Saturday, April 07, 2007

High Hopes, Shattered Dreams, and the End of the Line (Part 2)

(continued...)

The rest of my evening involved the monitoring of the races for the final two playoff spots. Tonight was a pivotal night, with all 5 teams in action today just to keep things interesting. I'm sure many people know that my heart belongs to the Caps first, the Montreal Canadiens second, and the Calgary Flames third.

So the first order of business was a Habs win over Toronto to clinch the 8th spot and a first round date with Buffalo. After what had to be one of the craziest hockey games I've ever seen, the Leafs squeaked by the Habs to win in regulation 6-5, thus ending Montreal's season abruptly and unpleasantly. I don't think the reality has completely sunk in yet - I had taken it for granted that the Habs would be in, the Leafs out. I tried everything. I was on my knees pleading with Montreal to score. I was jumping around in front of the TV screaming not-nice things at the Leafs. My efforts were futile (and somewhat ridiculous) and now I have to regroup a bit.

Oh, and I have just two words to say, and I mean it with every fiber of my Leaf-hating being - go Islanders.

On to the Flames, who were playing out the last chapter of the Battle of Alberta with a visit from the Oilers...admittedly a battle that has lost some of its bite with the departure of Ryan Smyth and the subsequent nosedive by Edmonton. On the flip side, Colorado tried to keep their playoff hopes alive and avoid missing the postseason for the first time since they relocated from Quebec City as they played host to the Nashville Predators. A loss by the Avs or a win or overtime loss by the Flames would clinch it for Calgary. So with a minute remaining and down by a goal Colorado does what any team would do in the same situation - they pull the goalie. Nashville scores with 24 seconds left.

Game over. Avs' season over. Calgary is in.

Wait. Calgary is in. Calgary is in? CALGARY IS IN!

Hallelujah, I have a team to root for in the playoffs.

So that was my day. I'm emotionally and physically drained with the effort of supporting three teams only to see one of them continue on to victory. I'm celebrating yet another Flames' playoff berth while praying that a big boulder will drop on the entire Toronto Maple Leafs' team. I'm reflecting back on the good parts of the Caps season while hoping for a bout of selective amnesia to remove all the forehead-slapping moments of the Caps season. I'm exhausted.

But life goes on, and tomorrow I turn my attention to the next generation of Caps as I head up to Hershey for the final Bears home game of the season. After 82 games of heartache, I'm hoping for a little sunlight to squeeze through in the form of a Bears' win. It's one way to remind myself that the future may not be so far off for this organization, and the day will come when the Caps will return to the postseason.

For now, thanks for stopping by the Cheap Seats all season long - I hope I was able to inject a little humor, a little entertainment into the past nine months...because you have to laugh if you're a Caps fan. Heck, if you're a hockey fan. It keeps you sane.

The end of the season doesn't mean the end of the excitement, though, so be sure to check back throughout the playoffs as I turn my view outside the beltway towards the 16 teams who made the cut. Also to come over the next few months:

- the draft lottery (where the Caps are positioned for another top five pick)
- the NHL Entry Draft
- new uniforms in red, white and blue, something that was subtly teased throughout today's game
- free agent signings and big name trades starting July 1
- training camp picks and pans
-...and much, much more! Or less. We'll see how it goes.

2 comments:

Murshawursha said...

Dang.

Uhm... Wild all the way? I guess that'd have to be my third favorite team...

CapsChick said...

I would mock you, but since my Habs didn't exactly set the world on fire this season either I'll let it go. For now.

Next year, though... ;)