No more cannons firing. No more "No way but the hard way." No more Leo. No more "Goal scorers goals." No more "Gotta See It Live!" That's it until the 2011-2012 preseason starts up in September.
And who would have predicted that this season would end as it did? Former Sabres captain Craig Rivet, picked up off waivers by the CBJ just before the trade deadline, blew a gasket on his old team and drew a minor, a major and a game misconduct with roughly 7 minutes left in the game. Here's Rivet's confused take on the matter, courtesy of HockeyBuzz's Eric Smith:
Now down a defenseman and forcing the largely ineffective Jakub Voracek to serve the five minute major, the Blue Jackets blew a 3-3 tie with two Sabres goals. Kristian Huselius scored his second of the game with less than a minute left, but it was too little, too late.
So that's it. The players have given the fans the shirts off their backs one more time. The lights go dim at Nationwide Arena. If history is any guide, the maintenance staff will start melting the ice tonight.
It's been a maddeningly frustrating season, but tonight's not about frustration. It's about the sadness of a season lost, a season ended. It's about the sadness of watching so much potential go to waste. It's about a moment of finality when sixteen other teams get to not only keep playing but elevate to the next level of competition. Columbus should be there. Columbus needs to be there. And the Boys in Union Blue could not get it done.
Tonight, sadness. Nothing more.