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An open letter to hockey fans: enjoy the brutally painful and emotional ride known as the Stanley Cup Playoffs

With the playoffs set to kick off this evening, I’d like to urge everyone to just enjoy the ride.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Washington Capitals - Game Two Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images

I know, I know, it’s ultra easy for me, the asshole whose team just won the Cup to tell everyone to just sit back and enjoy the ride...but bear with me here. Before everything became sunshine and rainbows and unicorns just a year ago for us Penguins fans, watching a team underperform and fall short after being expected to win wasn’t the easiest.

In the blink of an eye, a decade passes you by and you come to a point where you realize you prooooooobably didn’t appreciate those ten years enough. Winning or not, flashing back and reflecting on those unappreciated years makes you realize you should probably just enjoy the current moment.

Just speaking for myself personally, I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit somewhere between sheer joy, happiness, anger, frustration, legitimate sadness, and pure rage.

We’ve seen some special things in this beautiful sport over the last several years.

Marty St. Louis’ goal to open Game 6 on Mother’s Day, right after his mother had passed.

It was 4-1.

Teams score on themselves sometimes.

2 goals in 17 seconds.

Bonino, Bonino, Bonino, Bonino, Bonino.

Vancouver became a riot zone after they lost Game 7.

The Penguins and the Flyers desecrated the game of hockey.

The Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup and barely anyone knew it.

PK Subban played the villain perfectly in Boston.

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin traded hat-tricks.

John Tavares snapped a 23-year streak of no winning.playoff series’ for the Islanders in double overtime.

Chris Campoli once did a really, really bad thing and made a really, really bad turnover.

Shea Weber got really mad and did a bad thing on a different level.

Petr Sykora called his shot.

The ride ends in, if not heartbreak, then at least disappointment for 15 of the 16 teams, but there is good reason why even then this is the best time of year for a hockey fan. The action is furious and the players are putting on one of the best shows you could ask for. Here’s to taking it in and enjoying the ride.

What are some of your favorite moments of this era of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey?