October 06, 2011
The Boston Bruins opened their 2011-12 NHL season like they closed the previous season: Skating the Stanley Cup, as the teammates passed it around like they had on the ice in Vancouver back in June. (Sorry, Joe Corvo(notes).)
Now, there was a lot to love about the Bruins' opening ceremony, which stretched over 30 minutes before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers:
The hugs and congratulations between the 1972 champs and the current champs — including Bobby Orr and Zdeno Chara(notes). Owner Jeremy Jacobs saying "let's get this damn thing up there" in reference to the Bruins' Stanley Cup banner, adding that there's room for another one. The ceremonial jacket from the playoff run being given to Mark Recchi(notes).
But this Cup skate … we're iffy on it. In the Bruins' defense, it's basically the same roster that won the Cup, and they never had a chance to skate it on their own home ice last postseason.
But it was also a bit much. Raise the banner, give the speeches, be done with it. You skate the Cup when you win it. You pass the Cup around at your parade. To do it again on opening night … well, we wouldn't want to accuse anyone from Boston of gloating but oh right we already have.
For comparison's sake, the Chicago Blackhawks' opening ceremony from last season, after winning the Cup on the road and breaking a longer drought.
Last season, Jonathan Toews(notes) skated over and placed the Cup on another Jonathan Toews a pedestal. The year before, the Cup appeared at center ice during the Pittsburgh Penguins' celebration after a curtain screen dropped around it.
Again, no denying the awesomeness of the visual for the Bruins: Team unity, a symbolic go-ahead-and-try-to-take-this dare to the rest of the league. But did the Cup raise lay it on a little thick, even for a Boston sports team? With that:
Pass or Fail: The Boston Bruins Cup skate/raise to open the season.