The ModFan crew was having a tough time with the playoffs. The Devils went out in the first round to the Rangers, the Stars were trying to squander a 3-0 lead against the Sharks, and the Sabres… well, we all know what happened to them. This conversation took place Sunday morning before the elimination of two of ModFan’s least favorite teams and while we hope we’ve turned a corner, there’s no telling what the Hockey Gods have in store. Here’s how we turned our attitudes around.
HEATHER B: The playoffs are killing my soul. I can’t wait for hockey to be over. I know I’ll be sad in late July when it’s still months away but right now I want it gone.
PATTY: I was so depressed yesterday, I couldn’t get off the couch. I didn’t want to read about hockey, but I didn’t have anything else to do. I couldn’t make myself clean or work in the yard, or even go buy shit (which is usually how I handle it).
POOKIE: I have had little to no desire to read about hockey the last… oh say… three weeks. I’ve been obsessively reading gardening blogs instead. For some reason I’m seeing my level of disinterest reflected in what I’m reading in hockey blogs. I think I’m just projecting this self-fulfilling prophecy that the playoffs suck. It’s been making me sort of miserable. But no longer! Thank you, Playoff Goggles! You’ve saved my life!
HEATHER B: Even my freaking Playoff Goggles are broken! Montreal was an abusive and disastrous combination of last year’s Sabres (regular season juggernaut that drags itself painfully through the postseason) and this year’s Sabres (young, underachieving team). Thanks for nothing, Montreal.
SCHNOOKIE: Hey, I turned a corner with the playoffs yesterday! I’m having fun now! The Red Wings were superhot in their series with the Avs, Morrow and Brad Richards are cooing to my ovaries in the Stars series, I discovered Mike Richards was wearing Chuck Taylors in his ASG portrait (and I finally watched the Flyers videos of them playing with legos and doing the low ropes course during training camp, and let me tell you, there is NOTHING Jason Smith does that ISN’T smoking hott), and I adore Sid and Malkin. That’s a high ratio of things I like going on there! GO PLAYOFFS!
POOKIE: The Caps lost! The Sens were swept! Jagr is showing Shanny, Gomez, and Drury how to handle playoff hockey! Sid and Malkin are snakes in the grass ready to strike! The Stars are AWESOME! There is SO MUCH to be excited about!
HEATHER B: See, I’m not capable of looking at the big picture. I’m living day by day so right now the playoffs are “The Flyers – who were neck and neck with the Sabres almost all season – are in the ECF” and “Brian Campbell scored a dramatic game-tying goal against the Stars.”
I think part of my problem this year is the proliferation of prominent former Sabres who are still in. I’m trying to block out the noise from the media and other fans but it’s hard to ignore that Briere and Biron are in the ECF and Drury and Campbell are still playing. And don’t tell me that two of those guys are playing poorly because details like that don’t matter to Buffalo. They’re playing, we’re not, they would’ve saved our souls had they still been here. Drury and Campbell are likely still going out in this round but again, I just can’t see Big Picture enough to focus on that. I’m a mess.
I don’t know, everything everyone is saying makes perfect sense. I’m just having some kind of fan/blogger breakdown.
KATEBITS: Alright, Heather needs a carefrontation. Heather, I hear you, I really do. The ex-Sabres still playing are HORRIBLE especially since we just went through an ENTIRE season of being told by every media outlet that the Sabres are a depleted shell of their former self. My big thing is that I can’t continue to feel miserable about the Playoffs. I’m a lot less “THE PLAYOFFS ARE GREAT” than the Ookies, but I am REFUSING the misery. I can only allow so much hockey related misery. I have reached my limit for the 2007-08 season. It’s stops here. I’ve drawn a line in the sand.
SCHNOOKIE: I actually had to work very hard to get to the happy place I’m in now. The motivating force for me was that I was tired of listening to myself complain about the playoffs, and if I was tired of listening to myself, I can’t even imagine how awful it was for you guys to listen to me. I mean, they’re half over. They’re not going to suddenly get better without a little work on my part. I wasn’t ready to turn the hockey off, so it was kind of “fish or cut bait” time in my heart. Or something like that.
HEATHER: I’m convinced that the playoffs are going to end really horribly for some reason. It’s like I used up all my positive energy and optimism during the regular season. Now I got nothing.
KATEBITS: Heather, snap out of it! *SPLASH* How can we get you out of this funk? What do you need?
HEATHER B: Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve done this but I might need to play the Glad Game.
PATTY: How do you play, Heather? I’ll play it with you!
HEATHER B: The Glad Game is from Pollyanna. It’s a game that Pollyanna’s dad teaches her. In every situation you find something to be glad about. The harder it is, the more fun! Or so they claim. For example:
The situation: The Stars lost Game Five against the Sharks. I’m secretly a little glad that the Stars got screwed on a No Goal call. (Sorry, Patty. I have to grab onto the Glad wherever it is.)
KATEBITS: Oooh. Harsh, Heather. I’m glad that Soupy has sucked hard enough in the playoffs that no well managed team is going to give him the contract he wants, but that he has played well enough (see G5 tying goal) that some doomed-for-decades team is going to fork over the big bucks.
HEATHER B: GREAT point, Kate. I’m glad that Campbell has been in the playoffs long enough that he’s had plenty of time to say things that are so stupid and asinine that much of Buffalo has come around to being glad he’s gone.
PATTY: I’m glad that the Stars are in the second round. And that they’re still up on the Sharks. I’m (kind of) glad we didn’t sweep the Sharks because we would have been too high to take on the Wings in the next round.
HEATHER B: I’m glad Marty Biron is playing well because he’s a great guy who deserves all good things that come his way. I’m glad that a team the Sabres played so well in the regular season is going deep in the playoffs because it might mean that we’re not that far off from being in the same position.
POOKIE: I’m glad I watched the videos of the Flyers doing low-ropes in pre-season. Sami Kapanen can leap over a more-than-waist-height wire in a single bound! That’s so cool!
KATEBITS: Yay! *Pollyannaesque squealing* It’s working! It’s working!
SCHNOOKIE: The Rangers are my weak spot in my newfound “I like the playoffs” resolve, so let me think about some gladness.
Right. I’m glad that the fans at MSG get called out by the TV guys every time they boo the Rangers power play. And I’m glad that all those idiots are sitting there chanting “Jagr!” now after booing him mercilessly for the last three years. And I’m glad that Drury injured himself celebrating a non-goal. And if they win, they’ll do it without Avery.
PATTY: I’m glad that Shanahan is on the verge of retirement so I can start forgetting about the douche-iness and remember why I used to like him (he’s funny and he has great hair).
POOKIE: I’m glad that if the Rangers win the Cup it will be because Jagr got them there, not because they’re a young team built for long-term success.
HEATHER B: I’m glad because if the Rangers keep winning Jagr has a good chance of winning the Conn Smythe which automatically ups his contract with the Rangers (and indirectly the Caps) for another season.
SCHNOOKIE: Oooooohhh… I’m SO glad that if the Rangers win, it’ll be at the cost of another year of Jagr on their cap and on DC’s. I can almost see Sather telling the team to tank just so that doesn’t happen.
KATEBITS: Worst Case Scenario: Sharks vs. Rangers for the Cup. I’m glad it’s spring!
SCHNOOKIE: Yeah, Sharks v. Rangers for the Cup, Rangers winning? I’m glad it’s strawberry season, and my job has started Summer Fridays. And, um… yeah. That’s it. And I’m glad for the Curse of Beating Brodeur. I’m glad that the Devils only have to play the Rangers six times next year instead of eight.
HEATHER B: I’m glad these horrible, effin’ playoffs are almost half over.
SCHNOOKIE: Is it possible to lose the Glad Game?
POOKIE: Heather, you were doing so well there! Now the demons are back! They’re clawing at the wings of our Happiness Machine, threatening to ground it forever!
PATTY: Did Pollyanna imagine horrible situations and then try to be glad about them? Or did she just focus on what was actually happening? Tinkerbell’s starting to flag a little here.
HEATHER: Quick, refocus!
PATTY: I’m glad Brenden Morrow is broadcasting his studliness for all the world to see AFTER he signed a long-term deal for a reasonable amount of money.
POOKIE: That is hot!
KATEBITS: I am glad to have Brenden Morrow’s studliness in my life!
HEATHER B: I’m glad Marty Turco is still in and I’m glad for the opportunity to watch a great stick-handling, puck-controlling goalie.
KATE: I’m glad there is still PLENTY of time for all my hated teams/players to be horribly humiliated.
PATTY: I’m glad that Sid is in and Ovie is out.
KATEBITS: ME TOO!
SCHNOOKIE: ME THREE!!!
POOKIE: ME FOUR!!!!
HEATHER B: I am ALSO glad that Sid is in and Ovie is out. We have a unanimous glad! Somewhere a crippled child is walking again!
POOKIE: I think I see the Brink of Hockey Despair receding into the distance! I think our glad feelings are driving the demons away! It’s working, guys, it’s working!
HEATHER B: Wait.. Something weird is happening. I’m… smiling. And laughing. I’m glad! I’m really, really glad!
PATTY: YAY! *tosses Heather-colored confetti* We’re the Tinkerbell of the playoffs!