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NHL Playoff Hockey is Back Giveaway

May 11, 2013
by JRiddall

A few months back after the “NHL lockout of which we’ll never speak again” I lamented, nay ranted, at the use of the phrase “Hockey is Back”. After all,  for me and so many hockey parents like me, the game we love never went anywhere. However, I and many others didn’t skip a beat in welcoming back the NHL flavour of hockey, which is undoubtedly among the finest in the world. In fact, the condensed 48-game schedule made the games played and watched even that much more exciting as every one had a heightened importance. I’d be in favour of having every season schedule shortened with a Stanley Cup champion crowned sometime in April, though I realize the financial ramifications of such a plan will never see it happen.

But now we’ve entered the second and decidedly more thrilling playoff season. Unfortunately, my beloved Winnipeg Jets were not able to force their way into the dance in the final days of this regular season, but with the Boy’s and Devil’s hockey behind us, my fix will come from watching double overtimes on the left coast until 2am. I don’t just want to….I have to, cuz for us true hockey fans, it’s in the blood don’t ya know. For me it started early on as I recall wearily watching what came to be known as the Easter Epic between Washington and the New York Islanders in 1987, which ended at 1:56am on Easter Sunday. I can still picture Bob Mason standing like he’d been shot after Patty Lafontaine’s winning goal beat him in the 4th overtime of Game 7. This remains the longest Game 7 in NHL history.

And with the first round of this season’s NHL playoffs under way, there has already been no shortage of drama or compelling story lines to keep us fully engaged on the edge of our seats. Ottawa disposed of Montreal in five games, but not without a line brawl and plenty of pugnacity. Just south of me in Toronto, the city has gone wild as their previously sad-sack Leafs are surprisingly holding their own against the Big Bad Bruins.  Likewise, the Islanders are giving the Penguins, and particularly their beleaguered goalie Marc Andre Fleury, fits heading into at least a game six. The Minnesotas, who momentarily had to resort to their third string goalie after number one injured himself warming up before game one and number two (who has MS) came up lame as well, were overpowered by a scary, speedy Blackhawks squad. The defending champion LA Kings showed their poise in coming back from a 2-0 deficit to oust the upstart St. Louis Blues with four straight victories. And the Canucks, with their bi-polar goalie problems, exited stage left on the wrong end of San Jose’s broom. The Duck and Red Wings are headed to a Game 7, which may be the only thing better than double overtime. After tonight and tomorrow night, there may yet be a couple more Game 7s to come.

In an effort to aid in my enjoyment and damn-near obsession with all of the playoff hockey yet to come, the fine people at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, an official sponsor and supporter of the NHL and its teams, have graciously provided me with an awesome prize pack, which I will be using in short order to host a friendly little playoff shindig with a few other fans (authorized and possible censored details and pics to follow).

Even better, they’ve offered me an opportunity to share the same with the other fanatics who drop by here from time-to-time. One lucky reader will win:

  • a Brookstone Prime Barbeque Kit
  • a Coleman 16 qt. Wheeled Cooler
  • Mixed nuts to snack on
  • a Coby Slim Wall Mountable Sound Bar with Bluetooth Technology
  • a $100 Gift Card to use at Shop.NHL.com and,
  • some fun Enterprise swag including a couple of stress relievers for when the games get tough and reusable stadium cups to hold beverages of your choosing.

Enterprise NHL prize pack

In order to have a chance to win this great prize for your own playoff partay, you need only do three simple things:

  • Regale us in the Comments section below with your own favourite NHL playoff memory (yes, even Leaf playoff memories, distant as they may be, are allowed)
  • Tell us who you are rooting for in this year’s playoffs
  • Provide your email address so I know where to reach you should you win the prize pack

The winner will be decided via random draw and contest entry will close when the final buzzer sounds at the end of the final game in the second round of the 2013 playoffs, so you have lots of time to jar your memory.

In the meantime, you might also want to check out Enterprise’s Hat Trick Challenge online game on NHL.com, where you can play daily to try to predict what happens on the ice or create private leagues and compete against your friends. I’ve signed in and its a pretty cool concept giving you more reasons to cheer, should your own beloved team also be watching from the sidelines.

So Good Luck, Happy Cheering and Go Team (My New Fave Yet to be Decided) Go!

#imahockeydad

Disclosure:  Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the NHL provided me with a gift package to host my watch party as a thank you for writing this post. However, the views and opinions expressed here are purely my own.

25 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill permalink
    May 11, 2013 9:28 pm

    Has to be the May Day goal for the Sabres against the Bruins. Great goal and a great call by RJ.

    • May 11, 2013 11:14 pm

      Thanks Bill. Thought this one deserved video proof to do it justice for anyone who doesn’t know the reference…though any true hockey fan surely should.

  2. CooperAlls permalink
    May 11, 2013 11:01 pm

    When I was 15 I camped out all night in line for Leafs playoff tickets, round three versus Gretzky’s Kings. Got a pair of greys in the old maple leaf gardens for game one and enjoyed possibly one of the top five greatest recent leaf playoff victories (in my opinion). The crowd was awesome and the Leafs came away with the game one victory.
    My memory of the overall game has faded substantially however the reaction to McSorleys hit on Gilmour and Wendel Clark stepping in and laying a beating on McSorley hasn’t. I’ll never forget the hushed silence after the hit turning to rage then elation as Clark was victorious over McSorley. It was late in the game but the tone for that amazing seven game series was set. Those two teams battled hard for the rest of the series but for me, no game will ever live up to that first one.
    As you can probably guess I’m cheering for the Leafs this year. GO LEAFS GO!

    • May 11, 2013 11:18 pm

      Awesome story Sheridan…thanks for sharing and good luck in the contest. I’ll also say good luck to your Leafs in these playoffs, though I can’t go quite as far as cheering for them as I’ve have been a self-professed anti-Leaf fan for years.

  3. Chops permalink
    May 12, 2013 1:30 pm

    Last year, I met Ovechkin the day before the start of the Eastern Conference Semis against the NYR. Starstruck, I decided to shake his hand, but the Rangers fan in me had to let him know who the better team was. He did not like this. At all. I seemed to have gotten in his head, as he underperformed that whole series and lost it for the Caps. Here’s to hoping he remembers that this afternoon as he takes on my number one love, The New York Rangers!

    • May 12, 2013 1:47 pm

      That’s a fantastic story and I wish you were around a couple of months back when Ovi played a back to back series against my Jets that started the Caps run to the playoffs. I think the Jets’ fans had the opposite effect on Ovi when they decided to cheer “Crosby’s Better” to start the first game of the series. The Caps shut them out in both games and Ovi started his resurgence right around that time. So needless to say, I’m with you today, Go Rangers Go!

  4. Brian Hutchison permalink
    May 21, 2013 9:47 am

    My fav playoff moment is when the Hawks won the cup and hearing Roenicks reaction! I think he was happier than the players! Lol

  5. May 24, 2013 2:39 pm

    My favorite memory was the fourth game of the 1997 Stanley Cup finals in Detroit. I got a last minute invitation because my friend’s son decided not to go (WHAT?!!) so it was with a great seat at the blue line that I watched the Detroit Red Wings complete a sweep of the Flyers for our first Cup in 42 years. In the 3rd period a drifting scrap of paper caught my eye and I looked up to see Joe Louis staffers on the cat walk high above the rink, loading box after box of confetti for the celebration.

    After Darren McCarty scored, (McCarty? Are you kidding?) we knew we had it wrapped up and the Joe could barely contain the building frenzy as the clock counted down. When the final buzzer went, the place exploded. It was the best night of my life and a treasured memory since the friend that took me passed away from cancer last year. What a gift.

    So, as if there’s any question, I’m rooting for the Red Wings again. #LGRW

    • May 24, 2013 4:45 pm

      Great story Laurie and I hope you’ll excuse me if I admit to cheering for the Hawks, but they have an uphill battle to get out of round two this year to be sure. Jimmy Howard is making a run at the Conn Smythe trophy. Good luck!

  6. Kevin Francisco permalink
    May 25, 2013 4:29 pm

    Obviously its the ’93 Habs playoff run that sticks out in my mind. Not only do you have the Leafs & Habs going deep into the playoffs… you have Gretzky’s no call high stick on Gilmore & his final appearance in the finals. The biggest part of that Hab playoff run was the unbelievable run of OT victories. The Que/Mtl series was one of the best ever with the Habs taking 4 straight after dropping the first two games (2 in OT)… then taking out the hated Sabres in a 4 game sweep where all games finished 4-3 Mtl (3 in OT). 2 more OT victories vs NYI brought them an 11 game win streak before losing game 4. I couldnt believe how awesome this playoff run was going with Roy stealing games all over the place! I was actually looking forward to a Mtl/Tor final (how awesome would that have been?!), but had to settle for watching them beat Gretzky & Co in the finals with another fantastic 3 OT wins. 10 OT wins en route to Cup 24!! Too bad they havent won one since – but that was just such a ridiculous string of OT wins, it has to be one of the best playoff runs in history.

    • May 25, 2013 10:05 pm

      A glorious run indeed and one not likely to be matched anytime soon, if ever. Even as an anti-Leafs fan I could find a way to appreciate them taking on the Habs in a final. Hell I’d like to see any Canadian team bring the Cup back home. It’s been way too long. Thanks for sharing Franco.

  7. rae barr permalink
    May 25, 2013 9:25 pm

    Well, I actually have 2 comments…the first is from Al….Stanley Cup semi finals (1992) Leafs vs. Detroit…..at the cottage for the weekend only to discover we have NO cable! Dilemma is Mitch is only 4 years old. If we all go to the local pub in town there is no one to babysit the 4 year old. There is only one Canadian choice and that is to pack the kid up, give him lots of sugary pop to stay awake and go to town to the local pub that is showing the game…..Borchesvksy scored the winning goal….which made for a very happy family….

    My fav playoff moment has a little humour involved ( well in my mind) The year is 2013, the Leafs have forced a game 7 vs. Boston…..the air is tense in the Barr household……Boston scores first, we start to think, well Leafs -at least you made the playoffs, good job boys!!! But then there is a turn of events…the leafs score!!!! They score again…OMG they score again….and can you believe it….they score again. Leafs are up 4-1. My husband, all 200 and something pounds is literally jumping up and down!!!! I mean jumping, spinning…its crazy in here…… That was short lived….Bruins score, they score again…( now I notice, a pressure headache must be building because he keeps holding his head-looking worried) And yes really…..Bruins score again, within the last few seconds of the game. I can’t actually believe this game is going into overtime, this is crazy. With that the jumping, spinning, head holding STOPS. All I hear is “I’m going to bed”. End of story…he knows the playoff dream is done for the season. I, on the other hand still hold a small glimmer of hope ( and it is small). And is it gone shortly into the overtime period. No words are spoken as I crawl into bed…….I get the best laugh the following morning, once the dust has settled…..The text is simple…..and I quote, “OMFG…I had a horrible dream last night that the Leafs actually blew a 4-1 lead over Boston.” hahahahah!!!

    Still a fan, still saying…we”ll get em next year!!

    • May 25, 2013 9:58 pm

      Two fine tales indeed. The first I appreciated from a reminiscent parental perspective, but I particularly enjoyed the second as an anti-Leafs fan who, you will likely not appreciate, thought the whole Game 7 Bruins/Leafs affair was simply dreamy ;-). That was some night o’ playoff hockey that shant soon be forgotten. Thanks for sharing Rae.

  8. Kevin permalink
    May 26, 2013 1:39 am

    My favourite playoff memory is Game 7 in 1993’s 1st round series Toronto vs Detroit – Toronto lost the first 2 games in the series in Detroit only to battle back and force a Game 7. Game ends 2-2 after 3 periods forcing overtime. 2 minutes into overtime Nikolai Borschevsky tips in a point shot to win the game and the series. Toronto goes on an incredible playoff run making it to the semi-finals. Lots of fun that year and the next year. Go Leafs Go.

    • May 26, 2013 7:59 am

      Late night memory huh? This one is probably the greatest, latest for most current Leafs fans and I grabbed the video here so you all can reminisce. Here’s hopin you get to have some playoff fun again next year. Thanks for the share.

  9. Doug Taylor permalink
    May 26, 2013 9:17 am

    Wow, how can I just pick one!!! I have been fortunate that my family have had Leaf season tickets since 1944. I have seen a whole lot of live hockey games…..and yes Leaf playoff games!! So you will probably find this one a little odd that it is not a TML memory. I got to go down to lots of games when I was young and saw a lot of the 70’s players play. Really my first memories of the NHL. My favourite memories are getting on the subway at Kennedy station in Scarborough with my Dad and heading down to Maple Leaf Gardens, spending the evening with him, going to the Hot Stove Lounge and meeting the players, popcorn in the box and the trough. But this memory I think I share with many. 1989 Calgary, Montreal. Lanny McDonald streaking down the wing, gets a pass from Nieuwendyk to score the game winning goal, and wins the Stanley Cup!!
    My one team to pick is the Leafs……but they are out so now I am just enjoying all the teams play. Gotta love playoff hockey!!!

    • May 27, 2013 9:27 am

      Great memories Doug. Nice to know someone here can physically remember Leaf playoff success ;-). And I unfortunately wouldn’t have been happy with the Calgary remembrance at the time as I’d developed something of a dislike for Calgary with my Jets having to face them and that team from Edmonton in the Smythe for so many year. In retrospect, that Calgary team was pretty awesome and it sure would be nice to see two Canadians teams in the Finals again. Thanks.

  10. @kimi8 permalink
    May 26, 2013 3:22 pm

    I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar
    When they won the cup…..

    I sported my jersey with pride while i served the drinks
    It was the 92/93 season and we were at home ice for game 5. L.A had won they first game caught them on a off night but then my boys stepped up and took the next 4 games straight!
    I can’t say my jersey choice was popular that evening but they boys out drinking decided to taunt me with side bets. I of course being a stubborn women that bleeds bleu, blanc at rouge and have for over 30 years now I did not walk away from these side bets. I of course was nervous about what happens if they lose? But the amazing bunch of co workers had indeed backed me saying they would spot me their tips if I had to pay out the over $2000 would of side bets that were riding on the outcome of this game.
    As we know My Beloved Montreal Canadiens won game 5 on June 9th in Montreal to finish L.A 4-1 Final. I thought the young lads in the bar would take flight but they all paid up in good spirits of the game and they all added additional tip in it for me for my delightful service. So that night not only did my boys bring Stanley home where it belongs but I walked out of work with 2500 extra reasons to smile…. : )
    Side note- Colorado has moved up to my #2 team just this past week guess you know why! ; ) #forever33

    • May 27, 2013 9:21 am

      Well I’m not sure I can condone gambling on sports (who am I kidding), but a great story to follow on Leafs memories from the same year. Probably shoulda been those two for the Cup, but ah well, that’s the way it goes. Thanks to you and the Human League for the memory.

  11. Derek J permalink
    May 28, 2013 10:35 am

    When Leafs fans are asked to reminisce about their favourite playoff moments, it’s unfortunate that hundreds of thousands of die hard fans probably have just 2 or 3 to choose from. Unless of course you’re over 90. As a life long member of Leafs nation, my favourite playoff moments are certainly not unique but just as special none the less!

    Spring 1993 and the upbeat but underdog Maple Leafs find themselves in a game 7 vs. captain Steve Yzerman and the heavily favourited Detroit Red Wings. I’m sure I had watched regular season games that year but this is my earliest memory of Leafs hockey and how can anyone have a better introduction into the worlds greatest sport, but by witnessing game 7 overtime. It’s OT, a 3-3 game and the Leafs pour it on with nothing to lose, Bob Rouse let a point shot go and lil’ Nicki Borechevsky reaches out and is able to tip the shot into an open net past Tim Cheveldae. If you could snap pictures of myself and probably all of Leafs nation, we probably all looked like Brian Papeneau. It was that moment that taught me about the excitement of hockey, the thrill of the upset and was also likely the moment that i subconciously decided to cheer for the Leafs until the day I die.

    After the 2013’s Leafs epic epic first round collapse, I cheer for………… Great hockey !!
    How about a Hawks/Pens final ? I guess since I cheer for great hockey, I think having what are in my opinion, the two best teams in the league meet would be nothing short of amazing. Once a team becomes champions, what do they want next ? They want to become a dynasty and in Pittsburgh and Chicago, you have two young talented teams led by superstar captains. Both Sid the kid and Captain Serious have 1 Stanley Cup ring, both have superstar snipers along side them. (Kane/Malkin) I believe whichever team came out on top would be considered the sole powerhouse of the NHL and one step closer to becoming dynasty.

    • May 28, 2013 12:36 pm

      Well, I guess I’m happy and sad for you in that you can appreciate the value and beauty of great hockey, but through a confluence of unfortunate timing and proximity you’ve been cursed to root for a team which has left you wanting that which you appreciate time and time again – this year’s Game 7 meltdown only adding to your pain (though it’s probably for the best for the Leafs from a long term development perspective as much as it may have stung).

      Hawks/Pens final would be great, though I think the Kings and Bruins both might have something to say about it with their big body games. Regardless there is no doubt a bunch of great hockey yet to be played and enjoyed; starting with two game 7s over the next two nights.

      Thanks and good luck with the contest.

  12. Kevin Francisco permalink
    June 10, 2013 11:31 am

    While it’s not a Tor/Mtl final, this year’s Bos/Chi final should be an awesome one! First original 6 matchup since ’79… and because Hockey Dad I now have a new prize pack (it arrived today) to help me enjoy it even more! Thanks for running the contest & having a great blog for us all to enjoy!
    Enjoy the finals!
    Franco

    Franco's Enterprize Rent-a-Car NHL Prize Pack

Trackbacks

  1. Anything Can and Did Happen in a Game 7 » I'm a Hockey Dad I'm a Hockey Dad
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