Great article here at ESPN.com about the impending NHL playoffs. Some great quotes:

Sixteen teams truly believe they can win it all. The next two months will be like the scrap between Tony Soprano and Bobby “Bacala” Baccalieri from Sunday’s “Sopranos” premiere.

It’s the time of the season to love hockey like you’ve never loved it before. It’s the time when more of the world sees what we see for nine months out of every season — these athletes, these players, this game, cannot be matched. Nothing compares to the will, drive, skill and sheer desire we will see every playoff game from every player and coach.

No team championship is harder to win or has greater glory or a more glamorous and mysterious trophy. The NFL and NBA try to give their trophy ceremonies the NHL treatment, but they look like Dodge Neons parked behind a Mercedes.

The recounting of the 2000 playoff match betwixt the Penguins and the Flyers alone is well worth the read. The first round predictions are also for the most part what I would have picked. Even the fact that the first round Wings-vs.-Flames will likely go to seven – but the Wings will prevail. They want it more. We have Datsyuk and Lang and Zetterberg and Schneider and – oh, did I mention that in-net we have the Wizard of Oz and Mr. Slinky-Spine himself, the Dominator?

The anticipation of that first face-off of the postseason is nigh unbearable…

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