It's the second season, gut-check time, when the anticipation hangs thick in the air like Toronto summer smog and playoff beards are mere stubble on the eager faces of sports writers across the land. What? You thought we were talking about the players? What sort of pressure can compare to laying it all on the line and putting your name beside playoff predictions? Exactly.
So here we go. The chase for the Stanley Cup begins Wednesday night, with eight series and the Globe hockey writers, Eric Duhatschek, Sean Gordon, James Mirtle and David Shoalts have them all figured out.