Tomorrow night is do or die. It will be Monday, April 21, 2008 - the date that decides whether either Montreal or Boston is sent home in disappointment, while the other moves one step closer to the Stanley Cup.
The nerves being felt by the Montreal Canadiens' players must be unbearable. Though they are trying to remain focused on winning, buried deep in their minds is the fear of losing. It's the fear of how the fans will react and how it will hurt the confidence of the team's ability to succeed.
Saku Koivu, Alex Kovalev, and Carey Price are surely feeling the greatest amounts of fear. All three are confident and important stars of the team, and all three must try to not lose their focus and confidence on being successful.
If Koivu loses a face-off, he must work harder to win the next. If Kovalev fans on a shot, he must make sure his next is harder than usual. If Price lets in one goal, he must make sure it's the last.
And, if the Habs do not score on the power play, the whole team needs to try remember how they managed to have the No. 1 power play in the regular season, perhaps thinking of the game as a regular-season contest instead of a playoff.
As if that is not enough, Game 7 of this Habs/Bruins series is being played in Montreal, home of some of the toughest fans in all of hockey. The Canadiens' fans fear these may be the last moments they get to see their favourite team play until six months down the road.
Only two types of emotions are likely to result, each the strongest maybe ever felt. If the Habs can win, there will be excitement for all and a belief that if they can overcome such a setback and still win, how much harder can the other series really be?
If, however, the Canadiens lose, one can expect an overwhelming feeling of disappointment, regardless of the fact they had a phenomenal regular season.
The fate of this series is still 22 hours away from being decided. Everyone will just have to try survive until then.