I wish I were writing this a month from now. Obviously we would have liked to keep playing, but you really need a lot of things to go your way to be successful in the playoffs.
A few reporters were asking me what I thought I had learned – that’s a tough question. I think I really realized how hard it is to win. Those teams that win the Stanley Cup have a lot going their way: you need a lot of healthy players and you need bounces too.
You can be a good team but you need a bit of luck too because it’s a lot of one-goal games and sometimes it’s just one shot that makes the difference.
For us I think it was really tough losing guys like Kes, Cookie and Cowie. They’re the kind of players who like to get in on the forecheck and crash and bang around. That’s playoff hockey.
But you know if I take a step back and stop wondering what could have been, I think overall I’m pretty happy with what we were able to accomplish this season. And next year hopefully we’ll be better.
The other question I get a lot is what I’ll remember most.
I think it’s a really difficult experience, and until you play for the Stanley Cup, you won’t really grasp how hard it is, but at the same time it’s really, really fun.
The energy at GM Place was just awesome and spirit in the city. The whole atmosphere is just amazing. You really get a sense of how important it is to people.
Overall I think the win against Dallas here in game seven was the one moment I’ll relish most. It was do-or-die for both teams, and coming back in the building here, the fans were just unbelievable. It’s difficult to try and put that feeling into words.
What’s next? I’ll probably head back to Montreal. I might play a bit of golf and see the family - mostly just relax and see my friends.
Last year I worked out with Stephane Dube (he’s the strength guy with the Pittsburgh Penguins). We had a pretty good group of guys that trained together: Giguere, Laperriere, Fernandez, Brisebois, and Theodore. Probably do that again.
Oh yeah, I’ll I have a ping pong tourney for sure. Marty says he’s been practicing and is ready for the challenge. Hey, I’ll do the same thing I did last time - I’ll beat him bad.
Oh yeah, one guy was asking me about poker on the plane. Yes, we played during the playoffs, it’s a pretty regular game now.
Willie Mitchell really picked it up down the stretch. Early in the year he was just a terrible player. Lately though, especially during the playoffs, he’s been winning some games. He’s now a pretty well-rounded player. He used to just big hands but now he’s starting to slow play and bluff a lot of guys.
I think Willie probably has the edge going into next season.
On the other side I’d have to say Roberto’s struggling. All I’m going to say is that he had a tough year (in poker anyway). Let’s leave it at that.
Anyway, thanks for reading the blog this season. It’s been a lot of fun and I appreciate all the comments. Have a good summer.</div>