In the past 30 hours, my heart was dropped off a cliff (Caps game), put itself back together, gleeful (hanging out with hockey fans at Boston Beer Works), hopeful, exuberant (Bitz's goal) nervous (two 'Canes goals), exuberant again (thanks, Looch).
Then, all of a sudden, it felt similar to being run over by eleven eighteen-wheelers. Through broken glass. And possibly some lava.
An overtime loss, and all of a sudden, that was that. Goodnight, Bruins.
Your immediate response in that situation is shock, giving way to a brief flash-of-hatred of one's own team, which dissipates, leaving boiling anger at the opponents, the Hurricanes; all this gives way to a dull sadness, exhaustion, as the adrenaline rush from cheering your team on in sudden-death slowly leaves your system. Heartbreak, disappointment.
Slowly, from that, you recover. You begin to re-recognize all that you loves about your team; Timmy Thomas stood on his head for the Bruins all year; Zee had his stumbles but is the greatest captain one could ask for; Patrice Bergeron came back from what could have been a career-ending injury. Bitzycat, the rookie kid from Cornell, stepped it up HUGELY in the postseason; so did Montador, finally potting his first goal as a Bruin at a perfectly clutch moment. The DEPTH, oh god the DEPTH of our team this year (Barring our slight defenseman almost-problems in the postseason) is unbelievable.
The 2008-2009 Bruins season, as a newbie, was magical; a longer season than any other sport made it feel like it'd never end. In fact, I wanted it to go on forever; instead, it all came to a crashing halt, thanks to one Scott Walker. But I can't hate. We got an entire MONTH more hockey than 24 teams; almost three weeks more than 8 more teams, and a few days more than the Canucks. (Sorry, Canucks!)
And the amazing thing is this - the Bruins, although with a solid core of veterans, are mostly comprised of rookies, sophomores, and guys who are on the younger side. Few have seen their way this far into the playoffs before. We went into this series a little too confident, and had our asses handed to us by a playoff-hardened team. But to have made it this far - I'm proud to call the B's my team.
Things that were MORE awesome - Mark Recchi played game 7 the day after having a kidney stone removed. This is truth - the Recching Ball is a BEAST.
Also - I dare the city of Boston to try to ignore the Bruins after this year and last. While it's ridiculously frustrating to try to get tickets in and around the bazillions of bandwagoners, I'm still happy the support is there. Please let it stay. I want Boston to be a hockey town again in my absence.
So now my Tim Thomas jersey is snugly packed away, along with all the posters, the two signs I made, my rally towels and paraphernalia, all ready to adorn my new apartment at end of summer. I don't know when I will see the inside of the TD Banknorth Garden again - and yeah, I'll miss the rushes of cold air from over the glass, the smells of burnt popcorn and hockey equipment, the epic goal song and WOOOO! from the announcer. Life moves on, though. All you B's fans out there - say hi for me next season when you go to games. Cheer until your throats are ragged. Respect your team; never boo them. Don't throw crap onto the ice when things don't go your way. Stay classy; this team works its butt off for you. Love it. Respect it.
Go B's Go. Bring on 2009-2010!
To everyone who texted me/sent me messages after last night's game? Thank you. Each concurrent one lifted me up a little more, and I appreciate it tremendously. :)