It never ceases to amaze me how stressful the build-up to a playoff game can be. I've been doing this whole mega-fan thing for more than half of my life at this point, and yet I still feel like I should be curled up in a fetal position under my bed or something. What makes this more remarkable is that fact that in matters not related to Red Wing hockey, I'm incredibly low-stress. Project deadlines? No problem. Eight-page papers? No sweat. Final exams? No big deal. And yet, the mere thought of Game 6, or Hockey Gods forbid, Game 7 is enough to reduce me to a quivering ball of nerves. I suspect that this stems partially from the fact that I'm stressing out about something over which I have absolutely no control (despite my continuous efforts to bargain with the Hockey Gods and/or mentally heal Brian Rafalski), but it is what it is. All I'm saying is that when I drop dead from a heart attack at age 53, you'll know why.
Enough about me and my pathetic, childish nerves. This whole Ericsson's foot thing has me a little nervous. As long as nothing's broken, he should be fine, but I'm well aware from personal experience that trying to stuff a giant egg-sized bruise into a skate is less than fun. Granted, by personal experience, I mean that time I took a softball to the ankle and then tried to put on my cheap 8-year-old roller blades the next day. I like to think that he'll have a little better luck with whatever fancy skates he's wearing.
On the other hand, the possibility of having Rafalski back is quite tantalizing. I can't help but believe that his return would be a big boost to the Wings, but there's always the possibility that he'll re-aggravate whatever injury he has and be out for even longer. These are the moments when I'm glad that I'm not the one making the decisions. Still, I have to think that he's the kind of guy who won't selfishly put his own interests before those of the team. We'll see what happens. It would be spectacularly nice to be able to actually play 6 D-men, though.
It's unfortunate that Drapes won't be back tonight, but it's hard to argue with the line-up the Wings had last game.
Anyway, that's all I have for now. I'm going to go back to cowering in the corner while clutching my rally rag like a security blanket for the next hour or so. After that, I'm going to be forced to spend an hour focusing on something non-hockey related, so we'll see how that goes. It'll either be a spectacular trainwreck or the very salvation of my sanity. All I can do at this point is hope that the Wings from Game 5 show up, and not the Wings from the first half of Game 3.