The roller coaster ride that is an NHL playoff game 7, cannot be replicated in any other sporting event. You couple the usual high paced back and forth, with the desperation to continue the season and last night, once again proving that the game is never really over, no matter how good the outcome looks.
I know after last nights thriller, this seems like an obvious answer. But, after having experienced, in person, two game 7 losses; probably 5-7 years off my life and dipping into my 401K, I don’t know if I could bring myself to do it again.
My experiences were from Pre-Stanley Cup Bruins (my lifetime), when my brother and I would spend about a 1/3 of our paychecks on the secondary ticket markets, taking in Bruins playoff games. I’d witnessed every other sports championship in this town, but yet to see my favorite team reach that peak…
In 2009, we ventured to The Garden, to witness something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, as Scott “Suckerpunch” Walker scored the game winner for the Carolina Hurricanes in OT. Pin drop. The guy who should’ve been suspended for that punch, in MANY people’s eyes, ends the game, the series and the season for the Bruins. Great.
Being a gluten for punishment, as most Bruins fan were, we headed to see the B’s close out the Flyers in 2010, because we learn from our mistakes and the odds of a team coming back from being down 3-0 in the series are highly unlikely right? And further to that point, a team being down 3-0 in the GAME, is close to impossible right? Wrong. So very wrong.
At that point I swore allegiance to never attend another game 7. But it came with mixed emotion, I wanted that feeling of pure jubilation that you can only get in a deciding game, but with out the heartbreaking risk. So I stayed away entirely, residing to my house, friends, or bars to watch games, not even attending one game during the Stanley Cup run.
With last night though, hope appeared. And I give you the emotions experienced by those lucky enough to be in attendence with each goal:
- 1-0 Excitement: OK. B’s up, good start and not too early into the period so you don’t have chips flying everywhere when you jumped up. Nacho time.
- 1-1 Neutral: Tough break, no more PP goals, should be good. Beer time.
- 1-2 Frustration: Block that shot. Beer time.
- 1-3 Irritated: Kessel, again? Beer time.
- 1-4 Anger/Regret: Season’s over. Roster/Coaching changes/Draft talk. Thinking of things that you could’ve spent the money on, like a down payment on a house. Water time.
- 2-4 Whoopedee Do: Thanks for the bone. Candy time.
- 3-4 Interested: They’re showing some fight here. One minute left time.
- 4-4 Ecstatic: Holy Sh%t. Is this happening? Focused excitement, not over yet time.
- 5-4 Final Pure Jubilation and Shock: Priceless. Party time.
There you have it. The ride is complete, the adrenaline still pumping and pictures printed of you screaming your face off for the world to see.
So do I think I’ll ever attend another game 7? Who knows. But it’s nights like last night that give you all the more reason to take that chance and bet on black… and gold.