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Are we headed to a Conference finals letdown?

Image (1) Sharks1-thumb-250x166-11569.jpg for post 1621

There’s no doubt that this has been one of the most amazing hockey playoff seasons we’ve had in a very long time. Forget the multiple Game 7 dramas, or the absolute upsets of the Penguins and the Capitals. You could even overlook the history that was made last night in Pittsburgh, and you would still come away thinking this has been one heck of a postseason.

The television ratings are up.

Dan Boyle’s own goal.

Roberto Luongo’s delusion.

Joe Thornton’s redemption.

The Phoenix Coyotes took the Red Wings to the brink out in the desert.

Sami Salo’s.....well, Salo’s issue.

Ian Laperriere taking a puck to the face for the good of his team.

The multiple players that have returned early from injury, making a big impact (both good and bad).

All of this in just the first two rounds of the playoffs, and we still have two left to go. There’s really only one way to go from here, and that’s to some disappointing series in the conference finals. It almost feels inevitable. We’ve exhausted nearly every storyline imaginable thus far in the playoffs, from improbable comebacks to Cinderella teams, to the teams out West that we’ve all seemingly forgotten about.

Now we have four teams remaining, who have up to this point burned an incredible amount of energy and fought through so many injuries that a letdown is coming. Some of these teams will likely have nothing left in the tank and will get steamrolled by their opponent, lost in the dust on the way to the Stanley Cup.

Whether it’s Philadelphia, who seemingly reached into the depths of their hockey souls for one last gasp against the Bruins, overcoming a 0-3 deficit both in the series and in the game, or it’s the San Jose, who finally made it to this point only to find themselves facing an angry, rabid and hungry Blackhawks team.

Hopefully I’m wrong, and the chances are that I’m off base. Yet after so much greatness this season, there will come a point where it all crashes down and we’re left with a 4-1 series win the Conference finals before an easy sweep in the Stanley Cup finals.

Maybe it doesn’t matter. Those West Coast teams we’ve all forgotten about? They’ll destroy whatever team they face in the finals anyhow.