Okay, lean in. Closer. A little closer, please. I’m almost afraid to say this in anything but the faintest of whispers.
Could this be the year…just possibly…just maybe…that my Lightning clinch another Stanley Cup?
Stamkos is finally healthy and back on the ice. Kucherov is on fire, a scoring machine. We finally have a consistent goalie in Vasilevskiy. Are things finally lined up just right for my team to not only make a rare appearance in the play-offs, but win the whole darn thing?
They haven’t won since 2004. That’s before I even met Gary or knew he existed on this Earth. I was living in Tampa at the time and wasn’t at the final Stanley Cup game, but any living creature with functional ear drums in a one-mile radius of my apartment that night had no doubt as to the outcome of that game. (Or else they just thought someone was being murdered in my place, due to the blood-curdling screams and mostly unintelligible shouting at the top of my lungs).
I don’t want to jinx us. I have loved and hated, cheered with and hollered at, my Lightning long before they even had a Stanley Cup under their belts. I have cursed them and called them creative, fiendish names during the bad seasons (of which there have been many), and I have talked the ears off of anyone I can capture during the good seasons about hockey, about my team, about their chances of going all the way.
This one is shaping up to be a good one. A damn good one. I don’t want to get too excited just yet, but…damn, too late. I am already clearing a space in my closet for a championship t-shirt, hockey jersey, hat, maybe even some Tampa Bay Lightning underwear. Did you know that even existed? Well, now you do. You can thank me while you search for your credit card to order some of your own!