You forget, because it’s been so long, because it’s too easy to forget, what playoff hockey feels like.
You forget, if you’re from Winnipeg, because it’s been a lifetime and then some. You forget, if you’re from Toronto, because it used to happen, and for all the passion that is supposed to unite and doesn’t anymore.
You forget it you’re from Calgary and Edmonton, where the heartbeat of post-season hockey once lived, because at this time of year, it shuts down in Alberta.
You forget if you’re from Montreal because last year was followed by this lost year.
We are cheated, Canada, with no hockey in May, with not much in late April, with no building crazily alive the way Madison Square Garden was Monday night. You could feel it from the moment you walked in. It wasn’t just another day, another game. You felt it outside the building before you even entered. And no matter how long it has been for the majority of Canadian NHL cities, when we lose out on this, we lose something tangible from our sporting lives.
...The game at the Garden was no classic Monday. It wasn't close to that of Pittsburgh-Philadelphia in Round 1. There was a lot of dump, a lot of chase, a lot of hysteria. The series between Washington and New York is tied 1-1.
And as I left the world’s most famous sports arena, I felt both elated and sad, all the while thinking: God, I miss this.