At this time yesterday, we were counting down the hours to Game 7, chomping at the bit to see the Bruins extend their season and take the next step in their Stanley Cup defense.
Today, we're scrambling to erase Game 7 from memory. Counting on happy, still fresh highlights from last year's title and ensuing summer of madness to keep the depression at bay.
"Hey, you can't win every year . . . We'll always have 2011!"
And it's true. No matter what happens from here on out, Bruins fans will always have 2011. The same way Celtics fans are still grasping to 2008, Sox fans still lean on 2007 and Pats fans are still rolling off the good vibes of three titles in four years (although 11 straight winning seasons certainly helps), the memories fostered from last year's Cup will be there as a constant consolation for the foreseeable future or until there's another one to replace it.
But while last year's success is a source of comfort, it's also a little haunting. Because in getting the chance to experience that victory, we all know how great it feels. How much fun it is to watch the Cup parade around the world and the Bruins players screw their way through every bar in Boston. To put it another way, we all know what we're missing. The Stanley Cup is no longer some fantastic, far-fetched dream; it's real. And this year, it's headed somewhere else. Today, that knowledge stings like a slap shot to the face, and will probably linger (at least a little) until another champion is crowned and the NHL falls out of a season.
But moving forward, and before long, today's depression will take a back seat to lasting memory 2011's greatness.
And thank God for that.