The heart of this city, the passionate Flames fan, is breaking right now. You can feel the rupture resonating down the red mile, through every basement and every bar, and you can see it in every face.
Kipper is playing beyond human, as we're so accustomed to... yet it is not enough. The forwards are not creating chances, are not forechecking hard, and look as though they gave up before the series began.
The defense core is pinching at the wrong time, making unintelligent breakout passes, and not being physical enough.
For a brief moment in the second period, shades of the Flames past were felt around the Joe. Every battle, every loose puck, every shift.. they were ours. That is how we beat the Wings in '04. That is how we went to Game 7 of the finals.
However, that fleeting excellence is all but a memory. A few minutes after it started, it ended. We are left to ask one question, with one voice: where do we go from here?
The answer is engrained in our history and our passion. We grind, we wear them out, and we win. But before we do that, we hope.
The Flames will burn again. The 'Dome will be our kindling.