While Chicken Little was running rampant all over Ottawa Thursday, people were getting injured at alarming rates from leaping off the Senatorsí bandwagon.
There is some hope now in this city due to a gutsy performance by an undermanned hockey club and also the grit and determination of Ottawaís Bill Masterton nominee, Matt Carkner.
Carknerís triple-OT winner was not exactly a gritty goal or spectacular highlight goal, but it was a very symbolic one.
It was a goal that put a stamp on one of the best games in Senators history and a goal that sums up Matt Carknerís career to date.
Iíve played in long playoff games before and itís not just a physical battle against fatigue, itís a mental one.
The longer the game goes, the more mistakes are made, it comes down to goaltending and which team has the desire and perseverance to never quit and see it through till the end.
Pascal Leclaire was spectacular in the victory and the Senators persevered in the longest overtime game in their history.
The Senators now have a glimmer of hope in this series and that is all you can ever ask for in hockey, just to play another game, to get another chance.
Carkner is one of the best stories in the NHL this season.
Nobody would have given this guy a fighting chance of cracking the NHL after eight long season in the minors and, believe me, they are long years.
I played in the minors for three seasons and sure it was fun when I look back, but when youíre there Ö you hate it and you want out.
Minor-league years are like dog years compared to NHL years, they age you, they try and make you quit, they test your love for the game.
Playing in the minors makes you into a man and, just like a gruelling triple-overtime game, they test your will to the fullest.
It is ironic that Carknerís career path is so similar to this series and in particular Thursday nightís game.
As I watched Thursday night, I thought it was only fitting that Carkner scored the winner.
Nobody has really believed in this guy except for he and his family the last eight years as heís battled it out in the minors.
It would have been easy for him to quit along the way and say, ĎI gave it my best shot and I just wasnít good enough.í
Most guys would have quit long ago, in fact most guys do, but Carkner is not most guys.
Iím sure Carknerís had some injuries along the way and Iíd bet they played a big part in him staying in the minors longer than needed.
They probably happened at the worst possible times in his career just like the Senators are experiencing right now, but you canít let that stop you.
When people tell you youíre not good enough and youíll never make it, you canít let that stop you.
GMs, coaches, media, fans, opponents ... they will all try and bury you along the way, but you canít let that stop you.
To win a game in triple overtime is almost identical to scratching and clawing your way out of the minors.
You have to be relentless, you have to be driven and you can never let up.
Coming back from a 3-1 series deficit against the defending Stanley Cup champs before Thursdayís colossal win looked to be almost unthinkable and to some impossible.
Many would say that would have seemed like a mountain that is way too steep to climb.
To Matt Carkner, the mountain doesnít seem that high.