Don’t get used to this, all one of you who reads this blog.
I went to bed during the first intermission with a feeling of slight trepidation, and when I woke up around five or six in the morning, I checked the score to see if they won. They didn’t, of course, and I wasn’t surprised. I don’t know if they collapsed like a house of cards or if they clawed and fought ’til the end. I guess in the end it doesn’t matter, because they lost anyway.
This isn’t the worst thing, though. It was going to be nearly impossible for them to dig themselves out of that 0-3 hole. The team we all knew they could be finally showed up in Game 4, but it wasn’t enough. The Sharks were just a bit better. Now they get to rest their weary, battered bodies for five months or so, bodies that haven’t really had much time to rest since the ’06 playoffs, if they’ve been around long enough.
This has been a strange season for me, for a few reasons. I think, though, that I appreciate this team a little more than the team in ’09 that went to the Cup Finals and came so close to winning it all. This team had to work so hard just to get in and then improve their spot in the playoffs. They had to work so hard to get through Phoenix, which I think did take a lot out of them whether anyone wants to admit it or not.
I am proud of them. ’09 was such a disappointment for me for a multitude of reasons. I’d been pinning so much on the Wings that summer, to just lift me, my family out of some dark times for a little bit and when it didn’t happen, it was so crushing. The Wings losing felt almost like the team let us down.
I can remember being too drained to cry last year – even though I really wanted to – when the final buzzer sounded and the Penguins celebrated on our home ice. I remember watching Chris Osgood looking for all the world like a kicked puppy and wanting to cry and being unable to. I thought the only way it could get worse is if they didn’t even make it that far the next year.
I was wrong. This was an ultimately satisfying season for me, even if Lidström isn’t going to hoist the Cup over his head this June. It reaffirmed my love of the team after I thought it had been irreparably broken by the disappointment of ’09. We also learned a lot about this team, most importantly who our “goalie of the future today!™” is.
I think my grandfather would have been proud of this year’s team. There’s nothing he appreciated more than fighting through adversity.
Thanks, Red Wings. And congrats, Sharks. Good luck against Chicago (*spits*) or Vancouver.