Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Past

I'm going to take you all on a journey. A brief delving into the ghosts of hockey past. In a few days, we'll turn to the optimistic hockey future (optimistic in the sense that Tom Hicks will no longer be the owner and we then have the potential to win a game).

I am about to admit something that only 3 people on this planet know. Which means, in all likelihood, that after appearing in this blog a grand total of 8 people will now know. I began watching hockey when the Stars first moved to Dallas. Not that I had ever paid attention to the game, but because I was cut for the first time from a baseball team and at that exact moment vowed to never enjoy the sport again and immediately searched to replace it with something new. Enter the Dallas Stars.

Throughout the years I have witnessed many highs and lows. I saw a Stanley Cup brought home, and even got to touch and hang out with it thanks to close connections with the Hicks family.
 Wide Right? Foot in Crease? I don't care.

I've also seen a bottle of cough medicine derail our goaltender the following season, ousting us from the Stanley Cup Finals, and sending the team into a slow downward spiral only to be momentarily revived by Brad Richards for one glorious post season run.

This brings us to more of less this past year.  My beloved DU Pioneers headed into the NCAA tourney as the #2 seed only to be thwarted by a first time team.  Oh the days when Paul Stastny, Matt Carle, and Adam Berkhoel were around.  Hell, I'd settle for the days when the crazy Czech Lukas Dora was around.  Good thing I still had the Stars playoffs to watch a few months later.

Oh wait, I didn't.  I forgot that our defense had more holes than swiss cheese.  I forgot that Marty Turco looked more like a defenseman than a goaltender.  I forgot that for as much as Brad Richards does on offense, that the loomed +/- always comes back and wins in the end.  Sure there were bright spots in the season, after all they still served beer at the games.  The problem was, I convinced myself that the team was wasn't flat out bad.  I knew the truth, but something inside me wouldn't accept it.  I defended the team right before the All-Star Break saying they looked amazing and surely we'd make it to the playoffs and then surprise everyone with healthy players.  I still hadn't lost hope when they needed a near miracle in the final 2 weeks of the season.  But like everyone who didn't support the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers, the hope turned to crushing reality and I got to watch 16 other teams play for the Cup.  At times I wanted to punch Marc Crawford in the face for constantly trying to make all of the players fit his system, instead of utilizing the talents he had around him and letting them do what they excelled at (please see Appendix A: Mike Ribeiro's venture into playing at Montreal skill levels).  At times I wanted to punch myself in the face for watching such atrocious players on the ice not named Martin Skoula.

Ironically, it was the complete disdain for the failure at tanking the season and getting a high draft pick (tune in for the next post for my delightful response to that) that led me to following others that shared in my pain: Maple Leafs bloggers.  After seeing the years of built up torture and anguish, it all became clear to me that blogging is an excellent release.  So really, if you hate what I'm doing here, you just need to blame them.

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