Obviously, there's a bit of sting to going out in the first round with a team we all thought could go farther. However, I'm trying to keep this in perspective, and so am not as depressed as a lot of my fellow fans.
First of all, I (and quite a few others), knew that after that glorious June of 2010, the road back to the Chalice would be a difficult one. Very few teams in the current era even get consecutive chances at the Cup, let alone actually repeat as owners of that sacred goblet. The roster purge we went through is one of those reasons -- every team with that much success faces the same thing: a decent group of high-cost stars and some young and/or rental players who can command higher salaries with a new pedigree as "Cup Winner" means something's gotta give.
But I said at the time, I thought we were built for a decade-long run at respectability. Qualify for the post-season every year. Advance more often than not, make the conference finals a couple times and get at least one more shot at Glory. I still think that's true. Two soft goals in consecutive overtimes is all that stood between today's bummer and a road-trip to NashVegas. We were, quite literally, that close against one of the hottest goalies going right now.
So I'll enjoy the summer, hoping that the league isn't so stupid as to blow itself up in pursuit of a new CBA and that Stan finds another piece or two to complement the promising youngsters we saw emerge and the still highly-skilled core. I'll happily send in my deposit next week for the 2012-13 season, and I'll see you all in October!