Oh man. There are no words that can do any justice in an attempt to describe how crazy-mad-excited I am right now! Tonight is what true hockey lovers call heaven: a GAME SEVEN in the NHL playoffs. Okay, so maybe you're not as excited when your team is in said Game 7. They're incredibly nerve-wracking and intense in the best of situations. Trust me, I know.
Detroit fans will certainly remember a certain Game 7 in recent history. No? Well, let me remind you: 2009. Detroit Red Wings vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. Stanley Cup Finals. That's right folks -- not just some measly first or second round Game 7 (ha, trust me - there is no such thing). This was the real deal...the Cup was on the line. The last time a Game 7 had been played in the Finals was in 1964, which shows you just how truly rare these amazing games can be.
The Wings had won against the Pens the previous year, so it was the epitome of an epic rematch. We had home ice advantage, so imagine my shock when I found out, thanks to my wonderful mother, that I would be going to the game. Say what?? Back in those days, we didn't have season tickets...so seats for this particular game were incredibly elusive. I can't begin to tell you how excited I was, or how confident I was that we would win. There truly was no doubt in my mind...I knew I'd be seeing Lidstrom & Co. lifting the Cup in Joe Louis Arena.
Well, without going into the depressing details...I didn't. Instead, I was running out of the arena with my friend Wendy so that I didn't have to see every self-respecting hockey lover's worst nightmare lift the Cup on my home ice. That would be Sidney Crosby, for you newbies following along. The image in my mind haunts me at night, it's true.
That was nearly two years ago. And no, this Game 7 won't result in either team skating laps with Lord Stanley, but it will no doubt be one for the books regardless. Detroit and San Jose have similar styles -- they are both incredibly skilled teams that like to puck handle, which makes for an awesome game. This time, we don't have home ice advantage. But ya know what? I'm not too worried. The Wings were great on the road in the regular season, and they're too experienced to get caught up in that. My only hopes for the game are that the officials call it fairly and consistently, that we bust our asses to score the first goal (and quick), to continue to beat down on SJ's confidence, and that someone white washes Joe Thornton before the game is over. Oh, and that we win, obviously. Not too much to ask, right?
Happy Game 7 Night, friends! And LET'S GO RED WINGS!