On April 27th, 2017 I went to see the Sens take on the Rangers. It was game one of the second round of the playoffs and though it’s not like me to buy tickets to the first game of a series, I did – likely on account of the stupid Rangers being m’lady’s most hated team in the league (a throwback to them beating out her beloved Canucks in the finals way back when).
It was a great game and we both had a lot of fun. Karlsson got the game winner with about four minutes left in the third period and the Sens won 2-1, continuing the team on a path that took them this close to the Stanley Cup finals. Which brings us to today’s lament.
My cousin (of which I have very few: four to be exact) is a big, big hockey guy. I remember going to see him play in the Moncton Coliseum when I was a kid. He wore number 15 and was pretty quick to drop the gloves, and he was recently inducted into the Moncton Sports Wall Of Fame (along with his Wrigley Tournament teammates).
Anyway, Kenny has hardly ever set foot out of Moncton – he’d certainly never been to Ottawa – and he had never been to a live NHL game before, so as the Sens won their way closer and closer to the final round of the 2017 playoffs I hatched a plan: if (when) the Ottawa Senators make it into the finals my brother and Kenny could drive up to Ottawa for a couple of days and we’d take in a Stanley Cup Finals game. It was an easy plan to make because i was convinced one or both of them wouldn’t be able to make the trip but lo, after two quick phone calls all systems were surprisingly GO…I could hardly believe it. All we had left to do was to sit and wait for the Senators to continue their post-season magic.
So there was a lot invested when the puck dropped to begin game seven of the third round, Ottawa versus Pittsburgh. When the game stretched into overtime I couldn’t sit down, visions of an unprecedented guys family weekend party teetering on every bounce of the puck. And then…second overtime. With the hour-later time difference and his early-starting job working against him, poor Kenny had to go to bed without even knowing that stupid Sidney Cosby ended our dream with a sharp pass to Chris Kunitz, who buried the puck over the shoulder of goalie Craig Anderson.
And just like that an epic gathering of unknowable proportions faded away into complete nothingness. How long would we have to wait for another chance? Next year? Five more years? Never? I – like many a hockey fan in Ottawa I’m sure – slunk into my couch and turned off the TV for the season*, but feeling like I lost more than just a hockey game caused me to slink a little lower than most.
Go Sens Go.
*Metaphorically of course. There’s still Law & Order and stuff.