Detroit Red Wings
@ San Jose Sharks
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 6:00 PM PDT
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I don't know if I can do this.
I'm having a hard time finding the right words here. I've already done three straight posts about the Sharks trying to eliminate the Wings. I've gotten hyped up for each game, only to have my heart ripped from my chest over and over again. I don't have much strength left.
Each of the last three games has had a lot riding on it. First there was the chance of a sweep for the Sharks. Then there was the opportunity to win it at home. Then there was the desperate desire to prevent a game seven.
Now, of course, there's the danger that this could be the final game of the year for the Sharks. A week ago this scenario was unthinkable, but now it's a reality. The Sharks have lost three games in a row against the Red Wings and now they come back to San Jose and need to win in order to move on.
Oh God, this sucks.
My stomach hurts. I'm binging and purging on hockey news and analysis. I know I'm going to hate reading these cliche'-ridden, hyperbole-laden articles filling the hockey Internet right now, but I can't stop myself.
I'm starting to sweat. My vision is fading. There's a persistent tingling in my chest.
Oh - what's this? A package arrived for me, right in the middle of putting together my article down here at BoC Headquarters!
This is highly irregular. Normally I would never let something like this interrupt my writing, but since this day is already so crazy, what could it hurt?
Maybe it will be a bomb, and opening it will kill me. That would be...bad?
Anyways, let's see what's inside. Cross you fingers, folks.
Wow, this is great!
Come on out of that box, Chandler. It's so good to see you!
So here's the plan - I'm just going to continue writing the article I was going to write before you arrived, and you'll help me by acting out what I write in interesting ways. Sound good?
Hey, don't look at me like that. It's going to be fun, I promise.
Whatever Chandler. We're doing this, whether you like it or not.
Okay, let's get started.
After the Sharks' performance in game 6 on Tuesday, fans were left feeling pretty depressed.
At times like this, it's only natural to feel small and alone, lost in a big scary world that you can't control.
To deal with the stress, some fans turn to overeating.
While others look for comfort in distractions.
Some people spend their time venting their negativity on Internet hockey blogs.
While others find that they're happier if they just ignore hockey all together.
As for the Sharks themselves, this is gut-check time.
This is the biggest game in recent Sharks' history and, fairly or not, their performance tonight will go a long way towards defining them in the minds of hockey fans and the sports media.
They have to play hard, and keep their eyes on the prize (or sock, whichever).
Of course it's important to eat a good pre-game meal.
And the boys need to make sure to get lots of rest.
And finally, now would be a great time for a big game from Patrick Marleau.
Thanks for all your help, Chandler. You did a great job.
Yeah, you can go now.
If the Sharks win tonight, then they'll face the Canucks in the Western Conference Finals starting on Sunday. Hopefully San Jose will be able to learn from the mistakes they've made against Detroit that have landed them in this precarious position. If they win they will be riding a wave of confidence and triumph into the third round, and I'd love to see just how far they can go.
And if the Sharks lose? Well then the team will be branded with the label "chokers" more indelibly than they ever have been before. Regardless of the realities of this series, ignoring the fact that all but one game was decided by a single goal, and that the entire series between San Jose and Detroit has existed on the knife's-edge of luck, the Sharks will be called total failures. They will prove once and for all that they "aren't clutch," despite winning five OT games already and staging a history-making comeback against the Kings during the first round. None of their accomplishments will matter, because they'll be called "chokers" with glee until the Shark-hating peoples of the world suffocate on their own smug self-satisfaction.
But so what? Is that really so bad, in the grand scheme of things? Chandler won't care who wins or loses, that's for sure. All he wants is some yarn and some food, and he's a happy guy. Even if the Sharks lose, won't I be able to find some small amount of solace in the sight of my cat losing his mind with joy while playing with a toy, or sleeping peacefully, ignorant of the ultimately meaningless troubles that plague me? Won't that help me feel better?
No. No it won't.
Not even a little bit.
Prediction: I'm either going to die smiling and drowning in buckets of champagne or I'm going to drag a rusty straight razor across my throat. Either way, it's going to leave a mess.