First off, real life will interrupt me tonight so I can't liveblog the game (making it the third game this post season I have missed, I am slipping). Feel free to use the comments to fire away thoughts about game five in real time.
Secondly and more importantly, you'd need to be deaf, dumb and blind (and perhaps without a TV) to know that after two disheartening losses, this team is staring at the big middle finger of playoff elimination tonight.
On the one hand, I'm tempted to be angry at everything from blown calls to unlucky bounces to missed open nets to botched 2-on-1's to Sopel's hair to Mcdonald's neck to why the left side of Selanne's face isn't as messed up as the right side and why Pronger still shares this earth with the rest of us...but that's the easy way out of it.
The fact is if Vancouver gets bumped out tonight (or this weekend), it's not the end of the world. Only one team can go all the way to drinking bad beer from that silver chalice while everyone else gets to spend the summer thinking about what they are missing to go that same distance.
With that perspective and regardless of game five’s outcome, I am left with just this: the players, the management and we as mere plebian fans have every reason to love what happened this season. This is what no loss can erase:
- Breaking four franchise records (overall points in a single season, H. Sedin assists, Luongo's wins and Vigneault's wins as a coach)
- Going on an absolutely unbelievable run after Christmas 2006
- Winning the Northwest title in arguably the tightest division in the league
- Winning and advancing past the first round for only the second time in the past decade
They were supposed to be crushed in the second round, and for anyone who has even bothered watching it, knows Vancouver has in many stretches over the series outplayed and outworked the opposition. So, if you factor in that they played far better then expected, but eventually succumbed to injuries, some poor play and eventual defeat to a powerhouse like Anaheim, someone please point to me where the bad part of this season is.
Hell, if I said all of this would have happened back in September, I would have been laughed out of the NHL blogsphere all together.
They defied expectations from the word ‘go’. I appreciate that. As a rather die hard and quick to anger fan, I thank them for that. If nothing else, I thank them for helping me forget the clusterfuck that was the 2005 season and be excited for the years to come.
By why get ahead of ourselves? Game five is still anyone’s game. Let’s see what this team has left in them. A game six on a Saturday which just so happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo would set up an ideal evening to drink and get stupid happy pulling for this team.
Go get ‘em guys.