From an entry dated 4/24:
SAN JOSE vs. DALLAS
I am bumfoozled by how many people are picking San Jose in this series. I guess on paper maybe they look better but based on first round performance I think it's awfully hard to get behind them. The Stars dismantled a good Anaheim team. They came in with a clear game plan and for the most part, stuck to it. I think they were the best team in the first round. The Sharks needed seven games to beat a team that really didn't play very well. They struggled to gain momentum, they struggled to keep momentum, and at times they didn't even look that interested. If Evgeni Nabokov gets hot he could carry them but otherwise I think they're done. DALLAS IN SIX. And I wouldn't be shocked if it's Dallas in five.
I didn't get all the details correct. The Sharks did look better in this round and even the three losses at the beginning of the series were mostly close. But as far as I saw, I was the only non-Stars fan to go on the record picking them to beat the Sharks. I really should be getting paid for this.
I made it through three overtimes last night - about 2 a.m. - before I bailed. If I'd known we were going to get the game-winner halfway through the following period I might have stuck it out but thinking the game was going to be over soon I popped a pain pill around 11 and I was getting pretty dang woozy. I also hated to start my work week that tired since Mondays tend to be tough days with the kids already. Sucks to be a responsible adult sometimes.
The three overtimes I watched were awesome though. Evgeni Nabokov's goal line glove save on Brad Richards was amazing but I think I favored Marty Turco's crossbar high kick save. If you can't fall in love with hockey while watching a game like that, you're probably just not cut out to be a hockey fan. I don't think there's anything else in sports like it. Last summer I said playoff overtimes were one of the things I loved most about hockey. The 1999 playoff run was my first dose of the NHL and even though I didn't know anything about the game and even though I barely knew the players and even though I had, up to that point, zero emotional investment in the Sabres, I remember every single detail about watching Game Six. Even though it was still a few years before I got really involved in following the team, I think it was partly the memories of that night - the excitement, the tension, the back and forth action, the passion and grit of tiring players, the sudden ending, the stunned losers and the celebratory victors - that helped eventually bring me back to the game. Every year it seems like there's a little rumbling about whether or not marathon overtime games are good or not. Mark me down for, "YES, YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES." If changes must be made, it would be nice to have penalties called consistently throughout, perhaps allowing the skilled players to end things earlier. But the day someone decides a playoff game will end in a shootout is the day I bail on the NHL.
So a super exciting game and Brian Campbell was in the box for the game winner? And complaining about the guy flopping afterwards? And really kind of a bust in the playoffs? Sweet. Hope you get that seven million, Red. Have fun in Columbus.
(Yesterday morning I wasn't feeling nearly so triumphant. I was a little scared that the Rangers and the Sharks were both going to live to annoy and frustrate for another day. Check out the new post at ModFan to see how I started to turn myself around with a little help from my friends.)