Saddest words I'll have to type for awhile.
I had expected to be at game 7 tonight. I mean that. I went to game 5 and watched my team play outta of their minds. It wasn't a question of IF there would be a game 7. It was a known. My vocal cords trembled at the notion, just now fully recovered from their Saturday abuse. Walking out with a sea of elated fans, you knew anything was possible.
But it was not to be.
I could spend time crying, whining, blaming, pointing fingers, trying desperately to explain the whys of the surprisingly early end to this post season, but I won't. What's done is done. No matter how well we dissect a season, it won't change how it ended.
The Sharks are NOT the first team to suffer multiple years of seeming inexplicable playoff disappointments. They aren't the first President's Trophy winners to be knocked out in round 1. Treating them like crap because of what happened isn't my style. I think that disgusting. No one feels this like the players do. They have fought and worked for this moment their entire lives. They're all dedicated to the game, and play it with a singular dream in mind. They WANT the Cup. They don't just roll over and die and then decide to go play golf. Anyone who thinks the team isn't broken up over this is full of it. Watch Nabby give his post game interview and tell me they didn't truly want this.
They DID NOT choke. They DID NOT lack heart. These were not and are not the same Sharks who've been forced to deal with those same reactionary calls season after season. Saying that also insults the Ducks, who played incredibly well in this series. Hiller was a beast. If he's less on his game, the Sharks take game 2 and suddenly we have a different ball game. They could take game 6 and we'd be in for a game 7 tonight. What would the line on the team then?
It was a great season, it just ended sooner than we all expected. The weight of that won't fully sink in until the next round starts and I realize I won't be using my Game F ticket. It won't hit me until I realize I won't be back at the Tank for a game until later September. No more Sharks vs drawings this year. No more frantic game days posts when I forget to do art for the Sharks opponent. No more wasting all day looking at blogs. All that's done for the summer.
Somewhat impatiently, I await the return of the hockey season in September, and the first game in October. Until then...