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It's the worst kind of hurt [1/2]


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At the start of the VHL season, the Bears seemed to be tearing things up. They were letting lose on any organization that came in their way and they were really showing true form. Win after win, strong performance after strong performance, it really looked like the Seattle Bear organization finally found what they'd been looking for after all these dark, blue years of building their vision. Despite the amazing start, the Bears seemed to simmer down mid-way through the season and some losses started to pile their way. Without panicking, the Bears made some line changes and started to once again find some nice form - but it seemed to be a little too late. As they proceeded into the final few stages of the playoffs, first seemed to be a tighter fight than ever as Riga and Toronto were always their in a 3-headed race for the top of the VHL regular season throne. When the season officially finished, the Bears finished with a record of 53-14-5, good enough for 3rd place in the league sitting 2 points back on 2nd and 6 on the first place Riga Reign. At the end of the day though, a lot had been accomplished and the Bears didn't feel any sort of negativity or such.


"We came into the season very strong. We made some solid off-season moves and had some fortunate luck in the dispersal draft that seen us bring in an elite, all-star defender in Fabio Jokinen and an amazing centre in Shawn Gretzky. These 2 players brought in so much for the team and really pushed us forwards in terms of contention. Rolling out of the gates hot was an amazing feeling and the guys were really loving the moments, but it came to an end and reality started to set in. Luckily, with such an experienced and great group of guys, we all came together and found a way to put our heads together and overcame some of the hurdles we were facing in the season.


We seen such strong performances from everyone of our players and we seen them in so many diverse situations and ways. From McAllister and Gretzky truly dominating for us offensively, to Fook Yu swapping and rerolling his TPE and being that pivotal, vital winger on whichever line we needed him on, to the strong and seemingly never ending work load that both Federov and Jokinen carried on their back being the only 2 defenders. V2A was always a good presence in and out of the LR and as time has gone on, we've seen him turn into a pretty solid guy. Development is a tough beast with goalies and it's a tough position to play, but we're very lucky to have him. Then, for Green and LaFlamme, both guys live busy lives and just like anyone, have their own personal hurdles standing in their way. Yet, they found a way to come and be a part of the team and run - so much that we seen Green every single day.


This season was amazing leading up to playoffs and honestly, more so in them. It was a really great ride to be going through with this group of guys."


Now as the playoffs started and the seeding was determined, the Bears and Legion soon learned their fate that instead of a slightly easier ride like New York had, the path to the finals wouldn't be so simple for either of the 2 teams. Likely the first of two series where eyes were all on and that were "series" to watch, Toronto and Seattle laid it all out to dry. The amount of overtimes in the series was absolutely crazy and except for maybe the odd game, any game could have been any teams. Each team seen dominance form their players and it also seen shaky, weaker times as well. One thing we could say about the series is, even with the Bears prevailing at the end of the day, it could have gone either way and it deserved to go whatever way it went. Both were solid teams, led by solid managers with a solid group of great people and players. Both showed heart, a lot of it, and played withe everything they had and that's why it ended up being likely the best series to watch in the Season 58 playoffs.


"I can't say enough about the series. I'd be lying if I told you the moment we found out Toronto would indeed be the team we're playing, I didn't shit my pants and panic a little.  Over my time as manager, playoffs hadn't been my forte and as Eaglesfan always loves to remind me, neither is winning a playoff series. Again, I'd be lying if the thought "great, another playoff series loss in the 1st round" didn't cross my mind at times in that round. They're a great team, and with every game being so close, man - clicking those links and looking at the games was nerve racking. I remember checking at work, never knowing when Draper would sim and then the moment you get home your balls are all twisted just waiting there. Talk about VHL Crack! Every time we needed to change lines I sat their, looking at the line up, the lines, the strategies and thinking "fuck, is this going to work?" and being so unsure because no matter the moves myself or Dollar made, the series was tight, man. 


It meant little then and means nothing now as it's very tough and discouraging to lose out. I thought I knew this when we couldn't even make it a round deep, but nothing stung worse than what happened this year. To Toronto though, great group of guys and good effort. You came together, a strong group of players, and were led by an exceptional person and manager and you really did deserve all the success you guys had this year. It's a shame some teams have to lose I guess, it is the nature of the game, but you still had an incredible season full of much to be proud of on both levels of a player and manager"


And with that, the Seattle Bears likely fucked a majority of award predictions on this specific award and were heading into the finals against the Riga Reign after a huge victory in game 7 against Toronto. Again, the Seattle Bears were walking into a series with confidence but also a level of uncertainty. Maybe nobody showed it but I mean, it's Riga Reign. The team of the year, who has GMoTY thanks to their huge performance in the regular season (please people, his cup win means diddly shit), who had the two luckiest mother fuckers in John Locke and Fredsomethingorother Krigars. The odds were once again stacked. Now, after losing game 1 and 2, and not just a little bit but by a lot, the team was likely thinking " fuck, here we go". I think it's safe to say that the next sim, no one was expecting. I'm sure most people, if voted at the time, would have said game 3 and 4 would be the sweep that saw Riga hoist the cup and destroy the Bears - but they'd have been wrong. In fact, the Bears once again fucked up everyone fantasy playoff stuff which was amazing to see. Fast forward to games 5 and 6 and you now have a crowned champion in the Riga Reign - a deserving team to say the least.


The first 2 losses had me shitting my pants. I really was thinking we were fucked and were going to get steam rolled. I remember coming on, looking and just thinking "fuck, now what? what kind of rabbit do I have to pull out of my ass to make this a series again". We made some major line changes - I was thinking it was a do or die moment, and then game 3 and 4 were simmed. I open game 1 and seen the results and was surprised honestly. Then game 4 followed and I thought "no way, we have a real shot at this". Let's fast forward now to the displeasing and irritating feeling I felt after losing game 5 on a score of 6-2. Ball busting, heart dropping and once again having the same panic as I had after games 1 and 2. Really, the game 3 and 4 feeling was a nice break from all this craziness we had going on. Again we made big changes and truly, you seen the difference in game 6. We went from allowing 6 goals, to 2. The game was a solid one and would have been nice to get a long-term look maybe at those lines, but it is what it is.


It was probably the shittiest feeling. Then you write the congratulations while trying to maintain yourself, but it's tough. You just want to type the words "fuck off riga", but it's not their fault they're a solid team that works well together. It's hedgehog's. He put together a team that he visioned. Maybe it was lucky - who knows. Everyone expected more from Locke, but the fact he's a lower player destroying like this (and Krigars) is amazing and lucky all at the same time. But really, is it luck? One season like AK-47's goal totals and sure, but they've been doing it now for a while. Obviously they found something that works for them. Despite the hard loss and it being difficult to swallow and see passed right now, Riga played strong all the way through and because of that, as much as I hate to say it, they deserve it just as much as anyone else and maybe a tad more. We had a great season too, but they truly triumphed.


Now? We gotta get through it as a team. Thankfully, the league gives nobody a break and we're right into the off-season after such an overwhelming season. Tough moves lay ahead for the Bears, so I guess we'll see what happens. 



3 Weeks for Federov

Feb 5th - 11th

Feb 12th - 18th

Feb 19th - 25th

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  • DollarAndADream changed the title to It's the worst kind of hurt [1/2]

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