Epilog: 23 Games"You don’t want to believe it. You have to pinch yourself. But if you really think about it, we had an unbelievable run. The great thing about this team is we know we can do it again next year."
—Guy Carbonneau

"We'd like to see him play forever."
—Ken Hitchcock

Skating

 

NHL players do not play for records like the one Carbonneau will probably break if he chooses to play one more post season in 2001. They play for one reason only: to win the Stanley Cup. When Guy was a small boy playing shinny with his brothers in Sept-Îles, not a one of them dreamed of the day he might be second in NHL history in career playoff games. And were you to ask Carbo if he were willing to exchange 23 playoff appearances for another Cup ring, he would say yes in a heartbeat, records be damned.

Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of a fan, it’s not impossible to look at it another way.

The Stanley Cup is precious not because it’s made of silver, but because it’s made of hockey games. Difficult hockey games. Games which push players to the brink of their stamina, press their tolerance for pain, demand the best they can give. It’s possible to play two dozen such agonizing games, and to win fifteen of those hellish games, and still not have the currency required to purchase that Cup.

That’s just how valuable it is.

In the RoomThree years out of Carbonneau’s 18 in the NHL, he and his teams came up with the currency. Does that mean the other 174 playoff games he played, including this year’s 23, went for naught? On the contrary, every one of them quickened the pulses of thousands, evoked roars of dismay or shouts of joy from all who watched, and added to the value of that year’s championship, regardless of who won it.

For the past two decades nearly every Stanley Cup was made up of a little bit of Guy Carbonneau. Not just those he won—’86, ’93, ’99—but those he lost, which were a little harder for his opponent to win because he made it so.

So we Dallas fans did—begrudgingly—give up our Stanley Cup this year. But we’ll hang on to Carbonneau’s last 23 playoff games, thank you very much.




First photo by Brad Amodeo

Main Page

'00 #1:
Games 1-5

'00 #2:
Games 6-10

'00 #3:
Games 11-17

'00 #4:
Games 18-23

'00 Epilog