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Nothing left now but the hot stove...

In many ways, this was a playoff run for the ages. After hearing about the best-since-2002 ratings (sort of sad in some ways, really) I cannot help but compare this year to the majestic Mark McGwire - Sammy Sosa home run battle that "saved" baseball after its lockout.

(I guess McGwire = the Red Wings for favorite and team color reasons, although that's stretching an already thin analogy even thinner. Unless we find out that the Penguins were corking their sticks...)

Ultimately, the NHL's best team won. After the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Prongoilers and other Cinderella teams began fighting for and sometimes even winning the Cup, it's really interesting that we've had back to back dominant teams. The Red Wings and Ducks were both the odds-on favorites in their respective Cup runs, which shows you that there's always a trend even when it seems like new ground is being broken.

Anyway, it will be both nice and depressing to have a little break from the nail biting back and forth hockey of the playoffs. But soon enough, October will be upon us. And who knows which team will be the odds-on favorite to win the Pacific.

What are the Sharks, Ducks, and Stars going to look like after retirements, firings and free agency take their course? Will the Kings shock the world and find some competent goaltending? And could the Battle of California become the Battle of the Pacific (that last question is probably my fault)?

There's plenty of stories to follow. Over the hot, hockey-less months I'll throw in some random posts ranging from not particularly hockey related to cockamamie backseat GMing posts. All in the hopes of entertaining the unwashed hockey masses.

Until the draft, though, Old Lady NHL can take a break and rest her weary eyes...

Burnside roofs it with his Stanley Cup Playoffs wrap-up...