Let me just give a couple of shout-outs here to Shawn Horcoff and Ryan Miller.
These former Spartans have really torn up the NHL, and I couldn't be more proud to have seen them on the ice many times in person.
Take Shawn: one year ahead of me. I had three years to watch him with season tickets at Munn Arena, though I actually watched him a few games the year before as well. And now? Best center in the west, according to Sports Illustrated, playing for the Oilers, where before him Anson Carter (now a Canuck) and Mike York (now an Islander) tread. He's called one of the best penalty killers, which certainly squares with a season when the Spartans had just as many shorthanded goals as they had power play goals...which was a lot. Yay for Shawn for being in the Stanley Cup finals, even if they did have to play the Wings to do it. Sing the fight song with Rem Murray for me, will you?
Now let's size up Ryan Miller, the shutout king for the Spartans. Many were confused when the Sabres started to play awesomely, but not me. They had Miller, and I'd seen him play. Certainly he struggled initially with pro play, but that's natural. I expected that, but knew greatness was in store. He was skinny, not untried. He bulked up, studied in the minors for a year, then came back to help the Sabres rip up the season and these playoffs. They've got a tough game 7 against Carolina coming up, but I feel pretty satisfied that one of my home-grown boys has been working for his team Spartan-style. He was part of the Spartan goaltending legacy, and has pushed that legacy to further glory.
And what happens if my guys go head to head for the Cup? Do I start cheering for the Oibres or the Salers? Everybody wins. It doesn't get any better than that.
Fight! Fight! Rah Team Fight! Victory for MSU!