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Tuesdays with Hildy (on Thursday!): The Ultimate Seasonal Affective Disorder

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(FYI, for the 4 of you who look at it, my site's moved over to the Bloguin network where they've given me the creepiest header ever (I love it) - http://www.thrashingtheblues.com)

It's that time of year again. That sad, sad time when you look at the schedule on the Blues' official website and only see 2 weeks and a teeny smattering of games. You try to scroll forward, and all you see is blank, blank space. You know that it won't be full again until September rolls back around, and you know that the new season's schedule probably won't be released until early August.

You want just one more game there - not just because that extra game means playoff hockey, but because it just means hockey period.

The end of the season is always the most frustrating time for fans, especially for fans of a team that juuuuuust missed the playoffs yet again. You look back at that awful home record and wonder if we would have won a few more... (just to make you more depressed, if you take our 15-18-5 home record and switch it with the BJ's 20-11-8 home record, our record would be 42-23-12, good for 96 points). You stop and ponder that if we fired Andy Murray sooner, just a month sooner... would we be a few more spots higher on that totem pole? What if we had a true #1 goalie? What if Paul Kariya played like he got paid to play?

So many sad, sad things can float through a hockey fan's mind this time of season. If you're not one of the top 16, it's rough. You're just playing the season out. So, how do you manage? What is your coping mechanism to make it through these last 2 weeks and the next five and a half months?

Options abound:

A) Adopt a team: like those cute little puppies David Backes saved, some other team in the East or West deserves to go home with you. There have to be some redeeming aspects of other squads that you like, or at the very least you would like to see another team embarrass Detroit or Chicago. In the West, I'm floating towards Phoenix - mainly just to piss off Canada. My Eastern Conference playoff team is still TBD, because that other team that I like refuses to die.

B) Shut yourself off from hockey: Why the hell anyone would want to do this is beyond me, but the removal of reminders of things you have lost from your life is a legit coping mechanism, kind of like cutting your girlfriend out of all your old vacation photos.

C) World Championships: nothing wrong with some international hockey love, especially since Team USA'll probably have Oshie, Backes, and Johnson on it.

D) Summer rec leagues: a fun and exciting way to participate in the sport you love when every midget in metro StL isn't at a public skate

What have you guys found is the best way to help you cope with the impending doom/mild disappointment that will be the final two weeks of the Blues' season?