Diane's Playoff Diary, 6/6/00:
Too Young and Too Good


"Too young and too good." After Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals that’s all I have to say. Please read on to see what I mean.

I don’t need to tell anyone reading this diary that watching the third period of Game 4 was not a pleasant experience for fans of Dallas or Guy Carbonneau. The Devils’ rookies ran rampant for a few brief minutes, but long enough to propel their team within reach of the Cup. Now if anyone can come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals it’s the Stars, but even the most optimistic fan has to feel that the Devils are simply playing like a superior team. Dallas will fight to the end, but right now I’m just hoping to see a Game 6 at Reunion Arena.

To most of the Dallas faithful, saying goodbye to our Cup will be the toughest moment we have to face. But to Carbonneau fans, there may be another moment at hand that will be even tougher: the moment when Guy tells us the next Cup run Dallas makes will be without him.

It would be easy for me to get sentimental about this occasion (in case you haven’t noticed, there’s quite a bit of that on this site), but for once I’m inclined to be stoic. I have a point to make and it won’t be made with tears.

So far in these playoffs Guy played 21 games—I personally got to relish 14 of them—and he moved into second place for all-time career playoff games. He scored a game-winner and a shorty, he had another amazing Shift for the Ages, he killed penalties galore, won key faceoffs, and preserved leads. When given the chance, his line successfully shut down opponents, including the Devils’ fastest and best. And although we can only imagine all his contributions in the room and on the bench, no doubt they were significant. In short, Carbonneau gave us another wonderful playoff performance, the 17th of his career. In addition, he and his teammates gave us (so far at least) the Western Conference Championship, and that’s not chopped liver.

I know I said recently that I was tired of that "Guy Carbonneau, 40" business, but at a time like this I’m inclined to say, look at what this man can do at 40. He is among an elite group of players in NHL history who, at such an age, have been called upon by their teams to play absolutely essential roles both on and off the ice. Carbo’s intelligence, wisdom and character enable him to leverage his talent even at 40 into something his team doesn’t want to do without.

And I dare say, wouldn’t want to do without when he is 41 either.

So with his potentially last game in two days, I just shake my head. The man will do what he must, and hopefully what he truly wants, but during this wonderful season and in these amazing playoffs he has proven his value in a way few NHL players have.

And that, my friends, is my point: Too young and too good. Guy Carbonneau is too young and too good to hang it up.