Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Perfect Realistic NHL Dream

With the start of the 2011/12 NHL season looming, it's time for dreams.  Realistic dreams.  Pure fantasy would have my Winnipeg Jets hoisting the cup but we know that won't happen.  Making the playoffs this year is also a remote possibility.  So turns to a realistic perfect NHL dream.

It's early June and it's game 7 of the NHL finals.  The Vancouver Canucks led by goaltender Roberto Luongo lead the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in the third period with 10 minutes to go.  The Vancouver crowd is going crazy.  Fans outside the building are in a state of euphoria.  Every one can feel it, sense it.  The Canucks are on the verge of winning the Stanley Cup for the first time.

This city has had it's share of heartbreak but they can feel it now.  They believe it now.  While Roberto has had another tough playoff season, his team has pushed through with big goals and victories.  Now Luongo is returning the favor with 35 saves through 50 minutes, many of them quality chances.

Sidney Crosby has been great in the playoffs and his miraculous comeback from a potential career ending concussion has been a source of pride for Penguins players, coaches, management and fans.  The Canucks have defended Crosby well in these finals. Sydney Crosby carries the puck into Vancouver's end and as in previous games, there's two players on him.  Crosby has no choice but to flip the puck into the corner but it's on net.  Then in  flash it's in the net, behind Luongo.  What happened? Luongo misplayed the slow moving lobbed puck and tried to swat it with his glove but missed.

The fans can't believe it.  No, Not again.  You now can start to sense that Luongo has been rattled.  Does the coach take Luongo out of the game?  He can't.  Luongo has been great.  3 minutes later, with 7 minutes left, Crosby has a breakaway and scores.  Luongo didn't have much of a chance on that goal.  It's now 3-2 Penguins and the tides have turned in their favor.

With 4 minutes left and the Penguins pinned in their end of the ice, Vancouver is peppering the Penguin's netminder with shot after shot.  Crosby steals the puck and with a player tripping him, gets off a weak shot that finds it's way through Luongo's pads.  It's now 4-2 Penguins and the game is almost out of reach.

Vancouver pulls Luongo with 2 minutes left but it's too late.  The penguins score an empty net goal with 30 seconds left and win 5-2.  The Penguins have done the imaginable.  They've defeated the Canucks on the road in game number 7.  The Penguins have scored 4 goals in 10 minutes.

The Canucks fans are mad and are taking their anger out on Luongo.  The Canucks just don't seem destined to hoist the cup.  The scene is somber as the Penguiins skate aorund the ice with the cup.  This should have been Vancouver's celebration.  They were moments away.  This is the second straight year that the team collapsed.

It didn't help that the Sedin brothers spent more time on the ice after taking dive after dive than scoring goals.  It didn't help that the Canucks tried to injure the Penguins.  They should have played hockey and focused on winning the game.

For this fan, it's pure joy and it's justice.  It's justice for all the things the Canucks used to do to my team growing up.  Like in the past, this crew is dirty and doesn't play a pure brand of hockey.  Their diving is crazy and they're annoying to watch.

All I can say is Luooooooongo!  That's' my perfect Realistic NHL dream.

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