April 23, 2008
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. Gone but not forgotten, we've asked for these losers to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The fans who hated them the most. Here's HabsFan10 from the Montreal Canadiens blog Four Habs Fans fondly recalling the Bruins.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today not to praise the Boston Bruins, but to bury them, on a lovely shaded plot under the tree known as Zdeno Chara (video). The 2008 Bruins lived a charmed life, a life that went far longer than any of us expected or hoped for. In the end, the size of the heart in our favourite scrappy scamps could not compensate for the size of the holes in their defence.
If a team is measured by its place in the heart of a city, then this year's Bruins stand alone ... in fifth place, behind the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and New England Revolution. The team's plucky comeback to force a seventh game against their great rivals was seen by literally hundreds after being bumped from the regional sports network for a regular season Red Sox game and an update on Tom Brady's vacation.
We shed a tear today for notorious skinflint owner Jeremy Jacobs, who won't get to enjoy a few more weeks of Milan Lucic jersey sales, since the hubbub in the Hub for this latest Bruins' failure died as soon as the Red Sox woke up this morning. We also mourn Harry Sinden's sanity, as he throws his best forward and coach under the bus from the comfort of a Florida retirement home and mumbles incoherently about too-many-men penalties and expensive stars he needs to trade away.
We remember this Bruins team as we remember every Bruins team that didn't feature the undisputed greatest player of the day (Eddie Shore or Bobby Orr) or a player averaging almost two points per game (Bill Cowley): We remember them as Cup-less.
Bruins fans can take solace in the fact that they may still be able to celebrate a Cup victory this spring, as they did when Boston great Ray Bourque rubbed the franchise's nose in its own failure by parading Lord Stanley's mug in front of wildly cheering Bruins fans as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. Plenty of too-expensive-for-the-Bruins players will continue on in these playoffs, battling for franchises that want to win more than just make a profit, so keep hope alive
As we bury the 2008 Bruins, we see hope for the future in Cam Neely clone Lucic and speedster Phil Kessel, who will delight Boston fans for many more months before succumbing to career-threatening injuries or being traded on the cusp of superstardom for a handful of grinders. We eagerly anticipate the jersey retirement of the next Bruin thug who charges into the stands to fight the fans.
Although these 2008 Bruins have left us, we carry the memories of Drew Carey lookalike Tim Thomas tending the nets in the All-Star game; an 8-0 season series whitewash at the hands of their old enemies from Montreal; and the warm welcome opposing fans received in the TD Banknorth Garden when they arrived by the thousands and took over.
Three different times.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the Greater Boston Hydro Authority, whose good work has ensured the lights in the Bruins rink (video) have stayed on during all Boston playoff games for 20 straight years.