Nice to see a new feature where I can post multiple photos in one post.
Now that I’ve had a day to digest, I don’t know where to start. There really is so much to take in. How far back do I go? NHL 93 when I really started following the Bruins and hockey in general? I think that’s too far back.
How about as far back as when the lockout happened and I abandoned the sport completely? Quick, without looking who won the Cup before the lockout? How about who’d they beat? That would be Lightning over the Flames.
How about post lockout when the traded the corn-fed mule Joe Thornton to San Jose for a bag of pucks and a goalie cutout? For me that was the lowest point. The front office thought so too when they fired Mike O’Connell and hired Peter Chiarelli. Chiarelli’s first move was signing Zdeno Chara from the same team he used to be the GM for, the Ottawa Senators.
And thus was born the start of the new Bruins.
I’ll admit, besides Causeway Day there really weren’t a ton of games I went to. The odd game here and there when we’d get free tickets or when JC got us front row behind the glass for $33. But the interest and the “hockey bug” started to come back.
Thing is at that point WEEI really never talked hockey. Sure Dale would sneak in some hockey talk during the midday show but their games were broadcast on AM radio and the interest wasn’t that strong.
Around this same time Toucher and Rich made their debut on the airwaves on the former WBCN. They had former Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward on their broadcast and the hockey bug started to grow again. These two guys really talked a lot of Bruins which was funny since they were “shock jocks” on a rock station.
Spring of 2008 I was back. Sure the Bruins lost to Montreal in game seven of the first round, the buzz was starting to come back. The next year they made it to the next round and the buzz was even stronger.
About that time 98.5 The Sports Hub was born. Toucher and Rich moved to the morning but their commitment to the Bruins was very strong. They broadcast all the games in high-def, no static, and all the shows during the day had Bruins guests.
The Bruins jersey was out of the closet and back in the rotation. Tuukka time dominated the late parts of the season and they rode him into the postseason. The first round they beat Buffalo and it shaped up that if they beat Philadelphia they would get Montreal at home in the Conference Finals. We all know what happened after that but what everyone forgets is that Seidenberg was out and they lost Marco Sturm and Krejci in the Philly series.
Well, this year I was just as critical as ever with the B’s. I wrote columns about how Claude should be fired, Chiarelli should be canned, let Neely run the show etc, etc.
I’m eating crow Wednesday night and it tastes like victory.
Chiarelli made moves before everyone else bringing in Chris Kelly from Ottawa. He followed that up with Peverly for Atlanta and Kaberle from Toronto. Now Kaberle wasn’t a homerun but Peverly and Kelly more than made up for it.
They were the last pieces of the puzzle that helped to drive the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 39 years. 39 years! That’s older than me. I always wondered what it would feel like to see the Bruins win a Stanley Cup, sure I’d done it on Playstation, but that wasn’t even an iota to how sweet it was Wednesday night.
Up 3-0 the texts started coming in. All the Bruins friends that stuck through all the rough times, the season ticket deposits due for a team in the 12 seed in the East with a month left in the season all of a sudden were erased. All the hatred for the Jacobs family, gone. The “loser” attitude, erased as well.
Seeing the clock click down to zero and seeing Zdeno Chara hoist the cup above his head after yet another incredible shutout by the “washed up” Tim Thomas was incredible. Seeing the team have Horton, in uniform, hoist the Cup after being knocked out of the series (literally) in Game 3 had to bring a tear to your eye.
Knowing Horton put Boston water on the ice prior to the game, even better.
I won’t be in Boston for the parade Saturday but to all my friends that are, have fun.
I went when the Pats won in 2001 and that was enough for crowds for me. But speaking of the Pats, Tedy Bruschi was asked which was his favorite championship before he retired which he replied, “the next one.”
Boston is the quickest city to get the title grand slam.
I’m going to savor this one for quite some time. And like Bruschi said, looking forward to the next.