BOSTON, MA - Gameday is finaaaally here at TD Garden. Boston versus Detroit - an Original Six rivalry renewed, with both teams facing off in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 1957.
As the Boston faithful awoke on Friday morning, it marked the start of a new journey, knowing that along the way, there would be ups and downs, oohs and ahhs, celebrations and head shakes - all in the name of heart-racing and bone-chilling playoff hockey.
And it all starts when the puck drops on Game 1, tonight at the Garden.
As always, there are many storylines heading into this one - the history and tradition of the franchises; Detroit's speed game countered against Boston's in-your-face, hard-nosed brand of hockey; a brotherly rivalry put on hold; a Wings' team that cannot be underestimated going up against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Bruins; the list goes on.
You can get caught up on all of those storylines here:
Game 1 Preview: Boston Up to the Challenge
Bruins' Eyes on the Prize, But Not Looking Past Detroit
Smith Brothers Put Brotherly Rivalry On Hold
Torey Krug Eager to Face Hometown Team
Bruins' Young Blueline Ready to Bring It
Five Questions: Iginla Set to Chase Elusive Cup
For Bergeron, One Goal Has Always Transcended Thirty
Chiarelli: "It's All About Experience"
Now, after you've read every game and series preview, transported yourselves into the minds' of the Bruins, and focused all your energy on weighing the odds of who may have the ultimate edge in this series, you can toss all of that aside.
Because starting tonight, the second season - what many deem as the "real season" - begins, and anything, I mean anything, can happen.
"Regular season success is in the past now," Denis Leary narrated in the final regular season episode of Behind the B, over video of Captain Zdeno Chara, the big 33 on his back, walked into the Bruins' locker room. "It's playoff time."
"Sixteen wins are needed to claim hockey's Ultimate Goal. May the best team win."
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