Hockey is unlike any other sport. If you’re a fan of any of the three teams left, watching a playoff game has ceased to be fun. The stakes of each game and the randomness and quickness of goals makes anxiety higher than any sport. No sports are enjoyable when it’s that intense, but what makes it so intense, so damn exhilarating, is that the teams are so even.
The Rangers run to this point embodies the craziness of hockey, and in a weird way the Kings do too. The Kings were an eight seed, no NBA eight seed has ever won a championship. The Knicks got close in 1998, but couldn’t finish off the Spurs. However the Kings haven’t just gotten to the Stanley Cup; they’ve plowed over their opponents, they’ve lost two games all playoffs.
The Rangers on the other hand, have been forced into a game seven in every series including this one if they beat the Devils in game six. The irony is that the Rangers epitomize structure, they have a dominant goaltender and rely on defense.
The Canucks playoff appearance feels like months ago, yet they won the Presidents Trophy and were Stanley Cup favorites. However they won only one game against the Kings. The Kings run now seems predictable because of how strong they’ve played, but their predictability is so unpredictable. A hockey season changes in the blink of an eye. The Bruins fell on a bad bounce in their own zone. Ottawa could’ve been facing the Devils had they found a way to score at the end of game six or seven, but that’s why hockey playoffs exist. To torture, shock, and scorn in a millisecond. It’s unlike any other sport, and it should stay that way.