It was five years ago tonight that the Bruins beat the hated (and boy did we hate them) Canucks, 4-0, to win their first Cup since 1972. It was, in a word, amazing. It was also unexpected to a certain degree as the Bruins were somewhat notorious for blowing series leads and opportunities in the playoffs. But they nutted up, smacked the Canucks around and walked away with the chalice and into history.
And what a ride it was. Starting in the first round against the Habs, in a series that was insanely stressful. I remember when Nathan Horton scored in OT of Game 7 it wasn’t so much happiness but relief. Relief that it was over. To be honest if the B’s had just won that series I would’ve been happy, I couldn’t take anymore at that point.
The series against Philly was a nice break, the B’s swept the Flyers, avenging 2010, and it wasn’t really much of a series outside of an OT win in game two that Tim Thomas essentially stole.
Moving on to Tampa. Hoo boy. What a series. Game 7 was quite possibly the best hockey game I had ever seen. I remember my wife, who was pregnant at the time (how that happened is still a mystery given the playoff run), coming downstairs right after Horton’s goal and asking if she could watch the rest of the game with me.
I said no.
She was incredulous. So I relented, letting her stay only if she didn’t say anything.
Once the final horn sounded, it definitely got a little dusty at the Shinnick house. And my wife was definitely re-considering her life. I couldn’t help it though, I had been through so much crap with this team, so much disappointment and outright horrible hockey, that it was too much to think that the actually made the Finals.
Then, the Finals. The first two games were miserable, with the B’s losing Game 1 with about 10 seconds left, and losing Game 2 in OT.
Games 3 and 4? Wow. Aside from Nathan Horton getting knocked out of the series the Bruins played inspired hockey, pushing the Canucks around and giving Roberto Luongo nightmares. Game 5? Another frustrating 1-0 loss, made famous by Luongo’s “pumping my tires” comments and talking about how he would’ve made the save on the game winning goal because he stays in the crease. Game 6? Luongo out after about 10 minutes as the B’s cruised.
Game 7? What can you say about Game 7 that hasn’t already been said. I was pretty much a zombie all day, thinking about the game but also just plain exhausted from the two month death walk that the playoffs had become. So the B’s go up 1-0 and people start calling and texting my wife asking if SHE’S alright. What about me? I’m dying here.
At any rate, as the game goes on and the B’s go up 2-0, then 3-0 at the end of two. And it sets in. They’re gonna win the f—ing Cup. I had to go outside. Once again, my wife strongly re-considered her future.
Then, it was over. The B’s hoisted the Cup, lead by Mark Recchi’s “FUCKING RIGHT!” directly into NBC’s mike. Fucking right indeed, Mark.
For me, it was probably the most enjoyable championship out of all the Boston championship’s since 2001. So much BS with this team. So much frustration and apathy over the direction of the franchise in the early 2000’s was all wiped away in one glorious night.
The Bruins are pretty far away now from another Cup, but we’ll always have 2011. And what a ride it was.