Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Hockey Gods Let Me Down!!!

OH woeth is me... Hockey Gods! Why have thou struck me down!? What did I do to offend thee!? What did the Habs do wrong!? Have we besmirched thee!?

The answer is nothing. I did nothing to besmirch the Hockey Gods.

Now that I've thoroughly purged the sickness to my stomach which resulted from the ugh... Boston Bruins winning the Stanley Cup (I can hardly write it, I'm telling you), I'm ready to discuss this. Although my faith in the Hockey Gods has been shaken, the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup this year only makes sense if the Habs bring it back to its rightful home to Montreal in 2012.

My full faith in you will be restored oh Hockey Gods as by then, it'll all make sense.

Yes, the Bruins were the better team in the Finals. Yes, the Canucks choked and definitely did not play their best hockey. Yes most definitely, Timmy Thomas deserves everything he's getting right now. The guy played terrific and got into the heads of his opponent, just like every top goalie who ends up winning it all has done in the past. Just like Dryden. Just like Roy. And just like Hasek.

Sure the Canucks were hurt. No doubt Ryan Kessler was nursing something. He just wasn't the force he was in the previous three series. But hey! The Bruins lost Nathan Horton, who had been really clutch for that team. After all, it could even be argued that if Horton had gotten hurt in the first round, the Habs might have pulled it out.

But what I will not argue is that just because the Habs pushed the Bruins to the brink, and played their hearts out, that if they had prevailed in the opening round it would have been them hoisting the cup last week. I didn't see this year's team as a Stanley Cup winner.

But I do for 2012!

Why!? Quite simply, it's all part of the Hockey Gods' master plan.

The Bruins had to hit the lowest of the lows in order to hit the highest of the highs. Last year, they blew a 3-0 series lead only to lose to the Flyers in Game 7. This year, they won it all.

Is there anything worse for the Habs than to see the Bruins win the Cup, especially this year? A year that saw Chara almost end Max Pacioretty's career, and former Hab Mark Recchi wipe off his online doctor's diploma to say the injury wasn't all that bad??? A year that saw Ference give the finger to the Montreal crowd, then say it was an equipment malfunction? A year that saw the Habs dominate the Bruins in the regular season, only to fall to the Beantowners because of a lucky break???

I don't think so. This is officially the lowest of the low for the Habs. And now, the rebound back the other way to the highest of the highs is surely to take place.

Everyone can see that the Habs have something quite good in the making. Young, exciting talents like Carey Price and P.K. Subban form the kind of bedrock in which championships are won. Leaders like Captain Brian Gionta and Hal Gill have gone all the way and know what it takes to win. Elite world players like Tomas Plekanec who have played on all sorts of stages, and are just biting at the bit to take it to the next level professionally.

Plus a bunch of other solid players, still quite young, who have a lot to prove... and want to do it on the big stage in Montreal.

That's why the Habs resigned Frere Andrei Kostitsyn. It's why they resigned Mathieu Darche, a guy who takes nothing for granted. It's why they resigned Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais. It's why they resigned Hal Gill. It's also why they will resign Andrei Markov.

And it's why Jaromir Jagr is supposedly interested in signing with the Habs. It probably won't happen, but just goes to show you, he sees and knows what's happening in Montreal. Not to mention his obvious chemistry with fellow Czech Plekanec but that's besides the point. Everyone plays well with Plekanec. Maybe Gomez should play the wing...

Folks, I'm looking at the bright side of the Bruins' championship. And here it is:

1) We didn't really want Max Lapierre and Chris Higgins to win the Stanley Cup, did we?
2) I always thought Luongo was overrated and this proved it; and though he can't be pinned with the full blame, his shows in Boston weren't winning material.
3) Tim Thomas, hey, the guy is a great story -- and at 37, he probably only has a few more years left.
4) Michael Ryder hoisting the Cup -- good for him. I always liked him, even if he did burn the Habs this post-season -- but he probably won't be resigned by the Bruins this summer.
5) I didn't watch Chara pick up the Cup, but I did hope he'd fall back and hit his head with it and supposedly, that almost happened. And he'll get his eventually...

But most importantly: The Bruins win LIGHTS A FIRE UNDER THE ENTIRE CANADIENS' ORGANIZATION. No more messing around now. This is serious.


This is the first time the Stanley Cup has been won by the Northeast Division since the Habs last won in '93 (or whatever the division was called at the time) plus the first time since 1972 -- the last time the Bruins won prior to this year -- that a Habs divisional rival has won the Stanley Cup. In fact, the Bruins may not have been in the same division back then.

Think about it: Remember the old Adams Division? Who other than the Habs won it all from that division?? Since that time the Habs have been in a division with the Hartford Whalers, the Quebec Nordiques, the Bruins, the Buffalo Sabres, the Maple Leafs, and who else? I'm not even sure. But what I can be sure is, none of these teams ever won the Cup, except now for the Bruins.

Plus, we know that it's only fitting the Cup would come back to Canada in the storied hands of the Montreal Canadiens. Not the Vancouver Canucks, who always let me down, whom I wanted to lose until they faced the Bruins in the finals, and whom I will never, ever root for again.

The last time the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup with Bobby Orr leading the way, the Habs went on to win 5 championships (in '73, '76',77, '78' and '79). History has a way of repeating itself :)

Take that Jack Edwards (moronic play-by-play man for the Boston Bruins).

I can't wait for the season to begin. Na na na nah, hey heyyyyyy, goodbye!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bruins' Bad Karma Begins to Catch Up to Them

It was bound to happen...

What a burn it must be for Bruins fans to not only lose Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night in Vancouver, but to lose at the hands of none other than Alex Burrows, biter extraordinaire.

No doubt, Mike Murphy of the NHL's corrections bureau needs a new prescription for his glasses. Yeah sure, Bergeron's hand was in his face, but Burrows definitely should have been suspended, at least one game, for his despicable act. It definitely crossed the line. We could see his teeth come down, for crying out loud.

Of course, the same applied to Zdeno Chara when he shoved Max Paciorretty into the turnbuckle back in March. Again, Murphy reviewed the play and the response was no suspension.

What comes around goes around Bruins fans.

And so Burrows plays, scores the game's opening goal, one that Timmy Thomas should have had but wasn't flush against the post; gets an assist on the game's tying goal in the 3rd period; then becomes the overtime hero once again scoring 11 seconds in while becoming the 2nd fastest OT goal scorer in Stanley Cup playoff history -- with Montreal Canadiens' forward Brian Skrudland holding that honour after taking a beautiful saucer pass from Mike McPhee to score back in 1986 against the Calgary Flames, yes!

This was from the last round, but I love this picture of Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher. The guy is intense, and maybe a bit nuts. Don't worry Guy, you'll win a cup when you coach the Habs.

What was even more beautiful about the Burrows goal -- to me at least -- is how it truly exposed that the Bruins are completely outmatched against the Canucks and have been lucky to have gotten to this point:

Andrew Ference, a hack of a defenseman who gave the finger to the Montreal crowd earlier in the playoffs (more bad Karma for Boston) passes to nobody and has it picked off after the Bruins won the opening faceoff. Two quick passes and Burrows is flying in on the left side. Big Z Chara cuts off the angle and Burrows does exactly what I was waiting for -- he fakes out Thomas who is like a mile out of his net (almost 12 ft. to be exact) and ends up trying to go around him to angle it in. But he's forced behind the net by Chara and Thomas who tried to trip him.

However, Chara and Thomas got caught up for just a split second, allowing Burrows to gain a step on Big Z and swing around to put the puck into the open net.

Thomas overplays pucks and did so all night but somehow he gets away with it, like he has all season long. He makes a lot of crazy saves that are of his own making to begin with (i.e. covering up his own mistakes). Chara gave up the puck deep in Boston's zone for Vancouver's tying goal in the 3rd and should have been able to push the much smaller Burrows off the puck (however, there was no turnbuckle present so I guess it makes sense).

Ference, well he's just a loser and always will be. He can stay with the Bruins as long as his career lasts as far as I'm concerned.

Skill vs. brawn folks. And you know what? The Bruins, they don't really even bring the brawn. Tell me who is battling and hitting for this team? Horton? He's just waiting for open nets. Lucic? He's been a terrific disappointment even with his goal last night. Chara? Forget it. Boychuk maybe and Seidenberb are both clearly Boston's best dmen this playoffs. Chara hasn't played to his abilities; Kaberle -- he'll be looking for work in about a week and McQuaid? He's a whoda
f!@# !!

Boston took 3 OT wins agains the Habs in the 1st Round. Habs win one of those, Habs win. Finally Boston lost an OT game. Thank you hockey gods for restoring my faith in you.

At times Boston looks like a fish out of water when the Canucks turn up the pace. They just can't keep up with a fast-paced game. They were riding on confidence after breaking through Luongo in the second, but aside from that period, they've been outclassed ALL THE WAY.

I hope it continues.

Vancouver is now up 2-0 heading into Boston for Game 3 on Monday.

Go 'Nucks!!! Go Habs too!!

Speaking of the Habs, the team re-signed veteran dman Hal Gill to a one year, 2.25 million deal this week. I have to admit, I didn't like Gainey's original signing of the big man, because I'd seen him at his worst when he was on the Leafs. Then, somehow he found his role when he played on the Penguins Stanley Cup winning team. Now, he's a big-time leader who mentored Subban this year and was terrific with Gorges as a shutdown tandem last year.

With the hopes that the Habs' top four dmen will stay healthy this coming year (Markov, Gorges -- yes I think they both will be re-signed -- Subban and ??) Gill can play less minutes and be that much more effective. Bravo Hal, you're a good guy and a class act and worthy of the Montreal Canadiens jersey. Have a great 2011-2012 season.

And with that, there should be some more fun and excitement regarding signings in the following weeks leading up to July 1. I expect Markov and Gorges to be resigned. Kostitsyn too. We'll see what happens.

MAKE IT EIGHT!!! Quebec City, YOU'RE NEXT!!!