CHICAGO - MAY 07: Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls acknoledges the crowd prior to dropping the puck for the ceremonial face off prior the Chicago Blackhawks hosting the Vancouver Canucks during Game Four of the Western Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 7, 2009 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Derrick Rose
It's moving day, Chicago.
This town hasn't had two teams in playoff games since ... last Thursday. But this is different. It's a game seven for the Blackhawks, and a chance to clinch the series for the Bulls. It's the kind of night that could give Chicago a whole lot of heart attacks.
For the Blackhawks, it's their chance to come back from coming a Dallas win and a prayer from not making the playoffs just a year after their Stanley Cup win. They were down 0-3, but thrashed the Canucks in games 4 and 5 and won in thrilling, overtime fashion to tie the series up. A win tonight would put them that much closer to repeating a Stanley Cup win, despite having a drastically different team than last year's winners.
The Bulls aren't in the same precarious spot as the Blackhawks, but they can end the series with a win. That task became harder when Derrick Rose sprained his ankle in Indianapolis on Saturday, but he says he's definitely playing.
So how do we make it through the night, Chicagoans? We made it through six hours of playoff action last week, and even will our team to victory, though they weren't even playing at home. (Right? Isn't that how it happened?) All the relaxation techniques that got us through the first playoff double-header won't be enough for series clinchers.
This time, embrace the emotional roller coaster, friends. If you want to yell, yell. If you think the only way you'll make it through is to leave the room, or cover your head with a blanket, or drink heavily (if you are of legal age and have no intentions of driving a car), do it. There's no judgment when two of your teams are in clinching situations. Because at the end of the roller coaster can be such joy, and the wins are so much sweeter when you've experienced every up and down with the team.
(There's no need to mention how awful it will feel if both teams lose.)