Author's note: I wrote this on my old blog. There's a 99% chance that 4 of the readers I had aren't reading this right now. In fact, I know that three of them blog for this website. They've read it. I wrote this because of the increasing number of "Bruins fans" in the Boston area and throughout the globe. With the influx of pink hat and bandwagon chatter, it was time for this to come to the masses. Remember, it was written towards the beginning of the season, but I think most of it still holds true the night before the Stanley Cup Finals begin.
With the recent boom of hockey in the Northeast I feel that it is my duty to break down the Bruins fan. I wrote a post a very long time ago for Something's Bruin about how the Bruins fan is becoming the Red Sox fan pre-2004. Much like the Red Sox, the Bruins crowd is starting to change a little bit. Before the Bruins 2008-2009 season, the Shawmut Center/FleetCenter was full of people who could talk about a hockey game at length. They knew the ins and outs of the game and while the teams were being bounced in the first round of the playoffs and drafting guys like Joe Thornton, Hannu Toivonen, and Lars Jonsson (all first round picks, respectively). While some people were writhing in agony about the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals where Glenn Wesley was missing open nets, others had no idea what the hell was going on with the black and gold. When Joe Thornton was blowing playoffs series and playing the role of ghost, most had no idea who the hell Joe Thornton was. It wasn't until 2008 that a lot of people started paying attention to the Bruins. It's a pretty broad statement, sure, but it is also a fact. Once the playoffs started rolling and Boston was the top dog in the East, people really put on their black and gold shades and started to pay attention. The good thing is that it really made the Bruins prolific again on the Boston sports scene. People started wearing memorabilia. People started to talk about regular season games and training camp as opposed to just talking about the playoffs. The bad thing is that it mad ticket prices go up and made it harder for people to go to games. It also brought in a lot of "puck bunnies".
Per urbandictionary.com: from canadian slang. a woman who goes to hockey games for the sole purpose of fucking one of the players.
So for anyone looking to get in to hockey, I am about to do you a major solid. When you look at the fanbase there is basically four major groups. Think of them as the major food groups of Boston hockey.
We're not huge hip-hop guys here at Days of Y'Orr. To each their own.
But it was nice to see someone do a classic rock Boston Bruins song -- "Tim Thomas Wizard", set to the tune of "Pinball Wizard." The video's choppy but the music is pretty solid. Better than our voices.
Catch is he's printing this in a limited edition of 50 shits in assorted sizes, so if you want to complete your collection you should order early. Once they're gone, they're gone. The shirts are $15. Be sure to give us credit so we can afford to buy Purrgeron the good kity litter. Otherwise he'll piss on our pillows. Not fun.
Last night was our greatest nights as sports fans in our lives.
Last time the Bruins won the Stanley Cup, none of us were born. We weren’t even sperm in our daddy’s sack. Last time they were in the Finals, we were old enough to understand our favorite team was close but not nearly old enough to understand the hard work and sacrifice it takes a team to get where the Bruins are now.
Most of the Days of Y’Orr staff doesn’t give a crap about the Red Sox and we barely pay attention to the Celtics. We like the Patriots, but would trade those three Lombardi trophies for one Stanley Cup in a heart beat.
Sitting in the TD Garden Friday night when Horton scored, when the final buzzer sounded and when Zdeno Chara gathered his teammates to pose with the Prince of Wales Trophy was such an unbelievable feeling. Easily the best memory of your sports fan lives.
It still hasn’t really sunk in. The Boston Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals. You all know how unbelievably good it feels to say that. The Boston Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Pick up any Boston newspaper and it is staring you in the face. Everyone’s picture on Facebook is the picture of the team gathered around the Prince of Wales Trophy. Every Bruins fan you know is still delirious. There’s a noticeable jump in your step today.
The Bruins haven’t always played their best these playoffs but they’ve found a way to win. There are no “superstars” on this team according to experts and that is just fine by them. And that is just fine by us. This is TEAM. Not individuals. A team. They showed that when Chara refused to get his picture taken alone.
Unlike past years, you really feel this is a team that is living and dying for each other with every play. A team that believes they have what it takes.
Vancouver stands in the way. They are a machine. They rolled through the regular season and just embarrassed the San Jose Sharks. No one outside of Boston is giving the Bruins a fighting chance in this series. Not a soul.
But you’re like us. You’ve seen what this team can do when they are at their best. You’ve seen what Tim Thomas does when everything is on the line. You’ve seen how hard this team battles when their backs are against the wall.
Down 2-0 against Montreal. They stormed back. They won Game 7 in overtime. Then finished what they couldn’t last year when they swept Philly. Against the Lightning, they faltered for a bit and needed a reminder of what it takes to win. Then they went out in another Game 7 and put everything on the line for a full sixty minutes.
“Their power play isn’t good enough to win.”
“Their penalty kill isn’t good enough to win.”
“They don’t have the offense to compete with the teams in the West.”
You know what the Bruins do have?
They have Tim Thomas FINALLY getting his first Stanley Cup Finals appearance. If you think he is not going to be at his all time best for this we already know you’re wrong.
They have a full roster of players who are FINALLY buying into what it takes to win at the highest level.
And they did it all for each other. Not for individual glory or accolades. They are a team united in one common goal. To win a championship for themselves and end a drought for a city they know has given them so much.
That is why we all believe they can win. That is why we all believe they WILL win.
The Redemption Tour rolls on as we all sit back and continue to Believe in OUR team.
And as good as last night felt, we know it can be better. Boston has been 35 pounds too light for too long. If we all continue to Believe, the Bruins will do their part.
It's time to raise your colors and standards and to let trumplets blaze. Time to pick up your swords and shields and wield it in any way you see fit -- to cut down your enemy or protect your brethren.
For there is no tomorrow. There is no next time.
There is no dawn unless we get through the night.
Life offers no guarantee of a second chance, my friends. It makes no promises and holds no favorites. Glory is for those who earn it -- for those who sweat for it and bleed for it, who believe in it, and who scratch and claw away at every possible chance until -- through the soot and dirt -- they see that slight glimmer of hope. The diamond of life -- Opportunity.
It is only then can glory be harvested. It is only then can men leave the realm of myth and into legend. To see immortality before oneself can be an awe-inspiring experience.
Some men tremble, letting the soft earth beneath them quake and shake their very foundation untilt they're no more than a puddle of piss.
Other men -- men of mettle, of steel and of iron -- march forward through the fog of war. They see immortality as a precious jewel that belongs to them. They soar while others fall.
Songs and ballads are not sung for those who sit idly by and watch life pass them like a summer's breeze. They're reserved for the heroes and gods of this world -- for the men who raised themselves above the commonfolk and into the Pantheon of their choosing.
But it won't be easy. Nor should it.
It's time to see what mettle rests in our hearts, ladies and gentlemen.
I want to apologize right away for the Jennifer Lopez reference in the title. For some reason that shitty song is stuck in my head and I can't get it out, much like I can't get out the images of Game 6 out of my head. I've tried my hardest, but I can't. I especially can't get the image of those shitty Tampa fans throwing those stupid fucking clappers onto the ice after they won.
Before I talk about the game, I want to address the Tampa "fans" and their hypocrisy. Every since the Bruins were in the playoffs, people have criticized the Boston fans because they throw towel and empty beer cups on the ice after wins and especially after losses. It got to the point where the Days of Y'Orr staff, who don't condone this type of behavior, made a post mocking Bruins fans. That's right, we mocked our own readers because their behavior was out of line. Despite this mockery, people in other hockey markets and main stream media continued to verbally lash on the Bruins fans as classless. So what happens on Wednesday night? Tampa wins and their fans litter the ice, including hitting Boston players.
The reaction from most fans was unbelievable. They were okay with it. Tampa fans, Montreal fans, really anyone outside of the black and gold faithful were happy to see players get hit. After this acceptance, a video came out where Nathan Horton squirted water at a fan and suddenly the Internet was once again in a shit storm about how horrible the Bruins are.
This is the type of shit that brings my blood to a boil. It's not okay for fans to throw shit onto the ice until your team does it. Once your team's fans do it, it's okay. Then it's not okay for a player to defend his teammates after they are hit with the same shit that your fans are throwing. Interesting. Well, fuck you Tampa. Win or lose tonight it's clear to me that your nothing more then a bunch of fair weather fans who don't deserve a fucking hockey team, let alone any sports team.
This isn't going to be a debate on the fans. There's still a hockey game to be played tonight and it's do or die for the Bruins. Plain and simple. Sometimes I feel like this team doesn't want to get to the Stanley Cup Finals. Sometimes I feel like these guys are scared of the pressure that's beginning to mount. Don't forget, the city of Boston hasn't celebrated a Stanley Cup in 39 years. That's a lot of pressure for a team to undergo and I don't think these guys are ready.
Look at Game 6. The Bruins let their frustrations get the better of them. Andrew Ference took a stupid cross checking penalty in front of the net, the Tampa Bay power play abused the Bruins to where Ike Turner was envious and Johnny Boychuk made a pinch that basically won Tampa that game. Basically, Johnny Boychuk has been awful this series. The staff at Days of Y'Orr has had a pants tent for Johnny Boychuk for the past two years, but there's no denying how bad he's been this series.
He's not the only one. I'm not sure if the Bruins are tired or what, but the defense hasn't been up to snuff in this series outside of Game 3.
With all that said though, it's time for the Bruins to lay it all on the ice tonight. If they lose, I don't know what will happen in this city. A lot of people (this blog included, obviously) have lived and died with the Bruins this season. Hell, I watched them in Prague sitting in my brother-in-laws hotel suite getting ready for his wedding. It ain't over yet folks, I believe the Bruins have what it takes to beat Tampa.
I think they're better than Tampa.
For the Bruins to win, they're going to have to revert back to Game 3 where they slowed the pace and played their game. Don't worry about getting physical with the Lightning, worry about slowing down the game. Get the puck deep in the offensive zone. The defensemen need to roam the blue line in the offensive zone unless a pinch is open. Seidenberg and Chara are the best pinchers on the team, anyone else I'd discourage it at this point, especially because Tampa can rush with the best of them.
This is becomes a "pond hockey" style of game, the Bruins will lose. They're not in the same cateogry with Tampa when it comes to speed and skating, but defensively they're much better. Play disciplined hockey and don't allow Tampa to set-up in the zone on a power play. Once they set-up, the Bruins are dead.
I would say capitalize on the power play, but ya know.
Thanks my to bud Ian (@caffeinepower) for posting this on his Facebook.
Lastly, Claude needs to start mixing up lines. Mark Recchi isn't cutting it anymore. Time to bump him down to the fourth line and double shift Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin. Both of those players add skill and speed to a second line that already has Patrice Bergeron, the best Bruin on the ice not named Tim Thomas, and Brad Marchand. I love Recchi and I think his leadership with this club is important, but the legs are gone. Let him skate with the fourth line, but no longer can he be useful on the second line our the power play.
There's not much else for me to talk about, so I ask you Boston Bruins, do you have your war face on? Let me see it. LET ME SEE IT.
The St. Petersburg Times reported on Twitter that Bill Daly, the NHL's deputy commissioner, said there will be no punishment for either Horton or the Tampa Bay Lightning for end-of-the-game incidents after Game 6 in Tampa Wednesday night.