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6/7/16 - By Ryan Hall -

It's been a long time since I've put pen to paper. Truthfully, I haven't had much to say, since I've been living in a teal colored dream. However, the time feels right to say something.

For those that recall, I wrote an article called 'One More Night in Camelot' just before the playoffs began. In it, I wished for one last run from this group of players, one last moment of glory that lasted well into late spring. Since then, I've felt like a kid watching a dream come true before his eyes. I didn't want to do anything to break that spell. I never wanted the winning to end.

But here we stand, facing a 3-1 series deficit and heading back to the unfriendly confines of Pittsburgh.

The mood after last nights' game in the Shark Tank has been described as a 'funeral procession', and it's not hard to understand why.

When confronted with the grim reality of what last nights' loss has done, it's only natural to feel hopeless; and maybe to get a head start of dealing with the anticipated grief, loss, and sadness. Already there is talk of next year's roster, what-if moments, second guessing of coaching, and a whole lot of predictions on how and why things have done south.

It's almost as if we've all forgotten it isn't over yet.

Listen, I get it. We are a fan base well acquainted with broken hearts. That's the price we agree to pay for cheering on this team, even if we all harbour a secret hope that maybe this year things will be different. For 25 years that bill has come due, and we've all paid it with our tears, angst, anger, frustration, and in some cases blind rage. We've done all of that without having a direct say in how anything plays out. It's all been beyond our control, leaving us with only one thing that's still within our grasp: the ability to reinvest - to believe; or to give up - to doubt.

So let's just believe.

Let's believe because for the first time in our franchise's history there a real chance that we won't end the season with pain.

Let's believe because the best road team in the league is eminently capable of winning in Pittsburgh and sending this series back to San Jose for Sunday night.

Let's believe because we have yet to see how the Penguins handle adversity within a game.

Let's believe because Joe Thornton has looked pretty good, the Sharks are getting some chances, Joe Pavelski still knows how to play hockey, Martin Jones is a damn fine goaltender, and pucks can hit the post and go into the net sometimes.

Let's believe because if there ever was a time to believe this was it. This isn't blind hope, as we're actually in the Finals. What is to be gained by giving up now? After all this road we've walked together? We've gone this far, why not just hold on right to the end.

Finally, let's believe because it's the only thing that is within our power. We can't effect the outcome on the ice. We can't force a penalty call, will a puck past a goaltender, win a battle in the corner, or influence any of the tiny things on which a game can pivot.

All we control is our reaction and expectation.

So believe. Believe until it is pried from your cold fingers. Believe until the final nail is in the coffin. Believe because hope is so much better than despair.

Believe the ride isn't. We're still in Camelot, and dawn hasn't yet broken.


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