If years and years of watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs has taught me anything, it's that miracles can happen.
And by "miracles" of course, I mean unexpected upsets resulting from hard work, determination, and just a little bit of luck.
Yeah, yeah, I know what everyone says: the Caps will never get past "human wall" Tim Thomas and his Boston Bruins.
On principle, I agree.
Yet there's something that stirs within me watching the ever-growing strength of Washington's second and third lines, and their new-found confidence in front of the enigmatic Varlamov that says different.
Is it hope, perhaps?
It's not just that I want them to win the conference either. I specifically want them to meet the Canucks at the end.
Again, I know that the surprisingly hot Blackhawks and whoever comes out of the Anaheim-Detroit series triumphant (Detroit, surely) both stand in the way of Roberto Luongo hoisting, or rather posing with, the Campbell Trophy, but in the realm of my fantasy final that's all just a side story.
Just imagine it: Varlamov, the sprawling spider of a man who's suddenly appeared from nowhere, up against the much more experienced but sporadically inconsistent Luongo, Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows getting shirty with the likes of Donald Brashear, and king of speed Alex Ovechkin coming up against the indefatigable Sedin brothers.
It would be hockey heaven.
It would also be a triumph of youthful vitality—the kids beating the old hands of Boston and Detroit, and pushing themselves to the very limits of their strength and speed.
Most of all though, it would be horrendously exciting; end to end, exhausting, and thoroughly thrilling.