Phil Harrison: Football and ice hockey play-off musings

WE currently find ourselves in play-off season, an extension of the regular campaign for teams in each of the Football League’s divisions desperate to claim that final promotion spot.

At most, teams will play three games before discovering their ultimate fate and with my own team Derby County enjoying mid-table mediocrity there is little personal interest.

Across the pond, however, I am truly gripped by a sport which has now overtaken all others in my affections.

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The NHL’s Stanley Cup play-offs make the Football League equivalent look like a kickabout in the park, with teams required to play up to 28 games in the post-season in order to lift the coveted trophy. That’s in addition to the 82 regular season games.

The time difference means a test of endurance must also be undertaken by the viewer, however. I’m just not sure how many more 4am finishes I can take – particularly when my own team, the New York Rangers, seem intent on doing things the hard way with a second successive Game Seven beckoning in the second round.