This is it. We've waited since last May for this. All of last summer we all yearned for the season to start. We missed hockey. But the regular season, as fun as it is, wasn't really what we wanted. No, not at all.
Fans, media, players, coaches, etc can all talk about how last year's collapse is in the past and how everyone should move forward. But that is not the case is it? Deep down, you're thinking about it. The coaches are probably thinking about it. The players are almost certainly thinking about it.
Last year the Bruins became a punchline in the history of the NHL playoffs. That kind of sting doesn't go away easy.
If the Bruins blow a lead of any kind in a game, you'll be force fed highlights of that fateful Game 7. If the Bruins win the first three games of a series and then lose game 4, part of you will throw up in your mouth a litte as the experts wonder if the Bruins are falling again. Just because.
You'll argue with Flyers fans and say this is a new year, who cares what happened last year. The phrase "those who do not learn from the past are doomed ro repeat" has never applied more to the Bruins.
More after the jump......
When last season started, we posted this. Our offseason masterpiece.
This playoff series is about unfinished business. It is about redemption.
For the next two months, any friend you have who supports an opposing team is not a friend. They are an enemy. Don't care if your sick grandma is a Habs fan. She's your enemy.
For the next two months your girlfriend is a widow. Your boyfriend is a widower. Your cat will eat leftover pizza when you go to the bathroom.
For the next two months we're all all going to live and die with the Bruins. Well, hopefully two months anyway.
You'll walk into work and give an inappropriate ass slap and high five to your boss after a huge win. You'll flip off a baby and turnover one of those mall carts with the fuzzy animal slippers after a loss. And then someone will say "hey that person must be from Montreal." And then you'll hit them.
If the Bruins lose an overtime game you'll be pissy and someone will tell you to relax and say it is just a game. You'll kick them in the groin and just walk away without a second though. That is just how it goes.
For the next two months we'll harass bandwagon fans a little less. The Bruins need all the cheering they can get, even from those who just bought a shiny new Lucic jersey at the pro shop and have no idea who Gregory Campbell is. For the next two months if you support the Bruins, you're our friend. You'll hug strangers outside the TD Garden after a game 2 win. You'll be walking down the street and see someone else in a Bruins shirt and give them the nod. You'll know. They'll know.
As for the actual games, things are starting exactly the way they need to start. The Bruins are facing the Canadiens. Step one on the road to redemption.
Think about it. If the Bruins won a Stanley Cup and didn't go through Montreal to do it, part of you would think it just wasn't quite the same, despite the intense joy and jubliation you would feel. It has to be this way. Montreal is in the way. The Bruins need to knock them on their ass. The greatest rivalry in the history of the universe is the most important thing for the next two weeks. The Bruins don't want to win this. They need to win this.
Then Pittsburgh, Washington and Philadelphia need to win their series. They do. They really, really do. Why?
Then the Bruins would face the Flyers in the second round. The Bruins need to face their demons and beat the Flyers on the way to a Cup. It just has to happen. Nothing will change what happened. But beating the Canadiens and the Flyers on the way to a Stanley Cup? Nothing would ever be better than that. Nothing.
Everything is being set up perfectly. Now it is up to the Bruins to rise to the occasion. It is the most wonderful time of the year.
The road to redemption starts Thursday night. On Thursday we see what the Bruins are made of. We see if they have what it takes. We see if they really want it.
If you are going to a game, don't stop cheering the entire time. Even if the Bruins are down by 11 goals. This isn't just about the players or the team. It is about you. It is go time for all of us.