So here's the deal. We are either the most dangerous 7th or 8th seed to ever qualify for the playoffs, or we are right where we deserve to be and will be an easy first round hors d'oeuvre for (pick one) the Penguins or Habs. There is no in between. Either the Hockey Gods have finally been appeased by our many many sacrifices over the last four months (although, in hindsight, I really think we needed more blood), or They are simply toying with us in order to inflict even greater pain and suffering. I'm not sure what grievous sin we may have committed in Their eyes to deserve such cruelty, but I'm pretty sure it involves one of Rayzor's suits.
The Slightly More Elevated Lows:
- He would prefer we called it "fashionably late": Hi Jason! Nice of you to show up! I'd like to congratulate you on your first (intentional) body contact of the year. Yep, nice little crunch on the B's forward at our blue line there. And the way you chased down the puck to try and negate an icing in the first period? Fantastic. Didn't know you had that kind of speed. After all, we hadn't seen it before. There is still the little issue of the jackass turnovers...but, "HA-HA!! that's just our Jason!", right? And, sure, it was Game 82, and three of our top forwards were out...but hey! Glad you and your emotions could finally make it. Will you be staying a while? Can I take your coat?
- WHO DISTURBS MY SLUMBER?!?!?: Not sure if it was intentional or not, but way to go Sens fans! For most of the first period, you made enough noise to make me look up from the depths of my despair to make sure we weren't playing the Leafs. Of course, all of that cheering must have really tuckered you out, so I completely understand why you all took naps in the second period. And your boisterous reaction to the announcement that we had made the playoffs in the most pathetic way possible was also quite nice. So go ahead. Bust loose! Give yourselves a tepid one-handed ovation!
- Hey Rocky! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat: Shean Donovan must not know his own terrifying strength. How else to explain the first period holding penalty he incurred by reaching up, waaaay up and placing his weak hand on the shoulder pad of 6' 9" Zedno Chara thus exerting enough force to cause one of the strongest players ever to lace up the skates to violently fall over backwards in an explosion of flailing arms and tossed equipment. Wow. I mean strength of truly superhuman proportions can be the only possible explanation for that, can't it? Gosh, golly that was impressive. I know Dan Marouelli was impressed. You remember Dan, don't you?
- Insanity (n): The act of repeatedly doing the same thing, while hoping for a different result: Our top shut down defensive pairing have garnered themselves the combined name of Christon Phillichenkov (TM-Scarlett Ice), so inspiring has their work been together. I would propose a second tandem be thusly honoured: Andrade Meszedden. Never, in the annals of the sport, have two season-long train wrecks of defensive incompetence been so inexplicably intertwined. When they are teamed together, as they almost always are, their refusal to take the man, or initiate any body contact whatsoever along with their utter disregard for sound positioning, their laughably weak puck protection and their constant inattention to where their forwards are on the ice, truly is a sight to behold. Every fucking time.
- If only there were some way to get this little black object into that big net like thingy: All day, you heard it. This was the most important game of the year. "Game 7" I believe you called it, Jason. We had to win. Our playoff lives depended on it. "There's no tomorrow!" "We can't leave anything on the ice!" "We'll need everybody at 110%!" Ottawa shots on goal after the second period? Twelve.
This might just be the booze talking, but I can't remember ever feeling so underwhelmed and scared shitless going into the first round of the playoffs. I searched in desperation last night for a glimpse, a sign, anything at all that the boys actually felt that sense of urgency that a successful playoff run requires and upon which I could hang some hope. Nothing. Not a goddamned thing. Maybe I'll feel better before they start next week, but for now, I'm booking some tee-offs before all of the good spots are taken.
Either Pittsburgh or Montreal, starting, in all probability, Wednesday. There is one thing for which we should be eternally grateful, however. Since there is no way we can finish higher than seventh, at least we won't have our asses handed to us by the Caps (sorry Hartolina, you had your chance last night).