Playoff hockey is returning to Canada in a big way.
After the pain of the previous National Hockey League season when only the Montreal Canadiens made the post-season, the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets, the Habs and the Ottawa Senators will all bring playoff excitement to the streets of their respective cities.
In Winnipeg, where they haven’t seen playoff action since the Jets left town to become the Coyotes, they were already partying in the streets when Calgary defeated the Kings to clinch it for Manitoba hockey fans.
Only the Leafs and Oilers failed to make it, after Ottawa came through with a win against Philadelphia to clinch a playoff berth.
Unfortunately it may be “next year” for a few more seasons in Toronto and Edmonton.
However it’s one thing to be excited about heading into the playoffs and it’s another to even consider the Stanley Cup coming north of the border for the first time since 1993, when the Montreal Canadiens won their 24th Cup.
At this juncture it’s anybody’s guess who will win it, although Montreal has to be considered the favourite amongst the True North Strong and Free contingent.
We do know that either Calgary or Vancouver will advance to the second round because they play each other.
Other than that it’s anybody’s guess and that’s what makes the second season so exciting, it really is a crapshoot and if things fall into place and a team gets on a roll …
Go, Canada, go.