"Sometimes, the difference is the will to keep going."
The last home game the Dallas Stars played in the 97-98 season was Game 5 of the Western Conference finals, on June 3. The Stars were down a goal to the Wings, and fighting for their playoff lives, with only a couple minutes left in regulation time.
My two daughters and I had emotionally thrown in the towel for the year as far as Dallas was concerned, and we waited with acceptance for the final horn.
There was, however, no acceptance in the heart of Guy Carbonneau.
as I was, I watched in amazement at the sight of Guy scrambling.
His desperate hustle kept the Wings from a clearing attempt from
"Carbos going nuts!" I said to the girls.
He ended up on his back near the boards, diving for the loose puck and successfully propelling it out to the point. Then he was up again instantly, in time to receive the pass back from Sergei Zubov and shoot it at an impossible angle toward the net.
With 1:25 remaining, the score was tied.
As Guy and
Mike Keane hugged and leapt into the air on the screen, we hugged
and leapt into the air in our living room. It wasnt over
a man born and bred with old-time, never-say-die hockey
had proven us wrong.
ESPNs Barry Melrose called it the most amazing shift of the playoffs. They showed the replay again and again not just the goal, but the whole unbelievable shift.
During the intermission we composed an impromptu ditty in honor of the occasion to the tune of "O Canada." We were singing "Guy Carbonneau you and Zubov scored the tying goal," when 46 seconds into OT, Jamie Langenbrunner scored.
After the game, Jamiewho was five when Guy played his first NHL gameput it this way: "Carbo led the way for us. If hes giving that kind of effort and has that much energy, I have no excuse. Its the winning way."
Dallas was not to win the Cupat least not this yearbut the hometown crowd got to see their team go out with a bang.
And this isn't all Guy did for us that night Later, as he was leaving the arena in his car, he stopped for a friend of mine and signed a photo for her to someone named "Shinny." She didn't have time to explain to him that Shinny was the alterego of a crazy woman in Wisconsin who hosts a bizarre e-zine called "Hockey Snacks."
Thanks for the autograph, Guy, and for the shift and the goal, and for a wonderful night that will last us till the dayhopefully soonthe Stars win that Cup.
Addendum 2/13/11: Our thank to Lisa-Marie Schroeder for providing the amazing video of Guy's spectacular shift. Stay on till the end for a post-third-period interview with the man himself!
"Stars Veterans Ruin Another Special Night" by Nicholas J. Cotsonika for The Detroit Free Press.