This NHL post-season must be a dream come true for Gary Bettman. His marketing team hasn't had to do any real work to sell these playoffs; they've sold themselves. Look at the excitement of the first round where we watched Boston against Montreal in an original six rivalry match, Pittsburgh against their hated rival Philadelphia, San Jose and archrival Anaheim in the first all-California series in 40 years and Detroit and Columbus in a classic Michigan-Ohio rivalry match.
The second round pitted league superstars Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby against each other in a building playoff rivalry between Pittsburgh and Washington. When we weren't lost in the stars of that series, we watched the excitement of Anaheim against Detroit and Boston against Carolina as both series went seven games. Most of us probably missed out on the comeback kids in Chicago as they made Roberto Luongo look human, something St. Louis failed to do in their first round loss.
Just when we thought it couldn't get any better than that, it did. Chicago and Detroit renew their Original Six rivalry Sunday afternoon, followed up by Eric Staal against brother Jordan Staal on Monday as Pittsburgh and Carolina face off in the east. While these two series probably won't offer the same excitement as Ovechkin-Crosby, the storylines are all their to keep us just as interested and entertained. I can't wait to see what storylines we'll have to follow in the finals.
Will it be Detroit against Pittsburgh in a rematch of last year's finals?
Or will Carolina set up a rematch of the 2002 finals?
Or maybe Chicago beats Detroit and we get to see Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane againt Crosby and Evgeni Malkin!
It's too soon to tell what storylines we will have to follow in the finals, but I for one am going to be keeping my eyes glued to the television for the next couple weeks as we find out. Fasten your seltbelts, ladies and gentleman. We're in for one heck of a ride.