It’s that time again. When the loudest and most obnoxious guy in the bar tells you it’s the best time in sports, the NHL Playoffs. There will be a few tweets coming across your timeline that say something that has some combination of puking and snorting coke together, and they’re likely about watching playoff hockey. At least you’d better hope they are. Hockey fans want you to know the playoffs are the best theater because they make you the most miserable (there is a connection, to be fair).
Whether the NHL Playoffs are still sports’ most gripping theater is a question we don’t need to answer. It is for some, isn’t for others, miniature American flags for others. With the opening up of the game, the increase in scoring, and action, and some pretty intense storylines (oh hi there, Toronto), they will have entertainment value for anyone who might check in.
But, you might be thinking, it’s a crowded sports calendar in April and May. You’ve got the NBA Playoffs going as well, the MLB season running right alongside. You don’t have time to watch all the NHL playoffs. And you don’t have to! We’re here to tell you what should be given priority and what you can leave on the back burner and what you can ignore entirely. Life is about the economy of motion at times, and that includes what buttons you push on the remote, or how often. So let’s kick this pig!
We’ll go by sequential order and rate every series on the atmosphere in the stands and the action on the ice.
To follow Sam’s exhaustion trying to keep up with all the playoffs, follow him on Twitter @Felsgate.