You may have been one of the fans who stood and applauded the Dallas Stars in the dying minutes of Game 7 against the St. Louis Blues (and got to see your gesture condescendingly referred to as evidence of your team's "participation ribbon mode").
Or you may have left early, or watched from home, and put the team on blast during a social-media rampage (and got the privilege of being called a bandwagon fan by people who are already sniffing around whoever looks like the next series winner).
Either way, your Wednesday could have gone a lot better. Yet all this agony does have meaning, writes Mike Heika – and not just meaning, but value.
One of the things I've always liked about Stars fans is they are patient and courteous and just plain nice. It was that way back in 1999. It was that way Wednesday night. And the folks who stayed were right to show their appreciation.
Of course, the folks who left or showed their disapproval on Twitter were right, too. You need both sides. You need the support from underneath, but you also need people setting the bar high. You need to have an honest assessment of your organization.
And the fans can help with that.
As the organization takes on the pointed questions about streaky goaltending and a middleweight defense corps, both perspectives are needed if the Stars want to take that next step:
The Stars need to have fans who stay to the end, who politely clap, who remind you that this is progress. And they need fans who are downright mad that it ended this way, who feel a great opportunity slipped through the fingers of their favorite team.
They need to be supported, and they need to be chastised.
Somewhere inbetween lies the map to their destiny.
There's more at Mike's place. [SportsDayDFW]
Elsewhere in Heika, Mike reminds us that Jim Nill is a planner, and he already has a plan. [SportsDayDFW]
He also offers his thoughts on how Nill may deal with the team's eight unrestricted free agents and three RFA players – and even lets you vote on what you want to happen. [SportsDayDFW]
What would you do about the Stars' netminding situation? Here's your chance to see who might be available in free agency or via trade, then vote on your preference. [SportsDayDFW]
Last night, in All the Elimination:
- The Nashville Predators collapsed at the finish line as the San Jose Sharks dominated Game 7, 5-0. [On the Forecheck]
Captain Shea Weber had an especially rough evening: He was on the ice for all five San Jose goals.
It happens to the best of 'em.
"Two Game 7s in two nights? This is gonna rule!"— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) May 13, 2016
//Shea Weber and Kari Lehtonen crash through window
This is what can happen when a goaltender puts in the work but the team falls down around him. Let this Pekka Rinne rage-quit serve as a warning.
Who has the advantage in Round 3: the Sharks or the Blues? Andrew Berkshire takes a look at each position to find out. [Sportsnet]
Beside sending them to the Western Conference Finals, the Sharks' second-round win helped finalize a bit of NHL Draft-related business:
Finally: Just in case you still have a few tears left, this was the farewell video that played on the Jumbotron after Game 7. Go ahead, let it all out.