So, unless you are a Canucks or Bruins fan, the dreams that danced through your head in October about your team's captain lifting the Cup over his head in June have been long since dashed.
If, like me, you keep watching NHL hockey even after your team is eliminated, you might find that a strange phenomenon occurs—you actually enjoy it a little bit more.
Being a Detroit Red Wings fan, I've had my fair share of long playoff runs to sweat through, lose sleep over and, often, jump for joy for at the conclusion.
It's a lot of fun, but it's also nerve wracking.
When you know your team as well as I do, you have confidence in their strengths, but are also keenly aware of their weaknesses.
Sitting through the playoffs, wondering which of the two will eventually win out, is enough to drive one mad with anxiety.
For me, it is only after my team has won the whole thing, or been eliminated, that I can truly relax and enjoy the season that was.
For the record, I was really hoping for a San Jose/Tampa Bay Stanley Cup Final. However, as Boston and Vancouver emerged as the last two teams standing, I must admit a bias to one side.
I'm an American and a patriot, so let's leave it at that.
Still, as my passion, anxiety, hopes and fears were neatly stowed away at the end of the Wings/Sharks series, I have to say that I'm glad I've been able to enjoy hockey from a somewhat objective perspective again.
No matter who wins the Stanley Cup, there are players on both sides that I would really like to see raise the Cup this season.
True, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is one of them, but there are a few more in this series that we're rooting for as well.
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