Yes, that really did happen.

16 Jun

“The Bruins have won the Stanley Cup!”

We are the Champions!

Those words will live with me for the rest of my life.

For the first time since 1972, the Black and Gold have won the most beauteous and shiniest of all trophies in professional sports.  The Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks, a team which lead the regular season in points, were a #1 seed and stacked with undoubtedly offensive talent like the Sedin twins and Ryan Kesler.

But when it comes to winning the Stanley Cup, stuff like that don’t matter.

What matters is Heart.  Soul.  Grit.  Grime.  Desire.

A desire that is a slowly burning fire in the hearts of each and every one of these players since they were old enough to skate.

For the Boston Bruins, that fire started in Prague at the beginning of the season.

It smoldered throughout the months, through each long road trip, overtime win,  and shoot out loss.

The sparks started to pop and crackle during the first round of the playoffs versus the Canadians.

The fire began to grow with the sweep of the Flyers  and the emotional victory over the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.

When the Stanley Cup Finals began, that fire was burning bright and hot, but it IGNITED because of one hit.

Aaron Rome’s crushing hit on Nathan Horton in Game 3 was akin to pouring a can of lighter fluid on a campfire.

Once minute you’re slowing roasting marshmallows and the next, you are plucking blackened, charred, nobs of sugary goo off your sharpened branch.

That hit changed something in the Bruins.  It made them angry.  Vancouver’s post game jawing and comments to the press only fueled the fire more.

All season, the Bs played better when they were down, when people counted them out.  They crushed the Canucks in games 3, 4, and 6, and games 1, 2, and 5 were only one goal losses.

The Finals gave the decided advantage to the home team, but the Bruins were a team that would not be denied.

With the exception of a couple of minor penalties and sloppy turnovers, the Bruins played a perfect Game 7.  It was controlled yet intense.  All four of the Bruins lines were churning and working hard to shut down the Canucks, as they’d done the whole series.

Tim Thomas cemented his legacy in the pantheon of Boston sports and became the oldest player ever to win the Conn Smythe as the playoff MVP.

The Bruins defense, led by Zdeno Chara and the exceedingly underrated Dennis Seidenberg, created ghosts of the Sedins and the rest of the Canucks forwards.

Mark Recchi, at 43 years young, won his 3rd Stanley Cup, and promptly retired.  The guy is class all the way and because of him, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Tyler Seguin will be the future of the Boston Bruins.

What happened last night will be etched into the memories of every Bruins fan everywhere and with this victory, my beloved city truly stakes its claim as the “City of Champions”.  7 titles in 11 years.

7/11.

A slurpee sounds pretty good right about now.

But only if I get to drink it from the Cup.

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4 Responses to “Yes, that really did happen.”

  1. Beth The Sailing Foodie June 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    such an amazing game! I get goosebumps just reading this! It was a special moment to watch them win and to see my dear roommate (Chuck) teary eyed and speechless! I am so happy I could share that memory with you dear friend! Because of you and Pants this foodie is now a die hard hockey fan! Thank you!!!!

  2. Lindsay June 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    What a poignant post. I’m so thrilled for you Chuck and all the B fans around the world for this moment. It was amazing to see the change in the Bruins after the terrible hit on Horton. The critics all said they couldn’t do it – that Vancouver was more talented, skilled, that it was inevitable they’d win. But you’re right – that kind of stuff doesn’t matter in the playoffs. And it didn’t matter tonight.

    The post-game rioting in Vancouver has in some ways – certainly in Canada – overshadowed what the Bruins accomplished. For the fine people of Vancouver, and the many Canucks fans who aren’t sociopaths, it’s a shame. This is what I want to remember when I think of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champions – the love, the team, the spirit.

  3. Cassy June 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    Damn it Chuck, with that perfect post you made me teary eyed and wibble again!

    The Finals made the news here in the UK for the wrong reason; the riots. I feel for the Nucks & their fans; Luongo let them down.

    Wish I was going to be at the Cup Parade. I really do. And I reckon their run started in Belfast, but you know why lol!

    Just got my Eastern Conference Champs Tshirt. Damn it now I need another one!

  4. Chris Maza June 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    For a generation of Bruins fans, new stories to be told… http://wp.me/p15q0r-56

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