I must admit I was green with more than a little envy.
Early in Saturday nights game in Anaheim, the Ducks game operations department lit up the scoreboard with the official announcement of their upcoming first round Stanley Cup playoff series. Their opponent: The universally hated, yet duly respected Detroit Red Wings.
There was a unique blend of wild applause and lusty booing.
Let the playoffs begin.
Problem was that there were about 55 minutes of regular season hockey left.
Oh, sure, the Phoenix Coyotes gave it one last kick at the can. A proud group, the defending Pacific Division champs left the truncated season with a scent of a good taste for all. But the game, No. 48, felt more like an obligation then a battle.
I walked around the rink at ice level and noticed that not too many people outside of the Coyotes and their personnel cared for anything other than a quick 60. And frankly, there was more than a fair share of the Phoenix traveling road show who felt the very sa...