I almost felt sorry for them.
They have been through so much over the years. So many times in the playoffs. So much defeat and humiliation, but none greater than this.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. Not this year. This year was the year. The year that everyone had to take them seriously. The year the Sharks finally got their names on the Cup.
Then it happened.
They had peppered him, the goalie. Shooting from every angle again and again. His team was being overrun! His team of kids; of children!
It isn't their time yet. They know it. Everybody knows it!
51 shots on goal. Fifty-one! All but the last one coming in regulation.
Greater goalies have wilted under less pressure, but not he. Not on this day.
Today he is the greatest goalie on the planet. Today he is being mentioned with the best. With Roy. With Hasek. With Dreyden and Brodeur. With Sawchuk, and Plante, and Hall, and Tretiak.
This guy? This team? Now?!
Now nobody will take the Sharks seriously. Nobody will fear them. They are the team that not only lost to a group of inexperienced kids, but lost in the worst way possible.
An own goal. How terrible it must feel.
They will try to climb back. They will try to take control. They will hit, and grind, and shoot, but this one will gnaw at them. It will tear them apart from the inside. They ultimately lost not because of what they did to themselves.
They lost because of him.