Return of the Goons
I guess we can call this the Goonblog 2013 Stanley Cup Special, or, 2013 Playoffs: How I lost all Respect for Sidney Crosby. Either way, I’m feeling creative, so, here we are. Where have I been you ask? You care? Let’s get up to speed. In 2011 my daughter Caroline was born - and the Bruins went on a magical run to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. Fast forward to the end of 2012, and Victoria is born. Now the Bruins are marching their way back to the coveted Cup once again. Every time I have a child, the Bruins win. Apologies if they don’t win ever again after this year. MOL and I are done. Speaking of MOL, she is doing well. MVP of this house, for sure. Other than those two major life events I have nothing to report. I mean other than the Bruins are winning the 2013 Cup. In 2011, I was brimming with confidence. Go back and read some of the old posts from that run. I don’t think I ever wavered for a second. I was telling everyone I knew to remain calm, and all was well. When Boston went down 2-0 to Montreal round 1. Remain calm. When Bergeron was concussed against the Flyers, and were up 3-0 in the series, people were nervous for a repeat of the collapse the year before. Remain calm. Who saw Tampa giving the Bruins all they could handle in the Eastern Conference Final? Yeah, me neither. Remain Calm. Then they made it to the big stage, promptly lost the first two games, and got a major player hurt in game 3. Looked bleak. I still maintain Horton being drilled by Aaron Rome was the Bruins version of Shilling’s bloody sock, or Brady for Bledsoe back in 2001. Either way, remain calm. What happened? They won the whole friggin thing! The 2013 playoffs, on the other hand, I have not kept the faith as well. I didn't think Boston was getting out of the first round. I didn't like the way their season went, especially at the end of the year when they had about 547 chances to win the division - and couldn't. Maybe all the Marathon tributes were too emotional, or, maybe they really weren't up for winning the division, I don’t know. I just know I thought they looked crappy, and I was sure Toronto was beating them in 5 games. Well, we all saw what happened. I was almost right about them in the first round. Game 7 of that series will be known as the greatest comeback in hockey for me. What a gutsy effort to get the elusive “one goal at a time.” In hockey, there are life lessons all over the joint. Game 7, Round 1. Never give up. I was super impressed, and officially almost back on the Bruins bandwagon. It wasn't until game 1 of round 2 that I was officially back driving the bandwagon. It’s not a knock on the rest of the league, and Chicago fans (me being one of them) don’t take it personally when I predict the Bruins to win it all again, it’s just, when the Bruins play the game they've been playing, there is no one that can beat them. They are a battle tested group, built for the playoffs. They've been here before and they act like it. The timely goal tending of Tuukka Rask, and swarming nature on defense, coupled with their hard fore-check and opportunistic offense combine to make them remarkably deadly. Having said all that, it made me curious to know why everyone was saying Pittsburgh was going to smoke the Bruins. Let me understand this for a second. The Bruins had just ripped through the early season Stanley Cup darlings, featuring the greatest goaltender to ever put on pads, EVER, and they were heavy underdogs against a team that had all they could handle in the New York Islanders. The Islanders feature such a no name group you’d be hard pressed to find anyone off of said island who could accurately identify more than 4 players. Oh, and don’t forget, their starting goalie got pulled after looking shakier than a meth addict coming down from a 3 day bender. Then they throttled an inexperienced Ottawa team featuring a goalie who decided to let his game go to shit at exactly the wrong time. Meantime, all Boston did since the third period of game 7 against Toronto was surgically take apart opponents like Buffalo Bill - and they are the underdogs? Better put some more lotion in that basket. Or something. Well, we all say what happened. The Bruins took their game to the Penguins who had absolutely nothing waiting in terms of a response. This is where I lost all respect for Sidney Crosby - and gained a ton more for Jarome Iginla. Look - I have always been a Crosby fan. I think he is a super hard competitor. While I don’t like his on ice face, I have always been in his corner. That was until he started making more excuses than Jake Elwood at the end of the Blues Brothers for why they weren't winning. Iginla on the other hand was giving credit where credit was due in saying the Bruins were good and the Penguins needed to be better to win. While we’re here, Bruins fans, can we lay off Iginla please? If I were in his shoes when he had to make that decision, I would have chosen the Penguins too. At the time, they looked every bit the team to beat in the East, whilst the Bruins were doing their, “hey, let’s get up 3 and blow it” routine on a nightly basis. So, here we are. The 2013 Finals are upon us. I think this is going to be one for the ages, with the Bruins prevailing in a very hard fought 6 games. I can’t stress enough - that isn't a commentary on Chicago; it’s a commentary on the Bruins' game right now. They are playing like world beaters... and this juggernaut will not be denied. Follow along with the action here at Goonblog. Hell, if this goes well, maybe Dave and I will put the pads back on full time.