A Raven

Dedicated to Paul Coffey and the 1996 Detroit Red Wings

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Shaken by the goal for Colorado which Paul Coffey had just scored into his own net which he had been guarding, preparing for his discarding the puck into the corner so it could be played by the Wings off the boards. 'Tis some wretched curse,' I murmured, 'which allows the Avalanche to score -- Only this and nothing more.' Ah, distinctly I can say that it was in a joyous May when each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. The Red Wings ran the NHL -- 63 times at the final bell victory had been theirs. Now the Cup required sixteen more. For the radiant Stanley Cup, the Red Wings must win sixteen more -- It would not be an easy chore. And the Jets of Winnipeg challenged the Wings but were stayed. It thrilled me -- filled me with fantastic frenzy n'er felt before, but tension continued my heart's beating as St. Louis came entreating and kept pounding away at the Red Wing netminder's door. The Blues fell finally at the entrance to the Red Wings' chamber door. They still had to win eight more. Presently my soul grew stronger knowing there had been no stronger record than the Wings had run up through the season, and, what's more, they had the Russian line to augment Yzerman and the others and so faintly did I ponder feeling as I did the founder, once more, bring them on, this Avalanche, the Red Wings will slam the door -- Until Paul Coffey's errant score. Continue