I wonder how many sport columnists opened the NHL season with the tagline, "What a difference a year makes"? Where would columnists be without tired cliches, torn from the 50s jukebox? Still: what a difference a year makes!
I didn't expect to get hooked into the playoffs the way I did. I didn't expect to gloat over the possibility of this turning into an entirely Canadian series -- but apparently even advertisers are thrilled at the prospect. What's that about? North or south of the 49th, we're all hockey fans -- aren't we? Don't Philadelphia fans shop at Canadian Tire?! If you prick us, do we not bleed?
All this, and no Leafs to slow things down -- though the Habs, God love 'em, are doing what they can. Frankly, it will be a better series if Tampa Bay (oops! Carolina!) wins. Either way, I'm having fun watching hockey.