Dream playoff ends in disappointment

Did we, as a nation, get our hearts collectively broken Monday night when Ruslan Fedotenko scored not once, but twice?
Did we really think the implausible would become possible and the Calgary Flames would take their amazing journey to the finish they deserved?
Not the way they were playing in Game 7.
Calgary was not up to par against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the do-or-die final game and so they were not deserving of the Stanley Cup, though it hurts to admit it.
Canadians across the land could be heard silently screaming for them to take control, to get into form. Sometimes they did, but they did not deserve to win.
It would have been nice to see Jarome Iginla or Mikka Kiprusoff take home the Conn Smythe Trophy, but one could make an argument for Nikolai Khabibulin or Vincent Lecavalier based on their Game 7 performances.
A lot of hockey fans and a few commentators didn’t know how to react when Lecavalier danced his way through the crowd with the puck and earned an amazing assist.
It’s very strange to think back to when Lecavalier was a 17-year-old prospect who was way too skinny to be in the NHL. That was not so long ago.
Brad Richards, too, was recently a junior player. It’s great to see the pride beaming from Prince Edward Island, which soon will host the Cup.
According to the announcer on the ABC broadcast, “Stanley” will tour the entire province during the two days Richards will get with it—one of the best traditions in sport.
The Cup also will make at least one trip to Alberta. Darryl Sydor, Shane Willis, and Chris Dingman are all Edmonton natives while Nolan Pratt hails from Fort McMurray.
Most of the other Lightning players are from Ontario, Quebec, and Europe.
• • •
The Midget ‘AAA’ national championship, hosted by the Kenora Stars earlier this year, will be played in my neck of the woods next season at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau (formerly Hull).
The same arena hosted the Memorial Cup in 1997 when the Hull Olympiques took the title.
It’s a good little arena, but it can get very loud there.
• • •
Congratulations to the Ottawa Senators and to Bryan Murray, their new head coach. Let’s hope everyone involved made the right decision.
We’ll see how the Panthers and Sens do next season, assuming there is a season next year.
Both sides of the collective bargaining agreement have discussed the new terms for a deal, but one side always seems to think it’s going better than the other side thinks.
It will be very interesting to see what comes out of this and what all the fighting is really about. Presumably, someday, the players will realize that they make too much money and that the league is dying a slow and painful death.
Though it currently seems unlikely.
• • •
As the school year comes to a close, I have to wish all student athletes a restful off-season and a great season next year. The Muskie soccer teams have a lot to look forward to next year, as do the Fort High hockey and court teams.
All the best.

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