Last night was one of the greatest hockey games ever played in Dallas. The atmosphere at American Airlines Center was electric, and the fans did their part to wildly support the Stars, even though in the 1st period they looked terrible, going down 0-3. The team came roaring back in the 2nd period, scoring four goals. Amazing. Thrilling. Then, with only 2:30 left in the game, Dallas had a 5-3 power play advantage over Colorado. Game over, right? Wrong. Though short-handed, the Avalanche steal a pass and score on Turco. In overtime, a wide-open slapshot by Arnott hits the pipe–doink!–and the Avalanche promptly sail down the ice and score. We lose. Deep, deep depression. We are now down 0-2 in the series with the next two games in Denver.
This all raises the question: do the playoffs define a season? Troy Aikman once boldly told a gaggle of sportswriters, “For you it’s all about the Super Bowl. For me, it’s the journey of getting there.” The Stars had a remarkable regular season with 53 wins–only Detroit won more games–and 28 of those victories came at home. They led the league in come-from-behind wins, and have a core of likable star players. If this team goes on to lose (again!) in the first round, then that stinks. But I also know there are at least 20 other NHL teams who would love to trade places with us.