I have watched a grand total of about 4 periods of NHL hockey this year, and most of that took place during the New Year's Day game at Ralph Wilson Stadium and on those rare occasions when the Ducks were on the national broadcast. I used to be the biggest die-hard hockey fan I knew, but ever since the season was cancelled in 2004-2005, I just haven't been able to put my heart into it. And it has nothing to do with being bitter or begrudging towards the league or its players; the fact of the matter is that in that year away from hockey, I simply found better things to do with my time.
It probably doesn't help that I was in South America when the Oilers made their miraculous run to the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, or that the Leafs have been so abysmally managed that they've given me exactly zero reason to tune in for even a minute of my time. In fact, if it hadn't been for the meteoric rise of Kent Huskins to hockey superstardom, I don't know if I'd be watching hockey at all.
But not even I, the hockey killjoy that I am, can resist the allure of the Stanley Cup playoffs. It is, hands down, the most gruelling, trying, and exhausting tournament in all of sports. Only March Madness rivals the playoffs for drama, and there is no better scene in sports than the sight of the winning team parading around the ice with the greatest trophy in the world.
So settle in for two of the most exciting months in sports. As for my prediction? As long as the monkey keeps going with Husker and the Ducks, I'll gladly back her every pick.