We just arrived back from Angers a few hours ago from our 2 games in the best of 5 series. We are currently tied 2-2 with the 5th game set for Saturday night in Briancon. Having been sidelined since the early moments of Game 2 vs. Strasbourg, I have desperately been working to try to get back in the lineup.
The first time I tried to practice was on Thursday, the day before the series opened against Angers. I did not last long and made an early exit to the showers. I tried again Monday morning, to see if my ankle was strong enough to at least make the road trip to Angers, in case of emergency. Since Monday it has progressively been getting better and in the morning skate yesterday I felt about 75%, but having won the night before, the coach decided to keep the same lineup and to give me a few more days of valuable rest.
Unfortunately for us, we lost last night, and Angers forced a 5th game. So with a few extra days for this ligament to heal, I will be in the lineup on Saturday night. Not sure how "Pain-Free" I will be, but this is the playoffs, and I have to help my team win this very important game. Depending on how things go these next two days, I could end up only playing on the power play, where we have struggled to get goals, especially last night where we went 0 for 6. Not saying that I will make the difference, but this is usually the strong point in my game and I am hoping to provide some good scoring chances for us with shots from the blue line.
Watching my team go to battle over these last 2 weeks has been very hard to handle, knowing that I could do nothing more than cheer them on from the stands. To feel even closer to the action, I even did some commentating on the Alpes 1 radio station, while trying to send some positive energy to my teammates!
After the game, I told my coach: "Next game I am playing, no matter what." I have to be out there with them, going to battle, playing hurt and making sacrifices. We have been together since August 10th and I will be with them the rest of the way from now on!
Coach, I'm going in!!!