Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Hockey and Heartbreak

I was going to write about something else this month. You know, something about writing. Or maybe something about my books. Maybe something profound on creating characters or finding true love or…something. But I can't, not today. Not this month.

Because I'm heartbroken.

For those who don't follow the game, hockey playoffs have started. Four rounds of super-intense, heart-pounding, blood-pressure skyrocketing, stroke-inducing, edge-of-your seat excitement. Or despair.

And I'm a Caps fan (that's the Washington Capitals for those who don't follow the game). Enough said, right?

It's early in the playoffs--we're still in the first round. In fact, we played our third game last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs…a young team that was only, maybe, supposed to win one game in the first round.

They've won two. And all three games have gone into overtime. You want a cardio workout? Watch a playoff game in overtime. Trust me, that will get your heart pumping.

Me? I'm probably going to stroke-out before the first round even ends. My hubby won't sit in the same room with me during the games. Even my dog has abandoned me. Honestly, though, you'd think they'd be used to the screaming and swearing and crying by now.

Lisa's usually-lovable dog and normally-attentive hubby. Both have abandoned her in her time of need. Or maybe they just have a really good sense of self-preservation!

Because, you know, I'm a Caps fan. Have been since the late nineties. I should be used to this by now.

That's where the heartbreak comes in. Because I am used to it…and I don't want to be. The Caps, my beloved team, have only made it to the final round--the one for that bright, shiny Cup--only once, back in 1998. They were swept by Detroit, losing four games in a row.

They haven't been back since.

Yes, we've made the playoffs. Repeatedly. This season and last, we've won the President's Trophy (meaning we had the most regular season points out of all 30 teams in the NHL). 

But this is playoff hockey and the regular season doesn't count. Not even close. It's faster, tougher, harder. It's a wild, teeth-baring beast that demands even more from bodies already battered and broken by eighty-two games played since October.

It's a hunger game of an entirely different sort. And if you're a fan, you understand that the stakes are even higher.

I want to believe. I want to believe so much that it's a real physical manifestation: taste, feel, breathe: excitement, anxiety, hope…fear. Especially fear.

Because I'm a Caps fan.

L: Lisa with Mike Richards after winning his game-worn jersey, March 2016 (photo courtesy Washington Capitals); C: Lisa with Caps goalie Braden Holtby; R: Lisa with TJ Osie

Okay, so maybe the Leafs are leading the series 2-1. But it's only been three games out of a best-of-seven series. In the first round. I'll keep hoping…and convincing myself that we can do it. And trying not to stroke-out in the process.

In the meantime, you may want to join my husband and dog and stay far away from me. It's probably safer that way.

For now.


Yes, I'm a hockey nut and I love writing about the sport! To learn more about me and my different hockey romance series, please visit my website. And if you're a fan looking for a home, please join me in The Sin Bin, a Facebook group of almost 1500 ladies (and a few guys!) who are dedicated fans of hockey and hockey romance!


dstoutholcomb said...

I live in Maryland and know Caps fans, but I grew up in Delaware, and was a Flyers fan during the Broad Street Bullies heyday. Don't really follow hockey now. Sorry the Caps are out of the playoffs.\


Lisa B. Kamps said...

Hey Denise--

It's never too late to rejoin! Once a fan, always a fan :).

And the Caps aren't out of it just feels that way. But I remain forever hopeful because it's got to happen one of these days!!

Ada said...

At least your Caps made it into the playoffs, my Jets gave it a run in the end but nothing. But that doesn't stop me from cheering the rest of the Canadian teams in, especially the Oilers so I feel you!!

Summer said...

I'm a Sharks fan so I totally understand the pain of almost getting there, we've had a ton of heartbreak, too, being up 3-0 to the Kings then losing the series was so awful (that comeback was mostly due to Justin Williams, now on your Caps), and losing in the final last year wasn't so fun either.

Overtime losses feel particularly brutal, but your series is only 2-1, that's not an insurmountable lead, my Sharks were in the same position last night (also against a younger team) and now it's 2-2, so hopefully that will happen for you, too.