Sports are funny, aren't they? In any other area of life, I would feel pretty ridiculous swinging back and forth so wildly from one emotion to another, but in sports I think a lot of people do that. Honestly, I think that's a little bit of the appeal of being a sports fan. Those who don't like or appreciate sports don't get it, but it's kind of awesome. We spend almost every hour of the day tempering our emotions, trying to stay on an even keel because that's the socially acceptable way of doing things. When it comes to sports, hey, let it rip. The devastation I felt on Wednesday night when Miroslav Satan scored that OT goal was as real as anything I've felt. The empty disappointment and doubt I felt Thursday and most of the Friday was real too, though hope had started to creep in a tiny bit by the end of the work day on Friday. I meant every word of the last post I wrote. Which is why it's crazy that after Friday's game I'm suddenly full of joy and optimism. I feel completely rejuvenated! Ordinarily I'd think I'm a total sucker, but I'm just going to chalk it up to life as a sports fan especially when your team is full of a bunch of talented but inconsistent little brats. That's right, it's all their fault.
Things I liked about last night's game: Derek Roy and Jason Pominville combining for a very nice goal, Mike Grier leading the way and shrugging off a puck to the head, the Sabres finally giving a pretty good effort for 60 minutes, the Bruins finally looking like the average team that they are, Tyler Ennis buzzing everywhere and scoring one of the most deserved empty netters ever, Paul Gaustad taking a little chop at Zdeno Chara, Cody McCormick and Craig Rivet piling in to help when Chara fought back, Ryan skating in and dropping the gloves, Patrick Lalime's postgame dance, and of course, Ryan Miller's kicking pornstatche. (I spent a lot of time debating this today and the other Sabre I'd most like to see in a pornstache is Toni Lydman.) Game 5 finally looked like what I anticipated the whole series looking like
In the end it's Ryan that really gives me the most hope though. He's been fine in this series overall, but with the exception of the first overtime in Game 4 he hasn't been RYAN MILLER. He hasn't been the goalie who can steal a game. When he skated out to the scrum and then threw his blocker or glove (I can't remember which it was) down on the ice, I thought, "Yes! There he is!" That's our guy. That's the guy who has led with his attitude all season, really for the last three years. If that guy shows up in Game 6, forget it, it's over.
So for the next 48 hours or so I'm going to embrace the words of Andy Dufresne, "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies." So here's to hope. It's a lot more fun than disappointment.