Imagine if he had been one of the heroes of the San Jose Sharks' 5-4 overtime victory against the Vegas Golden Knights, an epic comeback that sent the Sharks to the second round against the Colorado Avalanche starting with Game 1 here Friday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
The fathers of Sharks centers Logan Couture and Barclay Goodrow tried to process what happened as they boarded the same flight Wednesday.
[RELATED: Complete Sharks vs. Avalanche series coverage]
Couture scored two of the four power-play goals that gave the Sharks a 4-3 lead after they trailed 3-0 in the third period, and his father missed the first one because his nerves were so frayed he had left his seat.
"Being a parent, sometimes we wear our hearts on our sleeves because we feel for our boys when things don't go well," said Chet Couture, wearing a black Sharks golf shirt, headed home to London, Ontario. "But I tell you, when they do go well like last night, it's an unbelievable feeling.
"I honestly woke up this morning and felt intoxicated, even though I didn't touch a drop of alcohol yesterday. I had that feeling I was intoxicated and unsteady on my feet, and it was just the euphoria still."
Video: VGK@SJS, Gm7: Couture ties game with blistering PPG
Goodrow scored 18:19 into overtime, and his father didn't realize it was him at first in the blur of the moment.
"We're just so happy for the boys," said John Goodrow, wearing a replica of his son's black Sharks jersey, headed home to Aurora, Ontario. "All the hard work that these guys put in, all summer, all during the year, and then to give it all right to the end …"
* * * * *
Chet Couture sat in Section 113, about 20 rows off the ice, with other friends and family of Sharks players. When forward Max Pacioretty gave the Golden Knights a 3-0 lead at 3:36 of the third period, he couldn't take it anymore.
"Almost despair, because I knew it was going to be a tough hole to climb out of at that point," he said. "And I don't want to say totally impossible, but it didn't look good and my nerves were not good. So I left my seat and went elsewhere to watch it on TV."
He went to the family lounge at ice level because he knew he would be alone. He was the only person in there when Sharks center Joe Pavelski, the captain, fell hard and hit his head on the ice after a cross-check and a collision.
Golden Knights center Cody Eakin received a major penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct at 9:13. Knowing the Sharks could score as many power-play goals as possible during the five-minute penalty, Chet started to head back to his seat.
"We had hope," he said.
He was in the hallway when he heard the horn and the roar of the crowd. Knowing the Sharks had scored, he ducked into the press room to see the replay on TV. Seven seconds into the power play, it was 3-1, and who had gotten the goal? Logan.
"So then I really raced to get back to my seat," he said.
He was in the concourse when he heard the horn and the roar of the crowd again. He saw another replay on another TV. Forward Tomas Hertl had made it 3-2 at 10:09.
Video: VGK@SJS, Gm7: Hertl nets PPG on redirection
When Chet made it back to his seat, he was unwelcome.
"Everybody around me, the girlfriends and the wives, are saying, 'You need to go back out, because we did better when you were out,'" he said, smiling. "But I stayed."
Chet saw Logan tie the game 3-3 at 12:53, giving him six goals, tying Hertl and Golden Knights forward Mark Stone for the most in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has 89 points (40 goals, 49 assists) in 103 NHL playoff games.
Then forward Kevin Labanc gave the Sharks a 4-3 lead at 13:21.
"It was total bedlam and chaos," Chet said. "I mean, we were doing group hugs and jumping up and down just like kids. It was unbelievable."
And it wasn't over yet.
* * * * *
John Goodrow sat in one of the end zones. When Pavelski went down, he worried the game would get ugly. But sitting behind him was Ed Dillon, the father of Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon. Ed was more optimistic.
"Ed said, 'Well, five-minute penalty, we can get as many goals as we want,'" John said.
The Sharks got four. But then, right in front of them, Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault tied the game 4-4 with 47 seconds left.
"It was just, ugh, deflating," John said. "Not demoralized, but just deflating at that point."
Goodrow is the Sharks' fourth-line center. He didn't play from the 10:00 mark of the second period until the 16:49 mark of the third, then had three shifts late in the period. He didn't play again until the 14:04 mark of overtime, then didn't take another shift until 18:01.
Video: VGK@SJS, Gm7: Goodrow nets series-winner in OT
Usually, John knows every time Barclay hits the ice. But this time when he saw a player receive a pass from Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson in the Vegas zone, even though it was at his end of the ice, he saw a No. 2 on the jersey and thought it was No. 20, forward Marcus Sorensen, not No. 23, his son.
The player curled around Golden Knights defenseman Brayden McNabb, cut across the low slot and slipped the puck past the outstretched right pad of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Sharks had done it. They had become the second team in NHL history to rally from three goals down in the third period and win a Game 7, joining the Boston Bruins, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 in 2013. They had come back from down 3-1 and won a best-of-7 series for the first time.
But it wasn't No. 20 who had scored. It was No. 23.
"We were jumping, and we saw the replay and said, 'Barcs! Barcs!'" John said. "Tears."
John's eyes went a little misty again at the thought of it.
"I thought that the emotion I had just from the team scoring was all I had," he said. "But it wasn't."
Barclay had scored big goals before, and this was his second goal of the series. But he has 18 goals in 206 regular-season games, and two in nine playoff games in the NHL. He had never scored a goal like this -- overtime, Game 7, Stanley Cup Playoffs, after all of the earlier drama.
And John got to be there to see it live.
It was the only game of the series John attended. He arrived the day of the game and stayed at Barclay's place.
Afterward, they celebrated with a case of cold ones and a couple of pizzas late into the night, watching the highlights together on TV, father and son.
"It was just a special moment," he said.