Dreams fuelling Donovan's fire

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:53 PM ET

 Shean Donovan has been here many times before -- if only in his head.

 Like most young Canadians, Donovan grew up dreaming of one day hoisting the Stanley Cup.

  And he didn't just win it. He was the hero.

 Playing street hockey in front of his parents' house in Timmins, Ont., Donovan was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner every time.

 "I was the goalie, the player, everything," he remembers. "I made the big save and the big goal to win it."

 What about his now-patented enthusiastic leap into the plexi-glass after lighting the lamp? Was that part of the celebration?

 "Oh yeah, into the snowbank, the lawn, wherever."

 Donovan is one win away from making his childhood dream a reality.

 "I've played this thing a million times," he says. "This is what you dream about as a kid."

 Donovan nearly saw his dream turn into a nasty nightmare in Game 5.

 He injured his right leg midway through the game but is hopeful he can return for tonight's tilt.

 "Obviously, I'll do anything to play," says Donovan, who walked with a slight limp yesterday. "I think there's a good chance.

 "I'm starting to feel better, I got a little treatment. We'll see how it feels tomorrow morning. I'll get another 24 hours of rest and that will help out a lot. It's Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. I'll find a way."

 The injury, which head coach Darryl Sutter "honestly" describes as a charley horse, occurred after he put a nifty move on Tampa's Jassen Cullimore only to have the Lightning d-man put his full weight on Donovan's leg.

 "He fell on my leg. He's a big body and my leg couldn't hold him. I was a little mad that I felt sore. It just wasn't meant to be for that game. I needed a little bit of time to regroup and get back at 'er."

 The 29-year-old remained on the ice for several seconds before heading to the bench. He attempted to return but lasted only a couple of shifts.

 He spent the third period on the bench but remained in the dressing room as the two teams started the overtime period.

 Watching his teammates fight tooth and nail in sudden death was not his idea of entertainment.

 "I was in the dressing room just icing down a little bit. I was nervous watching the game. It sucks when you don't play because you have no control over it.

 "At least when you play, it feels like you have some kind of control. It's no fun watching that."

 He has no intention of being a spectator tonight.

 If he was missing the limb entirely, Donovan would likely still try to sneak into the lineup.

 With the Cup on the line, there's no way he'll even consider not being able to play.

 "Every kid dreams of this so you don't want to give this up."

 Because accepting the Stanley Cup in a suit and dress shoes is not part of the dream.


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