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A view from the crease

By Rick Tabaracci - Special to the Sun
April 16, 1996

This is what it's all about. Starting from when you're a kid playing hockey, it's the Stanley Cup playoffs you dream about.
Even though there's lots of pressure it's still about fun -- hockey is a game and it doesn't get any better than this. You've got the nice weather when you go to the rink, it's exciting the whole time, and your destiny is in your own hands.
That's what's nice for us this season, after our start, the regular season records no longer matter. We don't have to play catch-up anymore and we're even with everyone else.
I've gone to the playoffs three times and two were first round exits in Game 7.
In the first series, I was with Winnipeg and played all seven games -- we were up 3-1 in the series and lost Randy Carlyle and were never the same after that. The other was in Washington against the Islanders when we had three overtime games in a row and two in double overtime and I faced 60 shots in one. That was probably some of the most exciting hockey I've ever seen.
It was hard sitting on the bench. It's tough to watch when the team isn't winning, especially when you feel you can contribute.
Calgary has really given me an opportunity to do that this year.
They've rewarded accomplishment here and said if you play well you will play.
For us as a team the key in this first series against Chicago is to go in there and win at least one of the games. Our club is older and we realize we're not going to win every game, but as long as you understand that and how each game is a new chance to win, then the momentum will never swing too far.
For the fans, you'll see the intensity on the ice as the most obvious difference from the regular season. We feel that too on the ice.
It's that much more intense, but, like I said earlier, it's still fun.
It's a thrill to be there and you don't realize that sometimes as an NHL player until the times you haven't made the playoffs.
As a veteran, you don't get swept away by all the hype, but no matter how your perspective changes from year to year one thing that never goes away is the excitement and the fact this is as good as it gets.
Keep reading me and Kidder in the Sun instead of the out-to-lunch Dinger, and we'll give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it's all about.

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