Chicago had better be ready 

April, 16, 2010
04/16/10
12:28
PM ET

In the first two days of the playoffs, we've had seven pretty competitive games. How competitive? All seven games were decided by just one goal. That includes a pair of overtime games. During the season, 301 of the league's 1,230 games went to OT. That's roughly one in every four games. I don't see why that ratio will be that different in the playoffs. In fact, we're already a little ahead of that pace.

Here are five playoff thoughts for the day.

1. I know we're only two days into this playoff chase, but if you're planning a trip to the Stanley Cup final series you'll want to know that Games 1 and 2 will be played on back-to-back days. The league tried that scheduling last year and they obviously liked it. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the final series will begin on a Saturday and Sunday. That means the final showdown would begin on either May 29 or June 5, depending on how the first three rounds play out. Bettman believes the back-to-back start allows for some quick momentum with fans (and television viewers).

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.

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