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08-06-2012, 07:54 AM
Anton Bubdobin
I hates summer
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Maine
Country: United States
Posts: 377
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Originally Posted by Vagrant View Post
Season: 2001-2002

Without the 2001-2002 heartbreak, there is never the 2005-2006 glory. I firmly believe that to be true. I think as an organization we have never been more wide eyed and awed by the magnitude of important games being played in Raleigh, NC. I know that personally, until this playoff run I always felt like the little brother of the NHL. The little brother of the Devils. The little brother of the Leafs. The cute little upstart with the cute little swirl on the crest. When we started our march by defeating New Jersey, the hockey world payed attention to Carolina for the first time in league history. We had won a playoff series. We had advanced. When we beat Montreal in dramatic fashion, we became a Cinderella. When we took out Toronto, we became a threat. When we won the first game of the Finals, we came three wins away from beating what some consider to be the best team of all time that was so chock full of bought hall of fame players that they couldn't even all get powerplay time and all we had was gumption, our Latvian sparkplug with the crusty pads, and Ron Francis who for whatever reason had whipped this group into a frenzy. Long before the term "cap hit" became part of the vernacular, we delivered a body blow on behalf of the bottom 26 teams in the league who couldn't buy the game by sheer force of wallet. That David vs. Goliath dynamic, with the advent of the salary cap, may never come again. At least, it will never be as dramatic as the disparity between the two pedigrees as it was that season for us. It taught a young group how to win, and it taught a GM how to build a team.
And it showed the world (well, me at least) what an absolute ******** Mitch Albom is.

EDIT: the missing word rhymes with "thickhead."

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