As the Dallas Stars finished a 4 - 1 victory at the American Airlines Center in Dallas over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, a loud audible sigh of relief was heard around the NHL. It occurred last night around 8:25pm Pacific Standard Time. I'm sure if you were awake, you heard the loud "ahhhhhhh" from your own lips and from the collective lips of millions of other hockey crazed fans. Dallas clinched the series in 6 games after a come-from-behind third period effort and it was a tremendous series by the Stars.
If you were in tune with the world today, you also heard millions of subsequent sighs taking place all over North America throughout the day as fans of every NHL team enjoyed hearing, reading, or watching the Ducks get eliminated. Watching the most dangerous team get eliminated. Watching the most physically dominant team get eliminated. Watching the big brother, who always picked on you, get eliminated. Watching Goliath get toppled by the smaller and faster underdog and get eliminated.
Today, the remaining 10 teams in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs all rejoiced as their chances for lifting the heralded Cup just increased exponentially. Rather than go into the details of who, what, why, etc - I will just leave it that the Ducks were beaten in the series by a good team. I'm sure the Anaheim players and fans would rather be preparing to play in the second round, so we must find some solace. We take solace that most articles and talking heads are in agreement with my blog. They each recognize this situation. Each of you that are honest recognize this situation as it has been quite evident from your congratulatory nature to the Dallas Stars faithful today while blasting away at the Ducks with harsh words. While you congratulate the Stars fans, you also pay homage to the Ducks and the underlying feeling of relief that the most potentially dominant hockey team is no longer in contention.
We take solace in your remarks for we understand those hidden truths. We take solace in knowing that nobody wanted to get paired against the Ducks in these 2008 playoffs. We take solace knowing that while you are bashing and bad mouthing the Ducks, the reality is that you were really just afraid of the dominant jock in gym class. You know the chances were close to zero that you could defeat that athletic stallion. In fact, you knew you were going to lose and lose quite badly, so you bad mouth the jock behind his back to give yourself an ounce of pleasure. An ounce of self praise. An ounce of self encouragement. It's human nature and perfectly understandable. And on that one peculiar day when the jock stumbled and was handed an unexpected defeat, you were right there with your fellow speckled hyenas drooling, heckling and tearing away at the downed warrior.
So we Ducks fans search for some source of encouragment at the conclusion of our season and we find it hidden in your words. I also find it in other places as I won my Men's league championship last night. It was a one team league but still we won the whole enchilada and celebrated the lopsided victory. I was voted league MVP, Conn Smyth winner, Selke Award winner, Norris winner, and Richard trophy winner. The under-dressed girls who clean the ice between whistles all asked me for my autograph and personal photo too. Also, I have every player in the NHL today in my pool and my 15 fantasy leagues. There is no doubt that I will be champion of each of those leagues too. I have over 700 players on my teams alone. I win every week and nobody else even gets a point. I take solace in these magnificent victories. Everyone is trying to dethrone me and take my awards. I will not allow it to happen. I expect the same from my team - the Anaheim Ducks.
My 11 year old son is 6'3" tall and weighs 190 lbs already. He skates like the wind and eats wood for breakfast. He had 22 goals in his game yesterday. Amazing. Future number one NHL pick. My youngest son is 5. He is 5'11" and weighs 160 lbs. He is still a little small, but growing quite nicely. He only had 19 goals yesterday, but managed to make a few passes and collected 4 assists. I take solace in these things as well.
While this was written as a parody, you all know there is at least an ounce of truth mixed in as well. I will enjoy watching the rest of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs and see who will survive and become the next great hockey warrior. The next Goliath. The next highly despised team. The next Stanley Cup Champion. Good luck to all those remaining.