I would like to see none of this tomorrow afternoon. Please. For dignity's sake, please.
Believe it or not, I'm not writing this as my usual eternal pessimist self. I'm writing this as a realist: the Blues stand a very good chance of ending their season on a four game losing streak and being eliminated from the playoffs by the Los Angeles Kings. It will not be pleasant if the Blues can't do what the Flyers did in 2010, which was bounce back from a 3-0 deficit to stun the Boston Bruins. It will hurt. It will suck as fans. But there is a way to get through this.
- Don't take out your frustrations on Kings fans on Twitter, blogs, wherever. They didn't cast some magic voodoo spell to make our defense lack any sort of synergy at all, or for our top scorers to be impotent. At least I hope that they didn't.
- Recognize this season. I know it's hard right after the team that you love gets bounced from the playoffs, but remember the good times -- mainly how the Blues fought for the Presidents' Trophy until the last weekend, and how they won the Central Division. That's pretty snazzy.
- Take comfort that several other division leaders got bounced in the first round. Vancouver, Florida, Boston -- all were first round victims. So hey, at least the Blues lasted longer.
- They stand the chance of racking up serious hardware at the NHL Awards in June. The Jennings is a lock (lot of help that is now), and with David Backes up for the Selke, Ken Hitchcock up for the Jack Adams, and GM Doug Armstrong up for exec of the year, this might be the first time in a while that they get attention at the awards show. If anyone has any sense, Jon Hamm will present the Jennings. No, if anyone planning those awards had any sense, Jon Hamm and David Boreanaz, both celebrity puckheads, would be co-hosts.
- For your game time libations, don't buy something cheap and easy drinking. If they lose, you'll go through a 12-pack of Coors Light in a very short period of time and might get ill. Choose a more expensive, darker beer. One that has a higher alcohol level. Same buzz, fewer calories because you'll be drinking fewer beers... and hopefully fewer chances of getting sick. Though if you decide to shotgun a couple Delirium Tremens after the game, don't blame me.
- Be proud of the Blues. It's ok to be disappointed, but hey. Blues fans know that these things happen -- they've been happening since 1967. We've always coped before, and we'll cope again. Keep wearing those t-shirts over the summer, and maybe even invest in a Blues bottle opener keychain for any baseball tailgating you'll do. It's handy and, seeing as how the Blues are the source of most of our alcoholism, appropriate.
- Finally, keep watching playoff hockey. Sure, after tomorrow any emotional interest that we have in it might be gone, but it's still the greatest thing ever. Watch the division finals. Watch the Stanley Cup finals. And please, whatever you do, don't miss watching Gary Bettman get booed. Maybe this year the guy who tossed the Gatorade bottle in Vancouver'll be in the crowd, and maybe he'll have better aim.