Okay...well, maybe spring isn't actually visible in the air, but you can see it on this page of the calendar. And when spring is this close, it's time for me to get anxious.
I want a Cup. I really want a Cup. I watched the replay of game five of the '93 Cup final versus the Kings last night, and it all came back. The nail-biting during all the overtimes. The McSorley stick measurement. The funk after the first two Nords games, followed by the high of coming back to beat them. Eric Desjardins' hat trick. St.Patrick's Conn Smythe win. The last, glorious minutes of the last game, knowing the Cup was won. I want it all back again.
But, in remembering that wonderful playoff run, it also comes to mind how much has to go perfectly right if a team is to go all the way. Even if all the pieces are in place...offence, defence, special teams, goaltending, coaching, toughness and chemistry...a team still needs to stay healthy, to get the lucky bounces and NOT get hurt by iffy reffing. That's a very tall order.
So now as spring nears, I get anxious. What if a key player gets hurt? What if there's some kind of internal incident that hurts team chemistry? What if the kids lose a couple and get into a confidence spiral just as they should be peaking? There's so much that could go wrong.
I worry because, when it comes down to it, we want a Cup for the glory of it...but also because a Cup means the longest season possible for our Habs. I'm having so much fun watching them this year I don't want it to end. Last year when it ended it was almost a relief, after the weeks of watching the scoreboard and praying they'd scratch into eighth. But this year's been so great. All those moments: Komisarek robbing McCabe for the OT winner against Toronto. The comeback against Jersey. The BIGGER comeback against the Rangers. The sweater retirements. Price's first shutout. The emergence of Pleks and the resurgence of Kovalev. The power of the power play. Markov scoring a shootout winner. Owning the Bruins. It's all been so much fun.
So, while I look forward to the playoffs, I also worry because the end is inevitably near and the summer awaits. I just hope it's the shortest summer possible, and we get to enjoy our Habs as long as we can.
Let the good times roll!