Monday, 12:30pm, I picked up the phone at work and called the wife. I asked her if she could do me a favor. She said sure. I asked if she could take our daughter out that night.

“You want to go out tonight? But it’s game 6.”

“No. I don’t want to go out. I want you and she to go out. The two of you.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s game 6, I will be home at 4:30 and I want to be alone with the TV.”

“You want to be alone with the TV,” she repeated to ensure she heard the statement correctly. “Are you starting to lose it?”

“Maybe,” I admitted, “and I would rather you and she not be there if I do.”

“Where do you suggest we go?”

“Well, we just got Disneyland passes, right?”

She paused, put the phone down, and I heard her call across the house that we are going to Disneyland. I heard our daughter call back with an enthusiastic, “yaaaay!”

4:35pm, I am home. Just me. I turn on the TV. I grab a tumbler from the bar, fill it with ice, pour a delicious Brinley Gold Vanilla Rum on top, sit on the couch and wait for the game. The minutes tick away, I grow increasingly more anxious. I take a sip. Damn, that is good stuff. Closer. Another sip. From the anthem to the drop of the puck, each minute of each period, if I lifted my eyes from the television, I don’t remember doing so and am thankful they weren’t home. My 3 year old wouldn’t have understood all the yelling, especially when she was bright enough to ask me during game 5, when I screamed in disgust after Vancouver’s goal, “are the Kings playing, daddy?” The wife’s lips turned into a smirk and I looked at my daughter. “No, honey, the Kings aren’t playing,” I answered. She put down her toy giraffe, stared at me with those big brown eyes and queried, “then why are you yelling?”

Why was I yelling?

Because it’s the Stanley Cup Finals.

Because this is one of my favorite times of the year.

Because I love this game and this game loves me, seduces me, tortures me and keeps me up at night.

Because I want to see the Boston Bruins win this thing.

More than anything, to bring some redemption value to this season, I want to see Tim Thomas lift the Stanley Cup.

And tomorrow?

I will be making a call around 12:30pm, not to ask, but to remind my lovely wife to please afford me exclusive use and possession of the family home for about 4 hours, commencing at 4:30pm. She has already said yes because she understands my insanity and married into it.