PONTIFICATING FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE – AUGUST 3
By Leo Haggerty

IT’S FOR REAL

If you were one of those fans who were concerned about what kind of effort that you would observe watching the return of the National Hockey League, let me put your mind at ease.  The NHL is back and the boys on ice have returned with a vengeance.

If the first few games are any indication of what’s to come, buckle your seat beats and put your trays in the locked and upright position.  It’s going to be a wild ride.

Whether it’s a qualifying round best-of-5 contest or a round robin seeding game, the physicality has been playoff caliber.  None of the teams, so far, have “mailed it in” so to speak.

What does that mean from a fan’s perspective?  Let me warn you right now that, if you’re planning on watching, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Here’s the big question.  Will the teams that advance to the actual quarterfinal playoff round be able to “kick it up a notch” when it comes to the level of intensity?

If they cannot, I totally understand.  There’s only so much a player can take from the tank before they run out of gas.

But, if they can, this could be the most competitive and exciting Stanley Cup playoffs in a long time.  With the home ice and travel variables being eliminated, it will be a true test of physical skill and mental toughness.

The bottom line is that whatever two teams make it through the NHL playoff gauntlet to play for Lord Stanley’s Cup, it will most likely go the entire seven games.  That will surely be worth watching even if you’re just the casual fan, eh? .