Thursday, April 11, 2013

The chase for No.1

Usually at this point in April the regular season is winding itself down. The playoff picture is set, standings are made final and predictions are beginning to form. Anderson is usually going nuts with requests to update game programs and playoff tickets. This resulting in long hours late nights and a lot of patience on everyone's end of things.

Yes, usually my house is a buzz with excitement. Or at least it has been the past couple of seasons when we were guaranteed to at least make it into the first round.

This year of course is different. The lockout pushed everything back. The regular season is still going on-though don't tell this to Mother Nature, who is assuming its playoff season-We are in fact still two weeks from playoffs. And while the Caps are leading the division, its by slim margins and is not set in stone. Despite our recent push, there is a chance we could be looking at a long off season. I can't remember when the last time, that has happened.

I don't even want to imagine that.

Though I must say I for one am actually surprised by the push. For awhile there-OK more like most of the season to be honest.- I really didn't even think we stood a chance to be talking about playoffs. Nor did we really deserve to be in the hunt for the cup. While I support and follow my team, and am proud to be a fan I am not afraid to admit we weren't great. In fact we down right well-sucked. I figured there was no way in hell we would come back to even be close to making the playoffs. I was ok with this. I accepted this. And in a lot of ways I told myself it was better that way. I did not want to listen to a thousand of the 'hockey expert' commentators slam the team because we were mediocre or that we barely made it into the playoffs. I did not want to hear that we weren't deserving to be in there. The way I saw it, cut our loses early, finish the season and start a fresh long season better next year.

And yes, we knew there was going to be a next year.

Instead of gearing up for post season hockey, we began making plans, and setting aside our summer to do list. We didn't let it bother us. Life went on, much as it has. No there was not the same sort of buzz that came along this time of year, we watched the trade deadline come and go. We questioned things. 

But of course one should never say never.-Did I really just use Justin Bieber reference in a hockey post??- because while I was thinking these very thoughts Alex Ovechkin decided it was time to play some hockey-right about the same time he decided to cut his hair, coincidence?-as did Backstrom. Green came back. Laich did for about a hot minute. And hold up, wait a minute....we are winning and not just the games that didn't matter. But the ones that do-to be fair in a short season, every game matters-with each win, I watched as we took on our division and climbed the rankings and before long we were right there on top.

Maybe playoffs weren't all that far off.

We have had helped no doubt about it, teams we needed to, have fallen a bit in their own right. And for the first time this season I thank the Lord our major losing spell occurred during the beginning of the season, which I would gladly take over the end of the season. I will gladly take the lead in any way or form that I can.

No, there is still no guarantee that we will make it in there. A two point goal is the hardest lead to maintain, I assume the same can be said in regards to standings. Its ahead enough to know that we are in, and secure our spot in the playoffs for the time being, but close enough that Winnipeg knows they are within striking distance.

And you can pretty much guarantee they know there is still plenty of time to take it all away.

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