02 May 2008
This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper
So Avs fans, this is the end of another season. The Stanley Cup will not visit the Rockies this season. The Avs have a critical offseason ahead, one filled with difficult choices. The questions that are coming up soon do not have immediate answers, and it will take at least a season to discover the answers to all of these.François Giguere has a difficult and challenging (and probably defining) offseason ahead of him.
But now is not the time to ask those questions. Now is a time for mourning. The best way to mourn is to remember the good and let go of the bad.
So let's remember the good. The Avs reestablished themselves as the Czars of the Northwest. Yes they finished second, but they vanquished the first place Wild in 6 and outlasted everyone else. the Wild get the banner, but it will carry a taint of burgundy and blue on it, their first one. So it's not a complete failure of a season.
Even though they were completely outplayed by Detroit, their character never sacrificed their class by gooning it up in defeat. Detroit fans remember Calgary last season, and Avs fans remember the Wild this season. Yet the Avs carried themselves with class and, despite being down 8-2 in an elimination game, still were trying. True character is revealed in tough times and no matter what the Avs proved they are nothing if not a team of character. So be proud of them, despite the pitiful game.
The Avs introduced the next generation as well. Hensik was called up (I was there for his first game!), David Jones established himself as a legitimate NHLer. Finger improved, Leopold showed us he can stay healthy for 1/2 a season. Svatos bounced back. Cumisky showed flashes. Wolski was excellent (and durable). In a time like this it's easy to see the disappointments, but there were a lot of highs this season as well.
I think this is the year Avs fans look back on as the Transition Season. The season the old guard (Foote, Sakic, Forsberg) was here, but the season the next generation started to take over. Stastny, Wolski, Jones, Finger (hopefully, they better f'ing resign him), Svats Machine, McCormick, and even McLeod all had excellent seasons and Hensik, Budaj and Cumisky had flashes. This team is ready for the future. Sometimes a young team, like the Avs, need a butt-kicking to show them the way.
But we'll worry about all that later. After a series like that it's tough to be proud of your team, but you know what even in defeat they carried themselves with class and dignity. That's tough to do when you are forced with the realization that you (and your teammates) are inferior. I will Give Q credit. He has handled himself with class his entire tenure. I may not agree with most of what he does, but he has a team I can be proud of as a fan.
So cheers to the season. It may have ended with a whimper, but the journey here has been a ton of fun. I can't wait until October.
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