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The Seven Stages of Stanley Cup Finals Game Seven

DETROIT - JUNE 12:  Brad Stuart #23, second from left, and Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings look on dejectedly after Game Seven of the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. The Penguins defeated the Red Wings 2-1 in the seventh game to win the Stanley Cup Finals series 4 games to 3. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Steven GarciaContributor IJune 16, 2009

Over the past week, after the soul-crushing loss that was Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, I have gone through all seven stages of grief. Yes, it is mildly pathetic that my devotion to the Red Wings makes me go through the same feelings as losing a loved one, but it is what it is.

The First Stage, Shock and Denial. This began around...oh...I would say, with 15 seconds left in the third. It was sad really, watching my Wings on life support in the last 3 minutes hoping, knowing, they would pull through.

"Oh, they'll score," I would say, "No worries, hakunamatada."

But time kept ticking, and so did my hope for the holy grail. After the game, shock and denial completely enveloped me, as my friends and I sat outside in disbelief that we actually saw our Red Wings choke. It was honestly odd to see a another team celebrating a championship when the Red Wings were in the Finals. I contemplated suicide and alcohol, but ended up just silently sobbing myself to sleep.

The Next Stage, Pain and Guilt. The pain part began pretty quickly, but guilt came on slowly and sneakily. I thought to myself, "Maybe if I had worn my Wings jersey things would be different..." and such. I felt pain as soon as the clock hit zero, my stomach dropped, and my heart skipped a beat. No fun to say the least.

Anger and Bargaining. Anger came on as I walked around my job a few days later. My workplace has posters of former Wings Championships, and a bar across the street that still says Red Wings Playoff Games: $1.50 Beers. I wanted to punch something, thoughts of Sidney Crosby lifting the Stanley Cup (which I did not see because I left the room as soon as time had expired) made me feel like Wolverine released from skeleton reconstructive surgery. There was no bargaining. Only Anger.

Depression. This stage will be lurking in my mind until this time next year, when, hopefully, the Red Wings will bring the Cup back home, where it belongs. Not in Pittsburgh, where it will feel like it was just kidnapped and held for ransom. I cannot truly ever be happy until we win it back. You think I'm kidding, I'm not.

The Upward Turn?

Acceptance and Hope. While I haven't fully accepted it, I do have hope. I have hope that Marion Hossa will now sign a long contract and be a Red Wing for a long time. I have hope that our defense will not be as slow as a peg legged race horse. I have hope that Osgood will be consistent. I have hope the Detroit Red Wings will return hungrier than ever.

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