Game 7. Tonight. Before game 5, there were a lot of people(myself incuded) strutting around as if the 'Canes had already won the cup. The atmosphere is a little different before game 7. After the completely hideous effort from my boys in game 6, it's almost the exact opposite.
I'm not saying that people are slumped over in the way that we will be tomorrow in the event of a loss; but people are definitely preparing themselves for the worst. Conversations about hockey around the office end in half-hearted fist pumps with a weak "Go 'Canes" behind them. People are already starting to talk about how "it's been an exciting run." No one is talking about which bar will be the best from which to watch the game. We're all watching from our homes. Glen Wesley's name has been unofficially changed to Poor Glen Wesley.
This game needs to go ahead and start. The waiting is killing me. Everytime someone brings it up, my eyes dart to the nearest clock and do the quick math to estimate how long I have until the puck drops. I've caught myself chewing up the skin around my fingernails several times today. Gross. I know. I'm going over anything I've ever done during the day before a Hurricanes win and tried to replicate it. My stomach is tied up in knots(this may be related to the compulsive biting around my nails, but is more likely just another example of how bad my nerves are in the hours before this game). The fact that there can be no more hockey after tonight is almost merciful at this point.
And there it is. No matter what happens tonight, hockey season will be finished when the game is over. After that, with the exception of the glorious fortnight that is Wimbledon, I'm left without meaningful sports until football season. It'd be nice to spend that down time celebrating.