If there is one thing that I hope is evident through my writing, is my love for the game of hockey. At a young age, I was sucked into the game and following (even playing it briefly) it became one of my biggest passions.
The fact I grew up outside of my favorite team’s television market was difficult at first, but something good came out of it – I was able to become a fan of the game before I became a true fan of any one team.
Instead of solely watching one team play over and over, I could only watch whatever ESPN showed at the time.
So while a lot of people drew their childhood memories of their one team, I gathered them from all over the league. While some paid less attention or gave up altogether when their team was eliminated in the playoffs, I held on till the very end, as most of you know – what’s better than watching the Stanley Cup Final?
So leading into the game between the Anaheim Ducks and the New Jersey Devils, you can see where I am headed when I just talked about childhood memories and the Stanley Cup Final.
The 2003 Final was one of the most memorable series’ I have ever watched, right next to seeing Ray Bourque winning his last game two years prior, and then obviously seeing the Penguins lift the Cup in 2009 (very little memory from 91-92).
That series featured everything in it – the ‘underdog’ versus the power house. Superstars galore. An overtime winner from a defenseman who finished his 900+ game NHL career with 45-goals.
The brutality of the game in its essence, followed by the heart and will that drew me into the game from the very same player knocked out of the game. And of course, one of the players you would least expect to get three points in a game, including the game winner – but yet it was barely a surprise.
It was truly the perfect series.
So even after ten years, this game still has a deeper meaning – and will so even further down the road. The series these two teams played helped shape me to where I am now, both as a writer and a hockey fan – one of the many stories that pushed me in this direction.
Funny how life, no matter the year span, has a way of coming full circle?