still boggles my mind how the St. Louis Blues are doing so well. Like really, since when were they good? And another serious question, who is a hardcore St. Louis fan? I legitimately ask every new person I meet who their favourite hockey team is – it’s how I judge them – and I can honestly say that no one has ever come back at me and said the St. Louis Blues. That, or I stopped talking to them when they told me that was their favourite team, and have since blocked the encounter from my memory.

But, no matter who you take in the ploffs or what your bracket looks like – mine will be unreal – hockey fans must bask in the next three months of good, solid hockey. It’s also a time when the greatest chirps are showcased; you don’t want to miss that.

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