This years NHL playoffs is unlike any other I've ever witnessed, and I think many hockey fans would agree. Not only do I feel like I've been watching a marathon of hockey fights and gruesome hits, it's also been part scorefest balanced perfectly with outstanding goal tending. A little over theatrical at times, but hey, explosions are what make blockbusters. With bodies being tossed around like extras in a war scene, it's a little unsettling to see main characters like Jaroslav Halak, Henrik Sedin and Daniel Alfredsson go down like the first victims in a horror movie. But alas, in all epic tales a hero must emerge, and like they say it's better late than never.
As we approach Game 4 of the opening series, I still can't believe the Canucks and Penguins have allowed a combined 29 goals. There have been 4 suspensions, 3 ejections, thousands in fines and hundreds upon hundreds of penalty minutes, and counting. Not to mention the amount of players probably skating around with active concussions... I've seen more head trauma than an episode of Criminal Minds. I get it, with frustration comes retaliation, but at the end of the day it's not the amount of shots you dish out with your fists, it's the amount of shots you lay on your opposition's goalie. Every team wants to have their best players healthy and active, and it doesn't help when they're serving suspensions in a First to 16 race.
With most of the series' down to a Best of Three, stamina is going to be the difference maker for producers, while keeping your goalie in check remains the other. Should some teams gas themselves out by fighting and starting scrums before and after the whistle, don't be surprised if the only guy not fighting is the guy who scores the game winning goal.