I was at the good ol’ hockey game last night. The Canucks, for the second year in a row, won the President’s Trophy. If you are not familiar with the National Hockey League…the President’s Trophy is awarded to the team that is best in the league. Last night was the end of the regular season. Next week the fun stuff starts. The run for the Stanley Cup begins. Oh, but I hope we can do it this year. It does a total number on your nerves and for two months your life is consumed with hockey. The Playoffs are intense. Hockey will rule the airwaves here in Canada for the next few months. And Canadians love their hockey.
It starts with 16 teams out of 30 that make it into the Playoffs. After round one that is reduced to 8 teams, after round two, 4 and if we make it to the finals then the last two teams battle it out for the Cup.
This is the only sport that I really get into in terms of the spectator aspect. It is also one of the most difficult games to play. It is multitasking personified. The player must know how to skate very well, stick handle, know how to fall, how to hit, how to pass the puck. Also, as a team they must be aware of where the other players are on the ice and assume and take over certain roles with the changes in position on the ice and this occurs constantly throughout the game.
It is the most physically challenging of all the team sports that are out there as well.
I will likely not watch every single game. If I did then nothing in my life would get done for the next two months. I would simply be working, eating, sleeping and watching hockey. I will check in continually and watch parts of the games. That was what I did last year…and then when we were in the finals I really made a concerted effort to watch the duration of each game.
That final game last year was a heartbreaker. Our boys just didn’t have it in them to push one last time. They were beaten and sore and had been pounded by a team that was physically more superior. And that’s the thing of it….you get down to Game 7 of the finals. The exhaustion was there, the pain they were feeling was there. It is hard to watch your team trying to dig a little deeper to manifest the will to win just one more game and not be able to find it. How do you lose gracefully? They did, however, and the Cup went to the team that deserved to win.
It is a sport after all. That is what we must remember at the end of the day. It is just sport. As heartbreaking as it is to watch your teams’ dream slip away for yet another year of hoisting the holiest of prizes above their heads, life goes on and we break for the summer and start again in the autumn as the leaves begin to fall.
Cycles. We are ruled by them to some degree. The seasons, day to night, our work week, our weekend, our tears, our laughter.
So to the boys who will be going after the Cup yet again, I wish you the very best in your pursuit this year. May success be yours. I, along with every other Canuck fan will be cheering you on. We will share in your pain and your glory. We will always support your efforts regardless of the outcome.
I know that you will all go out there and play your hearts out. You did that last year and I have no doubt that you will do it again.
I hope that this year it will be your time to shine and that you will know the full pleasure of being best in the league.
Go Canucks Go!