TRH RECAP – CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS ROUND 3 GAME 6: OW, MY FEELINGS


CHI_6_Recap

BLACKHAWKS 4, KINGS 3

*Note from King Tufficult*: This is a more ‘serious’ and reflective game recap, in line with the gravity of the situation that the Kings are now facing. If you prefer the traditional slapstick TweetCap format, I highly encourage you to do a Twitter search for the terms “Kings”, “Blackhawks”, and “fuck”.

“There’s no looking back.” – Alec Martinez, after Game 6

How do you deal with adversity in your life?

Do you get irrationally angry, and give in to your frustration that a situation isn’t turning out the way you’d hoped or expected?

Do you get sad, and succumb to a “woe is me” mentality as you plunge your spoon deeper into that Ben and Jerry’s tub, the droplets of melted ice cream running down the side of the container an all-too-depressing parallel of the tears streaking your face?

If you deal with personal obstacles and challenges in either of these ways, congratulations: you have an emotional constitution analogous to the Vancouver Canucks. You are destined to fall into a cycle of self-pity, abdication of your own personal agency, and an irrational fear of the city of Boston.

Or, is your internal state more analogous to the Los Angeles Kings? Do you make sure you never get too high or too low, discarding the illusions that come along with outcome dependent thinking for a more even-keel, “one step at a time” approach?

“Fly at 11[am]” – Darryl Sutter, when asked what he said to the team after their Game 6 loss

I assure you, no fan is more personally invested in the Kings’ success than I am, and yet I refuse to spiral into the usual negativity and hand-wringing that comes after such an important loss as last night.

Why? Because this is the second-most magical LA Kings postseason I’ve ever borne witness to, regardless of what happens. Do you understand the lasting psychological damage we’ve done to the San Jose Sharks and their fans? Who can put a price on that?

I’ve written before on the inspiration that I feel when watching this team, and how I draw upon some of the lessons I see unfolding on the ice to add insight to my own personal narrative. This opportunity for meaningful self-reflection and inspiration is one of the great hidden benefits of being a sports fan, and one that is entirely hidden to people who never understand the depth and subtext happening just below the surface each game day.

I personally believe the Kings will win Game 7, in no small part because I have never seen such a group of mentally tough teammates in my life. How many of you were ready to give up after the Sharks went up 3-0 on us? After we lost three straight to the Ducks? That’s not an indictment of your fan cred, by the way, it’s a reminder that we are fucking fortunate to be fans of a team that regularly does things which defy expectations.

Bailey’s giant #BELIEVE signs aren’t cheesy; in fact, they’re a reminder of what’s most important of all at the end of the day. The Kings might win Game 7, or they might lose. But what’s the point of heading into the match full of angst, negativity, and doubt? To shield yourself from a portion of the inevitable pain if they lose?

I say fuck that.

Instead, believe. Not because you’re delusional, or because you’re superstitious, or because Bailey told you to while Instagramming from Hooters.

Believe, because of the sheer childlike joy that comes with hoping that your favorite team will continue to manifest minor miracles.

Believe, because this team has players named Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, and Jonathan Quick.

Believe, because the joy that results from seeing your unbridled optimism come to fruition far outstrips the small mitigation of pain you might achieve by being a cynical bastard.

Believe, because it’s not over yet. There’s still at least one more watch party, one more occasion to be surrounded by friends or family, one more chance to trade high-fives with everyone from loved ones to strangers, as you watch the team we cherish leave everything on the ice.

I assure you that, regardless of the outcome on Sunday night, we’ve already won.

Because Trevor Lewis is locked up through 2016.

Tufficult out.

-King Tufficult (@KingTufficult)

As a child, King Tufficult liked to hang out at Iceoplex to watch his dad’s summer skating group that included many gloriously mulleted individuals. Some of the people attached to those mullets played for the early 90′s LA Kings. It was destiny. Since then, King Tufficult is best known for extensively traveling in Europe during the Cup Finals and writing “The Post” after Game 6 of the 2014 WCF. If you're a glutton for punishment, you can follow King Tufficult on Twitter @KingTufficult.
  • Slava’s mom-in-law

    I’m in. I wasn’t before, but you’re 100% right. Thank you.

  • Marc Zeffren

    This post. Forever.

    • GKG Since 86

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • Dave Dunseith

    Beauty, eh!! #GOKINGSGO

  • Marc Nathan

    I am with you. I believe. But, that being said, on any given night, either team may end up victorious. Having players named Kane, Toews, Keith and Hossa help too. Should be a great game. I only hope the Kings have one of those periods where the tables just turn in their direction, and stay there long enough for a final horn.

  • ZimGolf

    100% on board with you on this. Don’t be afraid to invest….your faith, your hope, your belief, just because it may not go your way in the end. Be part of something bigger. I’ve encountered so many who try to self preserve by being negative, cynical, or pessimistic when it comes to their teams. It’s as if they will find solace by using “I told you so” as currency against disappointment.
    F that. Jump in with both feet or don’t jump at all.

  • whitese

    Awesome writing!!

    The beauty is that this team has a great future ahead regardless of what happens tonite.

  • Hawkswintonite-sorry

    This is one for the ages. Hawks fan here. I’m kinda awed by both teams, so in a wierd-a$$ way the outcome doesn’t seem so important, it’s the way it’s won that I’m so curious about and looking forward to. I blew off my skate tonite to watch this, along with most of the other bums I play with it. Win or lose, I gotta say the Kings are simply awesome, you guys have YEARS of championship hockey left, and youngsters who look like next year’s superstars. Tonite will be fun. epic and awesome. And, we’ll meet again like this, same way next year!

    • Chris in Oxnard

      Gonna be a great show either way. Thanks to all the hockey gods we’re neither of us Sharks or Ducks fans.

      • Hawkswintonite-sorry

        From this part of the country, it’s ‘neither of us Blues or Wings fans’.