Still dealing with the Flyers early exit at the hands of Tim Thomas and his band of misfits, I tried to figure out if I really wanted to watch the game. I chose to watch for two main reasons: 1) I love hockey so any game will do and 2) It is Game Seven! Trying to explain Game 7 to someone who does not care about sports is like trying to describe the taste of an authentic cheese steak to a vegan. I do not think it can be done. I’ve tried before. I have gotten responses like “So what if they lose? Will it affect you?” or, my Kryptonite, “Don’t they start playing again in October no matter what?” How do you respond to these questions? Answer: You don’t. You simply chalk it up as a loss and proceed to the viewing area to take in God’s gift to the sports world: Game Seven.
The Sharks were on their heels for the remaining six minutes. With 5:03 remaining the Red Wings went on the power play after Torrey Mitchell slashed Ruslan Salei. The Red Wings peppered Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi. With their goaltender pulled, the Red Wings spent the last 90 seconds of their season in the Sharks zone throwing pucks at the net and, somehow, not getting the game-tying tally. It is beyond me how the Red Wings did not tie it but, nonetheless, the Sharks escaped with a very dramatic Game Seven victory.
If you are victorious in Game Seven, it could be a memory you never forget. Details about that game might be shaky but you will remember where you were when they won. Game Seven, April 22, 2008, Flyers vs. Capitals in Washington, D.C. I was a senior in high school trying to decide where to go to college (you know, where I am going to spend the next four years of my life- I would classify this as important) but everything stopped that night. After 60 minutes of hockey, the Flyers and Capitals were tied at two. Then just about six minutes into the overtime frame, Joffrey Lupul netted the power play game winner off of a rebound from Cristobal Huet. I was sitting on the couch in my family room with my parents watching. I still remember the details.
Even across sports Game Sevens are exciting. 2001, Round 2, Sixers vs. Raptors went the distance and late into Game Seven. The Sixers were up by one with little time left on the clock, the Raptors found their star guard, Vince Carter on the wing. Carter took a fade-away jumper with the forgotten man, Tyrone Hill, in his face. It seemed like the longest half second of my life watching the ball leave Carter’s finger tips all the way until he caught the back iron behind the rim and missed sending his team to the Eastern Conference Finals by inches. After the Sixers won, it felt like I had been holding my breath for hours and I could finally breathe easy again. Well that lasted six games then the Sixers again faced Game Seven only against the Milwaukee Bucks and their big three, Sam Cassell, Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, and sharp shooter, Ray Allen. The Sixers did not let that one go down to the wire.