I have several things I want to touch on this week.

First and foremost, it’s hockey playoff time. Don’t judge me. I know I make fun of hockey every chance I get, but the Carolina Hurricanes in the playoffs is the only time that hockey is first and foremost. Playoff hockey is more exciting.

They dropped their last two games to Nashville heading into the postseason, but Jordan Staal and the rest of those “jerks” showed off and pulled out a game one win Monday night to take an early series lead against the Predators.

Speaking of the postseason, how excited are basketball fans in New York? The Brooklyn Nets are a betting favorite to win the NBA title and it’s still not as big a deal as the fact that the Knicks have clinched a playoff berth.

My only reasons to root for the Knicks to be successful beyond a sense of nostalgia are the players that I rooted for in college, namely Theo Pinson and Reggie Bullock.

Pinson has a Kent Bazemore-type work ethic and attitude that keeps him employed in the NBA despite a lack of minutes. Bullock, meanwhile, has shined as of late and his story is one that I think will soon catch the attention of the national press. He’s overcome heartbreak most can’t imagine.

I love the changes the NBA has made to their postseason with play-in games. Warriors versus Lakers for a chance to get to the playoffs is must watch TV for NBA fans.

As I wrote this, the Hornets have not yet played the Pacers for their opportunity to play the Celtics or Wizards for their chance at postseason play, but by the time you read this you will likely know or be able to find out what happened. I hope they get some playoff experience but they have no chance to get past Philly in the first round.

Someone online challenged us to compare the career stats of Troy Aikman and Jay Cutler and choose which one, if either, belongs in the Hall of Fame. I would not have thought it close but I was wrong.

Did you know that Albert Pujols is now a Dodger? Did you know that Albert Pujols is still playing baseball?

There was a time when this move would have been breaking news, but at 41 years old, Pujols has played well past his prime and that’s if you believe he’s only 41 and I don’t. The Dodgers must believe his bat can work its magic at least one more time. I don’t know if it can or not, but if I’m scrolling the channels and I see him coming to bat, I’m gonna stay and watch for a minute.

David Friedman is a longtime sports writer and lifelong believer that BLM. David can be reached via e-mail at fourthandlongcolumn@gmail.com.

Thadd White is Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance and can be reached via email at twhite@ncweeklies.com.