I guess it wouldn't matter if it was a game five or game nine or game 11. Anytime a team is facing elimination from any sporting activity it raises the bar and usually raises the game's of the participants. And nowhere is this more true than the NHL. The Stanley Cup playoffs are a breed apart when it comes to playoff intensity. And hockey players also stand apart when it comes to separating the money and fame and everything else from the intense will to win. I believe there are some NHL players that would give up their salary for the year if they could win the Cup. They've already given up their teeth. Maybe its the fact that hockey has long been viewed as a niche sport. Never as popular as football, baseball or hoops...sometimes even falling behind racing in the fan's pecking order. Maybe it's the intensity of the fans. Hockey fans also raise the bar. You may think the crowds at a Packer game are into it...It's been said that the most raucous place in the NBA is Golden State...and we all know about the Cameron Crazies at Duke...but they are nothing compared to a crowd at the Shark Tank...or The Joe...or a Flyers, Leafs or Penguins game. If you have never been a hockey fan it's a great time to sample it right now. Two Game Seven's in the Western Conference. Tonight the defending champion LA Kings host the San Jose Sharks...and tomorrow Chicago will host Detroit. Even watching on TV you will be able to see this is something special....and it's not even the finals
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