Last night, after the Detroit Red Wings finally defeated the feisty, never-say-die Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, I sat watching the Red Wings being awarded the Stanley Cup. Hockey's greatest prize. They passed it on from player to player, each taking a victorious twirl around the ice, while the sea of white in Pittsburgh watched on, and my mind started to drift...
First, I thought of that same scene at this time last season. Except at this time last year, it was the Anaheim Ducks celebrating their claim on hockey's Holy Grail, while I sat watching with tears pouring down my cheeks, knowing my Sens were so close, yet so far away.
Then, I thought back to a Saturday night this past January when my Sens met up with the Detroit Red Wings in their only meeting of the season at Scotiabank Place. It was pumped up to be a clash of the titans - the Red Wings the far-and-away leaders of the West, while Ottawa was sitting pretty atop the standings in the East.
The Sens won that night, and I truly believed back then that my team was well on their way to another appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. Hopefully they'd be able to repeat their performance that night against Detroit four more times to win that glorious trophy that every player in the NHL covets and desires.
Alas, that victory against Detroit was the beginning of the end. It was just a tease. A horrible, twisted tease. We all know how the rest of the season and playoffs went for the Sens. Dismal. Grisly. Painful.
So last night, as I watched the Red Wings celebrating their victory and laying their claim on the Cup as the best team of 2007-2008, I couldn't help but feel a little bitter; a little sad. Last year, we were almost there. And this year, we couldn't even compare.
Thank God that horrible season is over. Hopefully next year will be better.
And congratulations to Detroit on their win. They deserved it.