Monthly Archives: June 2013

It would’ve been perfect…

It would’ve been the perfect ending to a crazy spring in Boston. And a crazy past year for the New England Area. It would’ve been happy.

People would have come from far and wide to get a glimpse of that shiny hunk of medal as it was paraded through the streets of Boston.

The recent absence left behind by the Marathon Bombing Memorial in Copley Square would have been replaced by a sea of Black and Gold.

A city and region that has been through so much tragedy lately would have some newer and happier memories to at least temporarily take their minds off of all of that.

All of New England would have woken up just a little bit happier every day until October.

Game 7 of Round 1 against the Maple Leafs would be looked at again and again and hailed as possibly the greatest comeback in sports history to go on and win the championship.

The series where they swept the #1 team in the conference would have been looked at as the moment that we knew we had something really special going on.

The Boston Bruins would’ve forced a Game 7 in Chicago.

They would’ve shown their true colors in a do-or-die game that they are notoriously the best at.

They would have won the Stanley Cup.

But those things didn’t happen.

The Lockout delayed the season by several months.

Players got injured.

Bad calls were made on both sides.

Really awful periods of hockey were played.

Complete breakdowns that needn’t last more than 17.7 seconds occurred.

Almost six overtimes were played.

An improbable 6-5 game even snuck it’s way in there.

The Stanley Cup made its way to Boston but fans everywhere hoped beyond hope that it would be making one last trip before making its year-long residence here. It didn’t.

The Miracle on the Causeway will be forgotten way too soon just as Bruins fans are appreciating what the Leafs fans went through.

No one will hear much talk about Sidney Crosby for the next several months.

Hockey fans everywhere will slowly start to catch up on their sleep.

And that 35 pounds of metal will be on its way back to Chicago to be paraded through their streets instead of ours.

 

Words can’t even describe how proud I am of this hockey team. They play with such heart and did everything they could to lift up this city during tragedy. They gave us another reason to stay up into all hours of the night watching TV. Wild police chases through Cambridge and Watertown turned into wild scrambles for the puck from one end of the ice to the other. They brought 17,565 people together to rise to their feet and belt out our National Anthem. They fought like hell to extend their season by 2 extra months to help a lot of the businesses around the Garden regain some of the revenue they lost during a ridiculous lockout. They wore that B proudly on their sweaters and never gave up.

The Boston Bruins did that. And for that I am so proud of this group of men. Only 99 days until the season starts up again. It’s going to be a rough summer and those 17.7 seconds will haunt us all for a long time. What the hell happened? But the boys will be back.

There’s always next year.

But man, it would’ve been perfect.

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The greatest sport in the world

Why did I ever give hockey the power to break me?

What is it about this sport?

I love football. I have always loved football. It was the first sport I fell in love with. Ever since I was a little girl going with my grandpa to see the Syracuse Orangemen (yes, they were the Orangemen back then) to almost every home game. I am crazy every single Sunday during the fall and winter. I don’t let anyone make plans with me if it interferes with game time. I always wear one of my 3 Giants jerseys (usually accompanied by my Giants pajamas, Giants hat, Giants long sleeve shirt, Giants socks…you get the picture). And despite all of the feelings I get after losing a football game, it can’t even compare to the feelings I get after losing a hockey game.

I mean, yeah, I get upset. I jump up and down on my bed. I swear and yell at the TV. But I don’t feel like this. Like I feel right now. Going into Game 6 down 2-3. Completely heartbroken.

Even after the Giants season was abruptly over without even making it to the Playoffs in January. I was upset. I was angry. I didn’t want the season to be over. But I got over it.

I don’t think I could get over a loss on Monday or Wednesday by the Bruins.

To be fair, we’re not in football season right now so maybe I just can’t compare the two sports unbiasedly. Or maybe it’s because the Giants just haven’t really had any dramatic, heart-breaking losses lately (they’ve just been doing it to Tom Brady and the Patriots).

Or maybe it’s just this Bruins team that plays with such heart that you can’t help but just want them to succeed. Or maybe it’s this city. Maybe I just really, really want this for the city of Boston. The people of Boston deserve to line the streets once again for a happy coming together of celebration of perseverance and Boston sports. The Bruins represent so much more to me than just a hockey team. Boston is my home. When the Bruins win, the entire city is happier. And I’m happier.

Don’t get me wrong, it was wonderful to watch the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl once again as a Giants fan living in Boston. But it’s just not nearly as good when you don’t have your entire city, that you love more than anything, to cheer and be happy with. Have you ever been to an away game for your team? Especially in Foxboro with some of the most dedicated football fans in the country all rooting against you? I have. And I watched the Giants beat the Patriots (with an Eli Manning come from behind in the 4th quarter win) in an amazing game on my birthday weekend. It was perfect. But if you have ever done this, you know that there’s just something incomplete about a win like that. When your team scores the potentially game-winning touchdown with seconds left in the 4th quarter, you jump up and scream and cheer, but you are surrounded by utter silence. At first you think that something’s wrong, that you saw the play incorrectly and it wasn’t actually a touchdown. But then you realize that it really was, you’re just the only one who’s happy about it. It’s just not as fun.

But now here I am, in the city of Boston, with half a million of my closest friends all longing for the same thing. The Stanley Cup back in Boston.

The Giants 2012 Superbowl win was glorious. In so many ways. But it cannot even compare to what it would be like to experience a Bruins Stanley Cup win while living in Boston.

Hockey is just a more passionate sport. It’s a more fun sport to root for. It’s a more exciting sport to watch. And, consequently, it’s a more devastating sport to lose. These men play about 3-4 games a week for nearly 9 months if they make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. That’s insane! Football players play 16-19 games a year. That’s it. Once a week for 4 months.

Football Sundays are great. They really are. Some of the best memories of my childhood and teenagehood are sitting around the TV all day with my mom watching football games from 1 in the afternoon to 10 o’clock at night, eating snacks and just lounging around all day. But hockey season is different. It’s 9 months of ups and downs, good stretches and bad ones, injuries and breakout players, all leading up to the best (and certainly longest) Playoff season in all of sports.

I don’t think there are any athletes tougher than hockey players and in my biased opinion there are no fans more passionate than hockey fans. And it may suck right now. And it really sucked at midnight on Wednesday as I descended the back stairs out of TD Garden after an overtime loss. But their are moments when every single bit of sadness, defeat, nervousness, and heart-attack-inducing stress is worth it.

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This is what that moment looked like 2 years ago.

And as much as last night’s game broke our spirits, I know that this team (with or without Bergeron….hopefully with) is capable of bringing us back to a moment just like that one pictured above.

White jerseys and all.

Or the one below:

Boston Bruins Victory Parade

Boylston Street and all.

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The TD Garden walk of shame

Last night was either the best or worst night of my life.

I still haven’t decided.

See…I was at the TD Garden last night. My best friend, a Blackhawks fan, and I decided that this was a once in a lifetime chance and said what the hell, threw our bank accounts to the wind and splurged on $350 last minute tickets yesterday morning.

I was a ball of excitement all day. This would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. (And the only fun I’d have all summer since I can’t allow myself to spend anymore money.)

And then it was there and it was the craziest, most exciting, most back and forth, high-scoring, amazing saves game I have ever seen. For every time my heart was broken by the silence of a thousand Bruins fans spurred by a puck sneaking past Tuukka Rask, there was another time when a thousand diehard fans flew to their feet simultaneously, high-fiving everyone in sight, waving their flags and just screaming for whoever got one past Crawford. But then the dreaded overtime. I went into panic mode.

Allow me to explain….the last time I witnessed overtime in the TD Garden it was the 2012 Beanpot final game between Boston University and Boston College. BU lost with 6.4 seconds left in overtime. It was heartbreaking. Absolutely devastating. One of the only times I’ve ever cried at a sporting event.

Let me tell you a little something about TD Garden, for those of you who don’t know. When you go in you get to take these fancy little escalators all the way up to the top, even if you’re sitting in the very top balcony section. It’s great. But when you leave, everyone is ushered down these never ending cement stairwells. Down and down and down until you swear to God that there is no way you possibly went up that many flights on your way in. You can’t even imagine how tall that damn building is.

And you know what? I’m sure that descent is the freaking best thing in the world after a Bruins win. But after your team loses, whether it be with 6.4 seconds left in overtime in the Beanpot final or 10:09 left in overtime in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final, that stairwell is haunting.

It never ends. It’s dead silent. Everyone’s heads just hang as they continue on and on and on. (And then you get the few Eagles fans thrown in there and it really becomes unbearable, but luckily I didn’t have to face that last night.)

That stairwell will forever haunt my nightmares. As soon as we went into overtime last night I started panicking. Major PTSD from the last overtime I had witnessed in that building. But you know what else? I was freaking excited! And that’s the worst part.

I know I saw an awesome game. I know I certainly got my money’s worth with the number of goals scored and the amount of time played. And I know that that’s about as good as it gets for an exciting game of hockey, but it is absolutely impossible for me to see it that way. I honestly think I would rather have seen a 6-0 Blackhawks win than go through that. (Okay, maybe 6-1 so I could experience at least one building-shaking, deafening Bruins goal celebration.)

But that’s the thing. Going into overtime, I was obviously nervous as all hell, but I got excited. Really excited. These are the Bruins. That’s what they do. They fight back again and again during difficult times and always pull through. It’s the Bruins. They are overtime pros and almost never disappoint. And I was there. Most likely the only time I’ll ever get to see a Stanley Cup Final game. How could they not win? What would it be like in this building when that overtime winner slipped past Crawford and the boys in Black and Gold went crazy? How loud would it be as thousands of fans started screaming and jumping up and down and waving their towels and singing that song? THAT would be a once in a lifetime experience.

But as you know, that didn’t happen. Brent Seabrook sent one past Rask 9 minutes and 51 seconds into a nerve-wracking, heart attack-inducing overtime. And that was that. The Garden went silent. Fans leapt from their seats and were halfway out the door in an instant. The Bruins were off the ice before I could blink. And Game 4 was over. My once in a lifetime chance was over.

So I guess I’ll never get to experience the TD Garden go crazy after an overtime win in the Stanley Cup FInals, but I’m still pulling for the chance to experience those boys parade down the streets of Boston in the duck boats past that Boston Marathon finish line. There’s still plenty of hope left for that.

Here’re my pictures from the game:

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Marathon victims waving the Boston Strong flag and the giant Bruins flag getting sent around the stadium.

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Rene Rancourt singing the National Anthem.

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Tuuuuukkkkkkka.

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I guess I can keep being his friend for now. As long as the boys in Black and Gold are holding that Cup over their heads by the end of all this.

It really was a great experience. I know that. And it cheered me up a little bit to get home and scroll through Twitter and see all the ‘WHAT IS THIS GAME’ and ‘holy hockey!’ and ‘what is happening?’ Tweets. And I mean, I did get to see Tyler Seguin of all people lay someone out.

But it still seems like every awesome memory I had from last night, at least for right now, is still somewhere back at the top of that long, slow, never ending descent down the cement stairs in the back of the TD Garden.

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It’s only game 1…

…and I already can’t take this.

My heart is shattered.

I’m exhausted.

I’m in denial.

I can’t wait 3 days!

We’ve been pretty spoiled as of late. Aside from that one shit show of a game against the Rangers, we haven’t really had any overtime losses. And we certainly haven’t had any DEVASTATING overtime losses like that. (At least we can console ourselves with the knowledge that the Maple Leafs did, in fact, suffer a little more than we are right now.)

But that sucked.

As 1am rolled around I just started thinking, I’m waking up in 4 hours for my busiest day of the week. What if they lose? Staying up for 3 overtimes is one thing. Having to face defeat and then just go to bed disappointed? The worst!

But there we were. 3 overtimes in. It was like watching a hockey game slowed down a few clicks like in some big Hollywood movie right before they score the winning goal. It became pretty obvious that it was going to just come down to a really stupid mistake or some shit luck.

Double. Deflection.

And seriously, all of those Bruins chances couldn’t go in? Really universe??

I hate being this person, but they deserved it after ALL OF THOSE CHANCES! TYLER. SEGUIN.

And don’t even say, ‘Yeah, Crawford was amazing.’

Yes, he was.

But shit luck, man. Shit luck.

Luckily, we are all Boston fans and are accustomed to dealing with this kind of crushing disappointment in some sport or another every year.

This is only Game 1.

Sure, the city of Boston will be moving just a little bit slower this morning. And that’s not even taking into account the giant traffic jam I just walked by all the way up Comm Ave. Take a power nap during your lunch break. Grab that extra cup of Dunkin and power through. It’s only Game 1.

These boys are used to coming from behind. Six more nail-biting games where at least 4 of those shit luck game-winning goals has to get behind Crawford. Not a problem!

But if that’s how Game 1 played out, who knows what we have in store for the next 6?

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Could we really sweep the Penguins?

God, I hope so!

I love the Bruins to death, but it would be really nice to have a social life again and not have to turn down all plans every night. I could use about a week off. (Even though the Kings aren’t putting as much as a fight as I had hoped to tire the Blackhawks out for the Finals). I can’t wait until next year’s Playoffs when I’ll finally be 21 and able to enjoy hockey the way it’s meant to be enjoyed: at a bar with dozens of your new closest friends.

Also, it’s the Penguins. It’s Crosby. And hell, just to spite the damn NBC Sports announcers who are seriously upset that their precious Penguins aren’t doing as well as they expected. (But at least they finally got their nail-biter Wednesday night).

Let’s take a second to talk about Gregory Campbell. I love hockey players! And I’ve seen some hockey players get some rough wounds and continue on playing, but that’s after going off to the bench and receiving magic hockey player treatment. Campbell takes the cake! I can’t even fathom how he even stood back up in the first place on a broken leg!! Watching that video back again (which looked awfully painful the first time around) and knowing that his leg is broken just makes me cringe. And to stay on for 47 seconds and even get a few good sticks in is just incredible. Thank you, Gregory Campbell. I hope the boys go all the way to win it for him because he is the definition of a Bruin.

Can you imagine if that happened to Crosby?

I’ll pause for a minute while you stop laughing.

So anyway, here we are. 3 games closer to the unthinkable only a short week ago. An actual shot at sweeping the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Don’t worry, I’m knocking on wood.) Who knows what will happen, but how awesome would that be? In the Garden, against the Penguins, after this crazy spring this city has had. If the boys could pull off this, they could certainly go all the way to the Cup.

Who would’ve thunk?

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Hell yeah!!!!

I haven’t been this happy after a hockey game in a long time. Okay, maybe since Game 7 against the Maple Leafs. But still.

What a beautiful night to be a Boston sports fan!

The Red Sox crush the Yankees 11-1 and the Bruins pull off the improbable with a 3-0 shutout win against the freaking Penguins!

So many fan bases that I hate and they all went home crying last night. Yankees. Penguins. Hell, even the Heat!

I don’t even know where to begin on my favorite moments from last night. It started with Hughes intentionally walking Ortiz to load the bases counting on an easy double play from Napoli, but oops…he hit it into the stands!

And then the Bruins kicked in.

That was one of the best games of hockey I’ve ever seen.

I’m not going to lie, I was so nervous going into this game! The Penguins were possibly the best team in the league. They had the best offense, averaging over 4 goals a game in the Playoffs. They had this kid named Sidney Crosby who apparently is the second coming of Christ. Maybe you’re heard of him.

And then something beautiful happened.

It was a scary start to the first period, but then Krejci tacked one on the board. And then absolute chaos/beautifully played hockey ensued for the next 40 minutes with no goals in what should have been a 6-4 game at that point, not necessarily in favor of the Bruins.

Sidney Crosby’s inner 12-year-old came out as he took a cheap shot at Rask on his way to the bench at the end of the period! Seriously? Who does that? Between him, Cooke and Malkin I don’t even know which one I want to get laid out more by the end of the period. Take your pick, Thornton.

And then Krejci, Czech beauty, struck again. (The ACTUAL leading scorer of these Playoffs, in case sports media led you to believe that it was Crosby). Needless to say, Vokoun and the entire Penguins team were rattled. And that was that.

For the first time, I feel really good about this series!

The Bruins got into their heads in the best possible way right off the bat! We were scoring goals, killing off penalties, playing killer defense (welcome back, Sir Chara!), and um…Tuukka. Rask.

He deserved every ounce of that shutout. A gorgeous performance by Tuukka (and the goal posts) against a team ┬áthat’s used to scoring 4 goals a game.

Okay, our power play was a little more than lacking, but hey. If that’s the only complaint, I’ll take it. And speaking of thing’s that are lacking…can I go back to bitching about Sidney Crosby?

Yeah, that guy who spent the last minute and a half of the game sitting on his ass in the penalty box after whining his entire way there.

The guy who tried to pick a fight with Chara. Please. I would LOVE to see that! He could step on your head!

The most overrated man in the world of sports right now. Tuukka was certainly put to the test last night, but not by Crosby! He was almost nowhere to be seen. And I loved every minute of it. Watching Pierre interview Horton at the end of the game instead of Crosby was the icing on top of a perfect night! I just wish I could have gotten a close up of the tears running down his face.

Now can we talk about Pierre? And the NBC announcers in general? Think you could show a little more bias?

I think NESN’s Jack Edwards said it best after the Bruins pulled into a 3-0 lead.

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But actually.

And don’t even get me started on this SportsCenter tweet:

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Excuse me, what?

Were we watching the same game?

That was NOT steal! That was a shutout. A 3-goal game. A complete shutdown of “the best current player in the NHL.” That was no steal, sirs, the Bruins EARNED every inch of that!

My #BruinsIn4 hashtag doesn’t seem like just a funny joke anymore. We can do this. And hopefully as we move on to Game 2, the entire sports world will have had some time to reflect and pull themselves out of Sidney Crosby’s and the rest of the Penguins’ asses.

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Tonight’s the night

Guys, it is hot.

And I apologize for stating the probably most-stated phrase in the East Coast this weekend, but ugh!

I love Boston. I really do. But days like these are the worst! 95 degrees is one thing, but 95 degrees with almost 70% humidity is hell. I had a whole list of things to do yesterday and instead came home after doing failing one (why does Shaws not have Arborio rice? Don’t ask.) I came home and sat in my room on the 16th floor of my east-facing college dorm room sans air conditioning to wallow in self-pity watching How I Met Your Mother in front of my two fans blasting at full force on my face. Exciting.

And when you are home doing essentially nothing for this long, you paint your nails and put on your Bruins decals. And while you’re doing this, you start thinking. And then the nerves kick in.

We’re playing the Penguins!

For 7 games. In Round 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Penguins!

We can do this. But it won’t be pretty. I’m talking multiple overtimes. Crushing losses. And, more than likely, 7 on the edge of your seats games.

But the day is finally here. After a week’s rest. A sad, sad Bruins hockey-less week. And now we’re ready! The players are preparing. The fans are getting out their lucky jerseys. Bars across Boston are getting ready for a good night. And every single person in Bruins Nation is getting nervous as all hell.

But hey, it’s just the Penguins. We can do this!

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