Okay, what the hell. I've been keeping the hoping at arms-length because I've seen this before. The odds are so long, and the chance of a comeback so slim...when you look at the big picture. Coming back from a 3-1 deficit is really hard. But, still, when you look at it as one game tonight on home ice, after everything going against Montreal in the three previous games, you have to think something's gotta give.
Alex Kovalev can't have completely forgotten how to score. Chris Higgins is due. So is Andrei Kostitsyn. Goals from the defence have been more rare than normal and the PP still has the same guys with the same skills. No way is Carey Price as soft as he's appeared so far. Oh, yeah...something's gotta give.
So, I'm throwing my heart out there in belief. All week, I've been preparing myself for a loss, and getting ready to say goodbye to the season and the team as we know it in its 2008 incarnation. That way, if the loss happens, I won't be crushed, yet again, by great hopes coming to naught. But, that's the safe way. I think holding back and looking at things with cynicism means you don't feel the losses as keenly. But, you don't feel the victories as deeply either. That's why I've decided to expect a win. I'm believing in a win. Just one win tonight, to take the wind out of those arseholes' sails. I'm going to put my heart into rooting hard for that win to happen.
I will not expect every Flyer play to end up in a goal. I will not complain about the Habs' missed chances or the penalties called. I will anticipate every Canadiens' rush and PP as the one that will put them over the top. I will believe that tonight, the Habs will not only be the better team on paper and on the ice...but on the scoreboard as well.
When the final siren wails, and the team is standing at centre ice to salute their fans, I will raise a toast to the great season they've had...and the win. It will be balm to the beleaguered fan's battered ego to see the Flyers leave silently, heads down, wondering what the hell hit them. I will cheer when the team congratulates Price after it's over.
The Habs have every reason to win. They have every advantage in being on home ice. They're due. They've shown heart and dedication all year. They will prevail.
We'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.