Diane's Playoff Diary, 4/12/00:
The First, Unblemished Day


For a second year, Guy Carbonneau will be providing us with a journal during the playoffs, this time thanks to the Dallas Morning News. No doubt the Stars’ veteran—who can be articulate and eloquent in two languages—will as usual furnish us with some excellent insights into the games ahead.

His humble webmaster, fairly eloquent in one language and pretty darn weak in the other, will be less interesting. But I decided to do this anyway, both because the logs show many Carbo fans keep checking back here for news, and because I don’t feel like waiting until my post-playoffs pages go up to say something about the 2000 Stanley Cup chase.

As the post season begins, Guy reports that he is feeling good, getting used to playing in his soft wrist cast. Apart from that he is well rested, in great shape, and if his disk problem is bothering him he isn’t complaining (which, since he isn’t much into complaining, nevertheless might be the case). Carbo is a pretty good metaphor for his team in total: They aren’t at 100%, but they’re in as good shape as they’ve been all year. So in spite of the temporary loss of Zubov and the possible rustiness of Lehtinen, no one’s complaining. And that’s the current status.

However, as we all know, the outlook can change very quickly in the playoffs. Last year Guy scored two goals in the first two games of the first series, but went out in that second game with a knee injury. And in 1998 Dallas’s prospects changed dramatically in the very first match, when Marchment took out Nieuwendyk.

The only day of the playoffs that your hopes can be truly unblemished is the first day. That’s today.

I typically spend the post season alternately rejoicing, fretting, and panicking. But, as I’ve shared with some of you who know me, this year I have a new resolve: As long as Guy is healthy and the Stars are still playing, I’ll be content. (As an English major I will paraphrase to myself from Romeo and Juliet: "How fares my Carbonneau? For nothing can be ill if he be well.") After all, as I don’t need to tell you, these may be the last games we see Carbo on the ice. And they will be good ones, full of nail-biting penalty kills, incredible saves, agonizing overtimes, spectacular goals. There will be moments we’ll remember the rest of our lives, and among whatever hockey memories we amass over the years, these will be particularly special. Because Guy Carbonneau will be in them.

But what of the question we’re all asking, can the Stars repeat? In a year where four teams, all in the West, have proven they have a real shot at the Cup? They all have the talent, the teamwork, the experience. However, in his first diary entry, Guy pointed out something very wise: "Whoever can get through the pain and the suffering will win." That’s why I have to give the edge to Dallas. As the Stars learned this season: Adversity will come as it will, but the one who has learned to eat adversity for lunch, he will emerge the victor.

And, as we learned during last year’s playoffs, Guy Carbonneau is a pretty good metaphor for that, too.