The Florida Panthers are having their big moment. They entered the playoffs not only as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, but they had the worst record and fewest points of any team to make the playoffs! Who did they face off against in the first round? Only the Boston Bruins, who had the single best regular season in NHL history. They go down 3-1 in a best-of-seven series, and then proceeded to win 3 straight games, 2 of them in Boston, including a Game 7 for the ages. How do they follow that up? Well, they’re up 3-0 in their second round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs. While they’ll be hard pressed to outdo the 2012 LA Kings, who win the Stanley Cup as the 8 seed and beat the top 3 seeds in the conference to reach the Finals, the Panthers are showing everyone once again that all you have to do is get in the dance. The regular seasons are brutal and take a toll, both physically and mentally. As fans, it’s easy to get wrapped up in daily performances of our favorite teams. In fact, it just may be our jobs to live and die with every pitch, made basket, or puck drop.
However, the ultimate beauty of sports is that we just don’t know how the playoffs will go once we get there. In fact, Cinderella stories are what makes sports so memorable! Whether it’s the Giants defeating the undefeated Patriots to win the Super Bowl in 2007, the 4th seeded Huskies defeating the 5th seeded Aztecs in the NCAAB Championship game, or the Miracle on Ice, when the US Men’s Hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics, big upsets are events we tend to remember for a long time. There’s nothing wrong with the best teams winning, but something about the underdog winning gives faith to every team and fanbase.
All you have to do is get into the playoffs. From there, magic can happen.