Something just didn’t feel right this morning. I woke up under a cloud even though the Sun was shining. Everything seemed misplaced, disjointed. I just couldn’t shake off the sense of doom.
I figured maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to write this morning’s Infamous Writers Hockey Pool report. But although the Senators and Rangers have both breathed their last, nothing about that should have afflicted me.
Out West, the Hawks and Wings are involved in an epic contest. And I mean, epic in the best, non-teenage girl sense. On the coast, the Kings and Sharks are going to Game Seven. How great is that?
So I should have been excited about where the Playoffs might go from here. No, it was something else…
And then I remembered. It was 20 years ago today…
Twenty years ago, referee Kerry Fraser looked the other way and didn’t see Wayne Gretzky viciously cut the most holy Maple Leaf of all time, Doug Gilmour, the incomparable “Dougie”, with his stick.
It was overtime in Game Six of the conference final in LA and the Leafs had the Kings on the ropes. One goal would send them to the Stanley Cup final against the Montreal Canadiens. It promised to be the dream matchup final of all time.
But Kerry didn’t make the call. And then, seconds later, the player who should have been cooling his ass in the penalty box scored.
And then they killed us in Game Seven and the dream died.
Twenty years ago today, Kerry Fraser became the most hated man in Leafs nation –- and so far no true blue Leafs fan has gotten over the tragedy.
And today I sit in the basement of the Infamous Writers Hockey Pool, ironically 99 (Gretzky’s number) points behind the leader, Will Zmak, who has a lot of Kings on his pool team.
No wonder I feel so crappy.