When my Lightning won a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of Stanley Cup playoffs, I was excited but didn’t dare expect much more. The Lightning are notoriously inconsistent. When they defeated Pittsburgh to advance to another round, this time against the Capitals, I was cautiously expectant but didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment.
Now that the Lightning have swept the Capitals and entered the Eastern Conference Finals, I am officially, wildly crazy with excitement. I remember talking about nothing but hockey during the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004 (my sincere apologies to non-hockey-fans who endured the endless talk of goals, pucks, penalties, and stats). I also remember making up for it by losing my voice from yelling, cheering, coaching, and screaming the night they won the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, nearly prompting a terrified call to the police by my neighbors who could undoubtedly hear me bouncing around my living room, leaping on furniture, and shrieking like a fool.
(I also remember the dismal, depressing years that followed as the Lightning sank faster than a brick in a pond and became the lowest-ranked team in the NHL, but let’s not focus on that right now, eh?)
Here’s to my Lightning for finally coming back, for moving from underdogs to champions, and even if the Stanley Cup doesn’t end up residing in Tampa this year, this season was a hell of an improvement and one to remember.
Let’s bring that Stanley Cup home soon, though, okay? I didn’t get a chance to get my picture taken with it seven years ago.