Veteran Panthers center John Madden took friendly fire in the first period of last night's Game 7 matchup with New Jersey last night, leaving bits of himself on the ice and suffering the sort of injury that generally knocks most other athletes out of competition. Most other athletes, of course, aren't competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Madden returned to the game and, if not for the superb overtime goalkeeping of Martin Brodeur, might have carried Florida to the second round. It was not to be, and instead it was someone else's fairytale—that of Devils rookie Adam Henrique, who snuck a shot past Jose Theodore in the second overtime period—that came true. But if you were still wondering why the Stanley Cup Playoffs are the best postseason of any sport, John Madden might have your answer.