June 18, 2011
(What, you thought the champs get off easy? Before the season, we assign 16 eulogies. As in the past, the winning team's eulogy becomes ahem, a "tribute" by the fans who hated them the most. Here is HF10 of the Montreal Canadiens fan collective known as Four Habs Fans, fondly recalling the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
By HF10 of Four Habs Fans
The Boston Bruins are Stanley Cup champions.
While that sentence makes me want to commit "routine hockey plays" on everyone in a 100-mile vicinity, it's the truth, and we all need to get used to it. It's Tim Thomas's(notes) buffet table and we're all just looking for scraps after he makes his third pass. [Whew. Got the "routine hockey play" and "Thomas is fat" joke shoehorned into the opening sentence. Now we can relax.]
Now, you might assume we Habs fans are twisting ourselves into bitter, whining, bitchy knots at the thought of our greatest rivals hoisting the Cup, especially after all that transpired between the Bruins and the Canadiens over the past year.
Well, you know what, Mr. Smarty Pants Sarcastic Commenter? YOU'RE ABSOFRIGGINGLUTELY RIGHT we're bitter. We're bitter every year the riots and parade don't take place down Ste. Catherine street in Montreal, but this year especially hurts. It feels even worse when you tee up your best "Dr Recchi has declared that the Bruins aren't dead, Jack Edwards just yelled at the Bruins corpse to get up" jokes in preparation for a Puck Daddy Eulogy and that jerk Wysh asks you to write a freaking "tribute" instead.
But we're professionals, so here we go. A tribute to the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. May God have mercy on our souls.
A Stanley Cup doesn't just happen by accident. It takes contributions from a disparate group of heroes, wielded together in pursuit of a common goal. The Boston Bruins had a number of those types of heroes (and Tomas Kaberle(notes)):
• Tim Thomas continued to defy his critics, every single goaltending expert on the planet, Father Time and the evils of cholesterol by turning in the best season of his career. Thomas looked like a salary cap-killing mistake when Tuukka Rask(notes) emerged last season, and now he's the probable Vezina winner, the runaway Conn Smythe winner and everyone's feel-good story of the year. He even upgraded his celebrity doppleganger from Drew Carey to Kevin James in "Paul Blart, Mall Cop." An all around success story.
• Claude Julien went from probably being fired if the Bruins lost in Round 1 to Stanley Cup champion — good news for those of us who look forward to more hypocritical press conferences where Julien loudly proclaims the innocence of his goon squad and cries foul over any physical contact with his little angels in black and gold. Look for a slew of copycat coaches who spent most of the game with their arms outstretched in mock surprise that their team has drawn a penalty for a "routine hockey play" that leads to an opponent being stretchered off the ice.
• Dr. Mark Recchi(notes) used his extensive knowledge of human physiology to not only play inspired hockey at the age of 136, but also took the time to publicly shame that goldbricking faker Max Pacioretty(notes), who was obviously trying to get perennial Lady Byng candidate and soon to be canonized gentle giant Zdeno Chara(notes) suspended forever with his bogus broken neck/concussion claims. Thank goodness the Doctor was able to see right through the Canadiens ruse and prevent a great injustice. The Doctor was strangely silent on the effects of his teammate Nathan Horton's(notes) concussion in the Finals, but I guess traveling across the continent to sit under the bright lights of an arena lit up for a Game 7 isn't nearly as troublesome for concussion victims as sitting in a darkened movie theatre in Montreal.
• Freshman Brad Marchand(notes) became a media sensation with his increasingly irritating and hypocritical... well, everything about Marchand is irritating and hypocritical. Not many rookies can come into a League, accuse another team of diving, accuse another rookie of not respecting the game, and accuse someone else of doling out dangerous head shots and then proceed to lead the league in diving penalties (regular season AND playoffs), not respect anyone, and get suspended for a blindside elbow to the back of someone's head in one season, but this little dynamo did. His greatest accomplishment might have been making Milan Lucic(notes) seem likable by comparison. We eagerly await Year 2 of the Marchand era, when we fully expect him to stab someone in the faceoff dot and call them out for disrespecting the game by bleeding to death on the ice instead of in the dressing room.
• Zdeno Chara put the awkwardness of nearly killing Max Pacioretty (when a mysterious stanchion suddenly materialized out of thin air in the Bell Centre, causing him to inadvertently slam Pacioretty's head into it on a "routine hockey play") behind him to finish the playoffs without almost killing anyone else. He hopes to continue to not almost kill people next year, no matter how many times he is confused about where he is on the various ice surfaces he has played on for over a decade.
• Nathan Horton finally began to show the full potential the world knew he was capable of when Florida drafted him 3rd overall, scoring a number of clutch goals in the playoffs and continuing a fine Boston tradition of pleasant interaction with opposing fans. He can be forgiven for not fully embracing the Bruin way, which would have meant actually climbing into the stands and beating on someone with their own shoe — he's only been a Bruin for a year. Next year he'll do us proud … as soon as Dr. Recchi clears him from the concussion that resulted from a dastardly late hit that most certainly wasn't a "routine hockey play."
• Greg Campbell finally was able to put all the whispers about NHL front office bias to rest when his dad Colin Campbell stepped down as NHL suspension czar in favour of someone far less likely to show favouritism towards little Greg and his teammates: Greg's mother, Franny. Franny immediately suspended Greg's former Kitchener Rangers teammate Mike Richards(notes) for every Flyer/Bruin game next season because he didn't invite Greg to his birthday party in 2003.
• Patrice Bergeron(notes) made a heroic comeback from potentially career-threatening concussions to reassert himself as one of the best two-way players in hockey. He also apparently represents the exception that proves the rule to all Boston fans, since he is the only French Canadian in existence who isn't branded as a diving, whining, cop car burning [female genitalia] by Bruins supporters.
• Former Bruin great and current surly fat man in the press box Cam Neely was an inspirational leader to the 2011 Bruins, angrily punching walls and storming out of the room when things didn't go his way and gleefully sharing awkward high fives with GM Peter Chiarelli whenever a Bruin scored a game winner, threw a cheap-shot after the whistle or bashed an opponent in the face with an elbow pad.
The 2010-2011 Boston Bruins might not be the most talented Stanley Cup champs in history. They might not be the most beloved. They might face accusations that their NHL sanctioned and supported goonery, whining and general ass-hattery is going to drag the league into a 70's style abyss.
They might weaken the girders in the ceiling of the TD Banknorth with all the new banners they'll raise to retire the jerseys of Thomas, Chara, Marchand, Dr. Recchi, Bergeron, Horton, Lucic, Boychuk, Campbell (Greg and Colin), and probably even Dennis Wideman(notes), since he got traded for Horton and the Campbells.
None of that matters.
What matters most to the Bruins and their fans (at least until the first pitch in tonight's Red Sox game) is that the Bruins only needed seven games (including three overtime wins) to squeak past a Montreal team missing its top two defensemen and trotting Scott [expletive] Gomez out for 20 minutes a night; then destroyed a Flyers team in disarray; then only took another seven games to defeat a Lightning team with a 41-year-old journeyman goalie; and finally seven more to defeat a team that laid down like beaten dogs and got the worst goaltending performance in a Stanley Cup final since Dawson City in 1905 (look it up). That's what is important*.
At least until the NFL lockout ends.
Congratulations, Boston. Pink Lucic jerseys for everyone!
* Except to cheapskate owner Jeremy Jacobs, who thinks the most important thing is the Bruins managed to squeeze a dozen more home games into the season - and the players didn't get paid. (Yeah Bruins fans, we threw in a "Jacobs is cheap" joke. Christ, you won the effing Cup, we're grasping at straws here).
The preceding was written by Four Habs Fans. You're welcome.