It's easy to forget. Despite not being in any position to claim a playoff spot, the Devils are in far better shape than they were just months ago. So what we are going to do here is use last night as a reminder. You never realize how far you have made it until you realize from where you came. So go rewatch Patrik Elias develop Tourette's syndrome mid breakaway. Watch him go full retard with a chance to extend the shootout. Watch him do what can only be described as a physical reenactment of a stutter with the game on the line...and remember.
Remember a much darker time. When two goal leads were as painstaking as 7 goal Who blowouts. When a one goal lead late was as close to a guaranteed shootout loss as you can possibly get. When losing was the norm. When simply getting a shot on goal in the shootout was considered a moral victory. When all seemed lost. You know when it's bad? When depression is no longer an occurrence, but a way of life. Last year, and the beginning of this year, save for the first 3 games, was just that. It was paying for gas, a ticket, and $9 beers only to go home miserable. It was character building. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. While I don't know if it was anywhere close to killing me, it did make me want to kill myself.
So for that, we should be thankful. Not because the Devils played a hell of a game last night. Not because they are going on to do big things this year. But because, on the whole, they resemble a competitive hockey team. They have given us reason for hope. A reason to get out of bed in the morning. A reason to look at the glass half full, instead of slamming the glass on the table and cutting your hand in a fit of rage. What once was a lost season is now a season of transition. The defense has improved. The goaltending is among the best in the league. The offense, while still lacking game breaking talent, has actually shown flashes of brilliance. Who knows what the rest of this season, as well as the future, brings. But I, for one, am thankful that come early April I won't have to dread early October.
After all, don't forget who is back...
P.S. Really needed a reason to post that picture. I just want to nestle up in that bicep and get lost in those eyes. Cue the motherfuckin' music...