I have always been in awe of the postseason. In all of the four major professional sports, I am constantly captivated by what happens in the playoffs. Each sport has their own twists and their own appeal, but I will never grow tired of watching the best athletes in the world compete at the highest level when the stakes are at their absolute highest.
On Monday night, we saw two instances of incredible matchups, albeit with much different stakes.
In the NHL, the Boston Bruins defied incredible odds to eliminate a three-goal deficit in less than 12 minutes to knock the Toronto Maple Leafs out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Bruins, in my opinion, now have perhaps the two most compelling moments of the 2013 sports year. First, the incredibly emotional National Anthem at TD Garden just days after the Boston Marathon terror attacks. And on Monday, the improbable comeback against a storied Toronto team and fanbase that waited a decade to return to the postseason.
Watching something that seemed impossible become a reality is simply a part of what makes sports great. The Bruins, just years removed from winning The Stanley Cup themselves, played perhaps the best half-period of hockey of the entire season.
In the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies won the fourth game of their Western Conference Semifinal matchup against the defending Western Conference Champions, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The emotion in Memphis was real and incredible. Granted, I have spent so many nights in that building, and still feel a connection to the franchise. But that doesn’t change the fact that the Grizzlies erased a 17-point deficit to rally to beat Kevin Durant and the Thunder.
Elite athletes making elite plays. Incredible athleticism at its best. Improbable odds being scaled on a nightly basis.
I know some people are turned off by professional sports, and some of the stereotypes that come attached to the leagues. At the end of the day, give me the best. Give me the best storylines, the best performances, and the best games. On Monday night, we were treated to just that.