Bryan Bickell Gave Himself Quite The Sendoff By Scoring The First Shootout Goal Of His Career In What Was Sadly The Last Game Of His Career
From being choked up beyond words just days prior...
...to netting the first shootout goal of his career on the final shot he'll take in his career...
Just another bittersweet moment that transcended the sport that made it possible. It's unbelievably tragic that Bryan Bickell is being forced out of hockey due to an ongoing bout with multiple sclerosis, but the force with which that puck rang in off the pipe leads me to believe he'll battle just as hard to overcome it as he did in becoming a 3-time Stanley Cup Champion. Maybe I'm overthinking it, but I genuinely can't remember hearing a post reverberate that loudly. It's almost like the person who took that shot put every ounce of frustration that he's experienced over the last three months behind it. I honestly believe that the world's greatest goaltender in front of the world's smallest net wasn't standing in the way of that laser, because that wrister was too powerful - both literally and figuratively - not to find twine.
Watching a great career get cut short by things that are outside the player's control is a harrowing reminder that professional athletes are - indeed - mortal. Seeing it end in a storybook fashion (considering the circumstances) with a snipe that sounded like it could have easily finished off the Liberty Bell was a reminder that they are part of something that is occasionally far more important than just a game. It was nice that the goal came in a victorious effort, but all you have to do is look at the reaction of the Carolina bench before the result was even final to realize the winner was decided well before the shootout was over. The winner was Bryan Bickell and his family - the one in the stands and the one in the locker room.