Sports Department, Uncategorized

Bruins 2012-2013 Season

bruins-sad-klutho

With all the other major sports stories going on in New England, like this, and this, oh yeah and this…I did briefly want to weigh in on the great season the Boston Bruins had, since I’ve finally completed the 5 stages of grief and moved on to the final stage, acceptance.

Considering we were pretty damn close to missing a second full season in 7 years, due to a labor dispute of the collective bargaining agreement, I think we got our fair share of exciting hockey over the past 6 months. This condensed season felt more like an extended playoff throughout. Rarely did you find a game where guys took nights off or saved themselves. From impressive showings in the regular season by an up and coming rookie in Dougie Hamilton, to another rookie defense who took over the NYR playoff series in Torey Krug, these surprising performances help keep the future looking bright.

Finishing the Regular Season (condensed) with 62 points the B’s entered the playoffs against a tough Toronto team who took them to the limit. They were however vanquished, after a miraculous comeback.

Next came the toughly coached New York Rangers. Even though the Rangers have one of the most defensive teams and best goaltenders the B’s quickly disposed of them in 5.

With the most talented offensive teams in the league, this next series was one of the most shocking stories of the playoffs. The absolute dominant performance the Bruins put on the Pittsburgh Penguins was expected by no one. I repeat NO. ONE.  The 4 game sweep of a healthy Penguins team, who were absolutely baffled by the B’s team defense and opportune scoring, was the most pleasant surprises of the playoffs.

Then came the battle with the Blackhawks. A team that literally went half the season without a regulation loss, setting records along the way. Everyone knew this would be a tough battle and it definitely was. 3 overtime games and 3 games decided by 2 goals or less. This had the making of an all time classic series, go to 7 games, that NHL fans dream of. Sadly for the Bruins and impressively for the Blackhawks, 17 seconds changed the season, and before we knew it was all over.

As crushing as the loss was, the stories started piling in and the secret brotherhood would clue us all in on what was really going on. What more can be said about the sacrifice to their bodies these players make, for guys like Horton, Campbell or Bergeron, who also is recovering from a possible hole in is LUNG, it’s really unbelievable their dedication to their craft.

Some might say it’s crazy, but to understand what it means to be a part of a team and want to be there to contribute as much as you can towards a common goal, because you don’t want to let others down is some thing that is applicable to any aspect of life.

Roster moves will shake this team up, but with a top priority of locking up goalie Tuukka Rask, and keeping core guys like Chara, Bergeron, and Lucic in tact, who proved to be the beast we all know they could be when it counts, this team is set up for success.

Thankfully, we should spoiled enough for this to be an annual 2 month journey in May and June, every other night cause heart palpitations (gracias spell-check).

Congratulations to the Blackhawks, probably my second favorite team in the league, I look forward to Patrick Kane dominating the Olympics next year.

Once again, thank you to the Bruins for bringing together a city in need of something root for, job well done, we’ll see you next year.

We Love Music

Song of the Day: “Walk Away Renee”

rene rancourt

It’s here: Game 1 is upon us. But we, oh town of ever-so-many expats, should remember our roots and the embarrassment of sports riches into which we walked. Moving to Boston in 2003, I felt split in my desire to both root for the home team and remain true to a semblance of Buffalo pride (Buffalove, if you will). The Bruins and the Patriots were not friends. The Red Sox were a curiosity because there is no MLB in Western New York. (Though I recall recognizing the curious power of Fenway on Roger Clemens’s arm during Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS).

Buffalo’s adored teams wile in prolonged mediocrity but call to me. I recognize Rene Rancourt as a cultural icon, but I don’t connect with him like I do Rick Jeanneret, the Sabres’ play-by-play announcer. When I think of memorable first games of the Stanley Cup Finals, I remember not Patrice Bergeron’s bitten finger, but rather Jason Woolley’s overtime goal in 1999.

I’m conflicted, and it’s not because Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is from my hometown. He punched a cab driver there in 2009, so I have no warmth toward him. Rather, it’s been a tough decade for the Sabres (and the Bills). I remain a hockey fan nonetheless, but the decade of Boston championships are bittersweet when I feel what’s lacking 500 miles west on I-90. “Just walk away, Rene(e): you won’t see me follow you back home.”