This time of year brings an entirely new audience to the NHL, the casual fan who may not be very familiar with the game. In the interest of public service, then, I'd like to offer up this primer as to exactly why the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most thrilling, captivating event in professional sports.
1. Doing whatever it takes for the team. Unlike the old days when the overwhelming majority (16 of 21) teams made the playoffs every year, it's a tougher task in today's NHL to qualify for the post-season. Once you're there, it takes four grueling, best-of-seven series filled with high-intensity, physical hockey played every other day to capture the Stanley Cup, and players will do anything and everything to make the most of that opportunity.
2. Sudden-death overtime
3. playoff beards
4. bitter rivalries
5. viewing parties
Read the justification for all five reasons over at OtF.