In what has become a tradition, I hosted my second Lightning Cup-iversary party at my apartment yesterday. Correspondent Jason Haas was visiting, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to reminisce about the insanely awesome time that was the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
We all sat around the television, watching a DVD of all of the fights from that season. As the games progressed to the playoffs, the footage got more expansive. There were all of the playoff goals, including the one by Andre Roy against the New York Islanders that kicked off the post season. There was Vinny’s between the legs goal against Montreal. There was Chris Dingman’s goal in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. That was the game I camped in front of the arena in order to get a ticket.
And of course there were Ruslan Fedotenko’s two goals in game 7 against the Calgary Flames. The video continued, showing the presentation of the Cup to Captain Dave Andreychuk. That’s when I started crying. As passionate as I am when it comes to my hockey team, it takes a lot for me to show emotion like that in public. Seeing the Cup win always gets me choked up, but I was finally able to articulate just how much that victory means to me.
Without that win, I might not know all of the amazing people who have become parts of my hockey family. I might not be a season ticket holder. Heck, I might not even be living in Tampa. There probably wouldn’t be a Sons of Andreychuk without it.
Whenever I watch the championship DVD or see footage from that time, I’m transported back to it. Every single member of that team is seared into my memory. From Fredrik Modin to Martin Cibak and everyone in between. I remember the absolutely joy in celebrating the victory. Hopefully the Bolts will get there again, and I can add another DVD to the Cup-iversary Party required viewing.